I have tried proposing a parenting agreement, but my ex partner flatly refuses. I am in process of submitting to family law court initiating to have consent orders done he also want to do the same. Is it best for me to lodge first?
ex partner not willing to do mediation again, we have both declined proposed parenting agreement his being unreasonable wanting every weekend and not for anyone to mind our child other than us. Next step may be to apply to have consent orders done leaving it in the hands of the judge. Has anyone been thru this process, can you pls advise any other options and possible costs.
My first suggestion to parents in this type of tug of war situations is to step back and don't fight it.
Many fathers initially make unreasonable requests because of the fear that they will lose their meaningful relationship with their child. It is a genuine fear, but often leads to unworkable requests.
The mothers who I have seen get the best arrangements are the ones who let fathers try, and in many cases fail. If you do not resist, you will let him get it out of his system and within a year his will gradually drift back to a more realistic position.
If you look at the AIFS stats, you will see that the vast majority of shared care/equal care orders from the Family Court fall back to a modest arrangement within 2 years.
So your question is do you go to Court, pay tens of thousands of dollars and end up in the same place within 2 years, or do you pay nothing, and get the same result.
Please also note that unless there are compelling reasons, the Court will probably not make orders that you think are fair or workable, so why waste money in the first place.
If they really are unworkable demands as you say, then let that work for you. You would be surprised how big an impact reality has on parenting arrangements when you remove the conflict from the discussions.
Essentially, if you're prepared and understand the process, then I think you should lodge. If you can't come to an agreement with the consent orders, then the court can decide and put in place a parenting order. Remember that the terms of the orders must ultimately be in the best interests of the child - see the Family Law Courts "Parenting cases – the best interests of the child" page that outlines the key principles/considerations when deciding a parenting case and the "Children's Matters" page for further information about orders, children and parenting arrangements.