NSW Trying to reach agreement on combined consent orders

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by OptionalSettings, 17 February 2018.

  1. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    I am separated from my wife for 6 months, we have attended mediation and have agreed a parenting plan that currently gives me 5 nights per fortnight of 2 children aged 3 and 5. We have agreed in mediation that this would increase to equal time by the end of this year. We have also between ourselves more or less reached a property agreement.

    The problem is that I have been advised and have requested that both parenting and property be put in a consent order. My wife is refusing to return to mediation (she has requested a 60I certificate) and is refusing to have parenting in the consent orders but will agree to a property consent order.

    Property is pretty modest amount (would easily disappear on lawyers and court) in the form of savings and investments in my name so my wife can not easily access these, but she controls access to the children and regularly threatens to restrict access if I don't toe the line, including this issue. I am very suspicious of her motivations and what she might do after she receives financial settlement and there is no parenting order in place.

    Does anyone have any advice how I can move this forward as we are both refusing to budge?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts... Be patient. Get 5 nights a fortnight going constantly for 6 months. Then consider applying to court... It is common for one parent to want the assets sorted - so they get some money BUT be lest interested in locking in child arrangements so they can have 'flexibility'... So if you can get another few months of 5 a fortnight reasonably consistently then applying to court for 50/50 could be worth it...

    you can self represent too.... Look often when one parent is confronted with a magistrate telling them what is going to happen, they become more prepared to negotiate.
    But based on the threats, I would not be agreeing to anything pertaining to finances IF the child access is not also agreed upon.
     
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  4. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @AllForHer, I asked why and now she has agreed to do them together. I just need to go through her provided version of the parenting consent orders now and renegotiate what we agreed in mediation. There is no mention of equal time at any time in the future. I take it the parenting consent order needs to include a schedule that will work for the next 15 years?
     
  5. thatbloke

    thatbloke Well-Known Member

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    I would sit tight and get everything settled, especially the property with as minimal fuss as possible. I would then shut up and not even talk about consent orders until WELL after you have the 50/50 you both agreed to. and if 50/50 continues, is there really any need anyway?

    I know parenting plans are not worth jack but the one time they are is when both parents seem to want to make them work so you, with 5 nights and the kids so young, already have MUCH more than heaps of parents do with their kids so count yourself very lucky if you and your ex actually cooperate on this and more

    Keep a steady course and dont rock the cruise ship you are in.. it might sink and with kids so young you might find yourself drowning without a life vest.
     
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  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok - so let me start with your question about the orders having to function for the next 15 yrs. Consent orders are hard to change once they have started unless by mutual have an agreement.... You need to prove that there is a significant change in circumstance to warrant having a magistrate look at it... That is called the Rice and Asplund rule. Now remember punter here like me are not solicitors... We have life experience that MIGHT help. Check every fact.....

    BUT - in my consent orders we had something that said that we would not rely upon Rice and Asplund if further court stuff was needed. My youngest was about 18 mths old by the time we got consent orders. So I had 5 nights a fortnight and could apply to court for more time because the orders stipulated that the general principle behind Rice and Asplund would not apply. The reason was that the kids were so young that having concrete orders for the next 16 yrs was dumb. So maybe that is something you could offer... Still sux because she did agree to 50/50 BUT under my method, if she doesn't agree at least you could apply to court in a year or two for more time...

    Next - 5 nights a fortnight PLUS half school holidays? The reason I ask is money... See 5 a fortnight is very close to the 35% cut off for family tax benefit... 5 a fortnight is 130 nights a year. 35.2%... So child support and family tax benefit are all calculated on % of care.. Do you think that is part of her plan? if so she might have stuffed up on the math. But it is very close to the 35% threshold and the financial difference is huge.

    NO LEGAL ADVICE - Just a thought. Ok so I had 5 a fortnight - I wanted 50/50. Guess what.. 5 a fortnight isn't bad. See the kids started seeing my house as the fun house. I was the happy parent that looked forward to my time with them. IT made me a better dad. And slowly the kids started to resent mum... Kids see 50/50 as fair... Fair is NOT the same as equal... But they liked my place, they liked their time with me and that is all that I care about...

    Again - not legal advice.... Just life experience... I'm 43... My marriage ended when I was 35. My hair went grey in 6 months. My hair is more grey than my mum's and she is 70, ok it is white... it is beyond grey... . I have dental problems because I started grinding my teeth at night due to stress. Now I was fighting for access to the kids... Just to see them. My ex eventually accepted 5 a fortnight. So my point is this, I'm wondering if you really need to go through all that crap. So let me ask you to consider this... How much money do you want to throw at this? What is it worth to you to get 50/50 access? and how much grief? So I've never been to family court... BUT I spent about $20 000 on solicitors just to get consent orders that meant I knew when I was seeing my kids? what financial and emotional grief is worth it for 50/50? just a thought...But you do want consent orders - If you don't get consent orders now - you will never get them without court.

    Next - Again story time... Once I got 5 a fortnight and consent orders... and once she found the new love of her life... She was calling me and begging me to take the kids for an additional night here or there... But it took some time to get to that point. I guess I'm just trying to guide you towards finding compromise.

    OOPS another story - So 7 yrs on and the kids now live with me 90% of the time.. (makes that $30 000 I mentioned earlier seem like a waste of $$$$) But there is still constant hostility between us. I feel for the kids... Even though I only have to see the ex about 16 times a year it is still bloody horrible. So the reason for the story is this. AVOID my scenario. Giving a little now might be worth it in the long run.

    I'm not a nice guy... NOT even close. Everything up til now is warm and fuzzy...Family Law is a modern version of chess. I reckon you are in a good position. Rack up a few months of 5 a fortnight and don't bother with discussing asset division. Just agree, no consent orders for parenting and no asset division. So assuming you're picking the kids up from school (so it makes it harder for her stop you seeing them) Just play nice... Then in 12 months from separation file for divorce... See after divorce you only have 12 months to file for asset division through the courts - so the clock is ticking and it is her problem because the majority of the assets are in your name. She will quickly work out the plan and realise that she is on a hiding to nothing and will quickly want to compromise once she realises the time frame.

    Final thought - Get 5 a fortnight up - get 8-12 months of it - then apply to court for 50/50 if you want. You can self represent. But once she gets served to attend court her attitude might change and once you've had consistent care at 5 a fortnight for a year or so - you will not lose time and you might get more time with the kids. But I'd recommend trying to srot things so 5 a fortnight in consent orders with asset division is a better option than court.
     
  7. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    oops sorry - just checking - so she will agree to consent orders for 5 a fortnight? IF so I'd suggest accepting it. with my provision on Rice and Asplund
     
  8. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm grateful I have this time and realise there are people out there fighting tougher battles and have it a lot harder than I do.
     
  9. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    Yes, looks like she would agree to current arrangement of 5 nights and then 6 nights by 2020. Nothing further after has been mentioned though.
     
  10. thatbloke

    thatbloke Well-Known Member

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    Then go for it!!!! I wouldn't even bother with a RIce Asplund exclusion with a kid that is so young. If you get consent orders for 6 nights all you really have almost everything.. INCLUDING half the holidays by default
     
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    #10 thatbloke, 18 February 2018
    Last edited: 18 February 2018
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