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Self-Representing - Tips for My Trial in Family Court?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Trin3of7, 24 December 2015.

  1. Trin3of7

    Trin3of7 Active Member

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    I am going to trial in Family Court to seek more access and communication with my children. I am representing myself and was wondering what tips you could give me. I am all new to this, I have subpoenas already approved but now I have to travel to Adelaide From NSW to read and copy them, Just wondering what am I actually looking for in them. Is it proof to support what I am seeking?

    I am going up against a Barrister and I am very nervous about it. I'm wondering, how do I direct questions at my ex? What am I allowed to ask and not allowed to ask, or how to I phrase the questions?

    Any tips on Family Law would help me heaps.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Go get this book "Breaking Up" by Phillip Larkin. You can probably get it from the library - as long as you don't live near me because I never returned it as it was that good... (I'm bad)

    Look a magistrate must give some guidance to self-representers. You'll probably never wind up questioning the ex... You can ask whatever you want. If the barrister thinks it is inappropriate he'll say so and then you'll get direction from the magistrate.

    Look some magistrates like self-representers, others detest them - which way your magistrate goes is probably gonna matter as much as anything else.

    So why have you not been seeing your kids? How much time do you want? And what grounds do you think the ex will give to justify you not seeing the kids? One more - is there any chance you could move to Adelaide? Are there any court orders currently in place and are they being followed? Sorry for all the questions but the more info you provide, the more precise the information you'll get from people here.

    You should not have to go to Adeilaide just to submit paperwork. Get yourself to the nearest family law court and sit in some cases to get your head around the way the stuff works.
     
  3. Trin3of7

    Trin3of7 Active Member

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    The current family orders state that I see them once a month the first Sunday of every month for the day I travel from NSW to Adelaide, and also for half hour phone call on a Sunday, I am seeking shared responsibility, half the holidays, pick up and drop off at Adelaide Airport, phone call 3 nights a week, overnight visits to the children, be able to attend all sporting and school events, and these were all supported by the family Assesment and was in their recommendations.

    She has agreed to all but one shared responsibility, but I feel she is making a bad decision regarding the children. She has Orders stating she is not allowed to attended the school they were attending due to violence against the headmistress. She move the children to another school and is having the same problem, but she is not allowed to move the children without my permission which is in the current court order as well.

    She is not currently following the court orders. When I ring the boys, she answers and hangs up. I have taken out contravention orders, but at the moment, it is costing me way too much and putting me in financial hardship, so I have to be careful what I do as child support does not recognise my financial hardship and does not take into account legal costs. Most of my money goes on travelling and seeing the boys for the day. All in all, it is 5 hours once a month, but it is all worth it when I see them.

    I have just moved back from Adelaide for full-time work in my hometown, I am not entitled to any Aboriginal Legal aid or legal aid and have just been paying for everything myself,

    I submit what I can though the family court portal and when I ring the family court they are really helpful.

    Thank you for letting me know that the magistrate will help a little or a bit, I will try and get to some family courts as well.

    The family assessment report recommended every thing I was seeking and she came out really bad in the report even the children made comments about her attitude and how she does not let them communicate with me and expressed the desire to spend more time with myself and my family.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So can you move back to Adelaide?

    Ok, so she is taking you to court simply because she wants sole parental responsibility? She is crazy... If she agrees with everything else you've put in your application then I reckon you've got nothing to worry about.

    Ok - so as far as child support goes - I want you to read this.... It might be applicable
    2.6.7 Reason 1 - High Costs in Enabling a Parent to Spend Time with, or Communicate with, a Child | Child Support Guide

    As far as phone calls go. Forget it. Wait till the kids are older and teach them to use Skype. Remember court orders can not make an unreasonable person become reasonable. Every time you try to contravene her on the phone calls all you're doing is wasting your time and she wins...

    I do think that your best bet is to move back to Adelaide.
     
  5. Trin3of7

    Trin3of7 Active Member

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    Thank you, Sammy, for all the helpful iinformation.

    I could move back to Adelaide and I wouldn't mind but my family is here and this is my hometown and traditional homelands. I have been away already for over 30 years and I am hoping that I will be able to bring the boys home and teach them their culture and show them all the sites of importances and traditional dances from this way.

    Yes, even though the family assessment recommended that we both have shared responsibility, that is the only one she won't agree. I have the documents to support my case but I am a bit scared of representing myself. I am travelling back and forth to Adelaide each court date.

    I am already applied under that reason and I got knocked back. They did not recognise court cost as trying to communicate and spend time with my children, even though I supplied all the supporting documents to them, even the contravention orders to prove this is a cost to communicate and spend time with them.

    I then appealed to the AAT and they increased my child support to almost double what I am paying now so now I am looking at going to the federal circuit court,

    CSA keeps saying I need to take it to family court but to do that, it would cost me more, so I have to make the decision of whether it is worth it or not,

    The children are 10, 7 and 6 and know how to use Skype but their mother still won't let them ring or talk to me on the phone. She won't even allow me to ring them today.

    I can't move back to Adelaide due to work. I may do so in the future but it also comes down to the boys being able to visit their traditional homelands and learn about their culture here as well and be abe to get to know my side of the family

    Have a wonderful day today and Merry Christmas
     

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