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QLD Should I Give Father Extra Days of Custody of Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by running, 16 June 2016.

  1. running

    running Well-Known Member

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    My ex and I have interim orders in place. He has custody of children 4 days per fortnight. He requested an extra day, which I denied as I have plans with my parents and my child.

    He said he gave me over 1 month's notice (he still has never mentioned it) and that he has relatives visiting, so it's a significant event. The lawyer has already sent me three letters, so I have formally denied the request twice (costing me hundreds for a petty request).

    The lawyer said I have to consider how the family report writer will view this and whether I am facilitating his relationship with the child. This seems like a load of crap - am I expected to cancel my plans so he can have the child?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to be blunt.

    Your lawyer has a very valid point.

    From the father's perspective, I would have absolutely no difficulty whatsoever arguing that you don't support nor encourage the child's relationship with his/her father, because you obviously don't think the child should spend even one extra night, over the course of the whole year, with his/her father, so the child can enjoy time together with his/her extended family.

    Look at it in perspective.

    He sees the child just four nights a fortnight. He has relatives visiting that the child would benefit from meeting because frankly, it's the child's legal right to have a relationship with his/her family members, and he is asking for just one extra night so the child can be included in this family gathering, which is obviously of benefit to the child, and all you can think about is your plans and how much it cost you to deny the request.

    I'm going to take a stab and guess the child sees your parents a lot more than he/she sees his extended family members on his father's side, yet you would rather spend hundreds of dollars getting your lawyer to reject the request for one extra night - that's one, just one, extra night - to ensure your plans can go ahead.

    I don't know how to make this any more abundantly clear, so I'm going to just answer your last question.

    If you want to show the court that you do support the child's right to have a meaningful relationship with both his/her father and extended family, then yes, you are expected to cancel your very special and important plans with the grandparents that the child undoubtedly sees quite often, so the child can spend time with his/her visiting relatives that he/she sees significantly less.
     
    Freycinet likes this.
  3. Freycinet

    Freycinet Active Member

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    The question I would ask is why you are saying no? Is it something that can only occur on that day?

    My daughter missed out on a two week family holiday to Darwin to see her Uncle (and her Pop ended up coming too) because in the orders my ex was entitled to her on Mother's Day. I didn't argue with her about it, but I can tell you now which event would have been more meaningful to her (not to mention she could have celebrated Mother's Day any day and my daughter would have been none the wiser).

    My opinion is, do what is best for the child.
     
  4. running

    running Well-Known Member

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    My parents are visiting from Tasmania. My son probably won't see them again until next year. We have no close family that lives locally and are struggling finacially, even though I work full time. This means we won't be travelling anytime soon. My ex pays no child support, even though he earns about $100 000 per year, which places a strain on us, which is exacerbated by him continually putting requests through the lawyer.

    Ex requested an extra day, and lied and said he had told me, which he hadn't. It was to go to a local ag show. So it wasn't exactly a momentous event.

    After I said no the first time, he lied and said he had family visiting from out of state and that it was important. He doesn't have close out of state relatives.

    I just don't know why I am expected to vary the orders and cancel our plans with my family so that he can have an extra day.
     
  5. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    Let's put it this way. Your lawyer, who has a better history of your case and has seen the filed materials, for some reason thinks it would be in your interests to agree to the extra day. Do you have to agree with your lawyer? No, you don't. Can you blame your lawyer later if you get a negative report? No, you can't.

    If your parents are coming for a holiday I expect they will be staying for more than one day? If you don't get to see them a lot then maybe this one extra day for child-dad could be a day for just you and your parents to catch up?

    Why would the orders need to be varied for this?

    Sometimes actions can be predictive of the general attitude. You really need to think about this sensibly.

    Child support is a separate matter. If you are not receiving CS you can contact them and apply.
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You're not expected to do anything, but if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding with your case, you'll try to show the Court that you're the supportive, flexible parent who places value on the child's relationship with her father, rather than the difficult, rigid parent who can't even 'allow' one extra night of time for the child to spend with her dad.
     
  7. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, doesn't look good when it comes to family report writer. Big deal. Also doesn't look good for the kid. Why? Well from what you've written, there seems no avenue for compromise. So what sort of compromises could be available?

    1. He has the kid that night from 4pm - hence providing some time with you and some time with him
    2. He has the child that day and you have the child from 4pm that night
    3. He has the child but agrees to swap a day that suits you
    4. You just agree - I'm guessing your folks are not travelling to visit you and only staying one night? So the kid will get to spend time with your folks and the kid spends less time with dad than with mum. So why not give a little?

    So the reason I say "big deal" about the family report writer is because let's look at the big picture - it ain't about pleasing some report writer, it is about the best interests of the kid and petty bickering and refusing to find any compromise is both bad parenting and just plain stupid...

    Now let's learn some lessons here. From now on, when he wants to request additional times tell him it must be in writing / via email so there can be no dispute about how much notice he provided.

    What else? Learn not to respond. Your ex sounds like mine. She will keep pestering until she gets her own way. That is why she is my ex and not my wife. I learned to be strategic with responding to nonsense and when it came to her getting her solicitor to write I'd not waste my money on solicitors to respond...

    Never ever link child support with emotional support. The fact he isn't paying child support is irrelevant to the fact he wants an additional weekend. They are two separate issues. BTW his choice to not pay child support should be relevant when it comes to the child access case and does not bode well for him.

    Why doesn't he pay child support? Have you called the child support agency?
     

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