LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

QLD Stepdaughter's Mother has Recovery Orders Without Going to Family Court?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by EmmaN, 17 December 2015.

  1. EmmaN

    EmmaN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 December 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    My stepdaughter has had a relationship with her father since she was born. She is now 2 and it has only been made into a parenting plan 2 months ago that he gets 2 weeks every 2 months visitation. He was instructed by a lawyer to take that and then not return her as recovery orders take a while but her mother has applied for an urgent order and told her lawyers the 2-year-old's father hasn't seen her since she was 3 months old.

    She emailed us saying she has been approved the day after applying for the recovery order but there hasn't been a family court date. We have psychologist appointments because of the state we got her in and are worried about her safety. How do we go about fighting this under Family Law? And they are taking him for a costs order to make him pay her legal fees. Is this right?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    What do you mean 'she has been approved the day after applying'? Is she suggesting that her recovery order was approved the day after it had been filed?
     
  3. EmmaN

    EmmaN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 December 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, she has emailed us saying that she is approved for the recovery order and she can walk into any afp building and get their help to take the child. She is an 18-year-old compulsive liar who has 3 kids under the age of 2 with 3 different dads, so nothing she says gets taken too much to heart but my partner is really worried about his daughter being taken by strangers
     
  4. EmmaN

    EmmaN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 December 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, she has emailed us saying that she is approved for the recovery order and she can walk into any afp building and get their help to take the child. She is an 18-year-old compulsive liar who has 3 kids under the age of 2 with 3 different dads, so nothingshe says gets taken too much to heart but my partner is really worried about his daughter being taken by strangers
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    Okay, so she's lying about the recovery order being successful. First, even emergency recovery orders can take up to six or eight weeks, and second, it still requires a hearing. Third, the AFP cannot do anything without a court order explicitly directing them to do so.

    However, she can take the child while there are no court orders in place.

    To contest the recovery order, you'll need to show that it's the child's best interests to continue residing with you. I would also suggest filing an initiating application for parenting orders as quickly as possible. Generally speaking, you should not withhold a child unless you have very compelling reasons for doing so, such as genuine fears for the child's safety.

    Regarding fees, the court usually makes parties pay for their own costs, except in exceptional circumstances, such as vexatious proceedings.
     
  6. EmmaN

    EmmaN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 December 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    My partner was made to sign the parenting plan because she threatened that he would get nothing if he didn't. She doesn't look at the child's best interest, she is stuck on hurting her father because he doesn't want to be with her. I have had to change numbers and addresses due to her harrassment, is there any way i can get something to stop her coming to my house?

    She doesn't know our address, she has accused us of hurting this girl but nothing has happened so we feel like something has happened to her mother and she fears it will happen to her child. I have a child to my partner aswell and dont want the trouble around her. My stepdaughter was in our care for a two week holiday 4 months ago and her mother didnt try and get her back for 9 weeks, once her child support was supposed to be cut. She is on single parent payment but has been living with her partner for the past 8 months.

    Do we bring this up with our lawyer as well?
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    If you've been harassed and threatened, I would consider getting a domestic violence order, but try and remember that like her or not, this girl is going to be in your lives forever because of the child.

    At 18, she is very young and likely has a lot of emotional maturing to do, so it's important that you try and lead by example. Don't include the child in the conflict, don't use the child to hurt or threaten the mother, and keep the child's exposure to conflict to a minimum.

    You might consider attempting mediation again or counselling for co-parenting after separation. Counselling is something I highly recommend, it's very helpful and informative.
     
  8. EmmaN

    EmmaN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 December 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0

    We have tried all avenues towards making this easier on everyone, but she doesn't work with us. My partner asked if he would get a chance to be able to tell the court why he is keeping her for the time being and the information about the psychologists? She has said she rang the doctors and there's no record of the child seeing one, but she doesn't know which doctor as we live in QLD and she has moved to NSW 3 months ago without permission to take the child.
     
  9. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    In regards to telling the court about why the child was withheld, all of that needs to be included in an affidavit and filed with an initiating application. While there are no parenting orders in place, the child can live with whoever and the parents are at liberty to behave as they wish.

    What will come into question is whether or not you've acted in the child's best interests by separating her from her primary attachment figure on a permanent basis. As such, you need to show why your actions were in the child's best interests. What concerns did you have about the child living with the mother? Was the child at risk of harm?

    In relation to the psychologist, this is also another tricky situation because the court doesn't generally take to parents who unilaterally conduct major medical interventions without consulting the other parent. It may not make or break things, but not involving the other parent at all suggests the father lacks insight as to the mother's role in the child's life. I'd also be inclined to wonder if any distress the child is experiencing is perhaps linked to the separation from her mother. Her mother may be an unpleasant individual, but if the child predominantly lived with her, then it's likely the child's primary attachment figure was her, and studies have shown that separation from a primary attachment figure can cause significant anxiety in young kids.

    Fundamentally, yes, telling the mother about the psychologist and the psychologist's contact information may lead her to become hostile, but it will show you recognise she is an important figure in the child's life, that you value her inclusion, and that you're willing to co-operate. I can't stress how important the notion of 'friendly parent' is in this day and age. If one parent is seen to be unwilling to support the child's relationship with the other parent or feels the other parent is not important, it can, and frequently has cost them heavily in court.

    I also think it's important to remember that you don't have to enter every argument that you're invited into. Send an e-mail, inform her of the situation, and ignore all hostile responses. Don't enter into a back-and-forth argument about the situation - it just acts as fuel for the fire.

    And most importantly, I think it is very important that you try and arrange the circumstances so that the mother spends time with the child, even if it is supervised. I also think a post-separation parenting course is very important. It'll teach you how to communicate without escalating hostility.
     
  10. EmmaN

    EmmaN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 December 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0

    We collected the child 3 weeks ago and she was covered in scratched and scabs, all over her bottom, she had bronzer on her private parts over a mark and was riddled with nits. We stayed in a hotel so the nappy was disposed of, but I have read that my partner can sign under oath that he witnessed this. He is worried that because there is no proof that it won't get looked into. We have told her about the psychologist and she has just said 'I hope your deadly psychologist is real'.

    We have tried to keep things civil and that's when she has pulled that she got her recovery order and the child will be seeing her very soon and my partner might be able to see his child at easter if he is lucky. We tried to make this all legal with orders while she was in our care a few months ago and we allowed her to come and see the child at our house and she told us she was changing her nappy but fled with the child to the airport and left the state so we are concerned about that again.
     

Share This Page

Loading...