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WA Understanding the Family Court Process

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by babyfirst, 3 April 2016.

  1. babyfirst

    babyfirst Well-Known Member

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    I'm still trying to get my head around family court process.

    Am I right in following these steps?

    Mediation first or exemption certificate.

    Lodge form 1 initial application with interim parenting and property settlement orders desired or you can leave off property settlement orders and just do parenting orders to begin with, so I'm told.

    This includes an affidavit. Can I reference evidence documents in this initial application?

    I'm lost after all the lawyers I've seen and starting to realise I need to understand the process myself. One lawyer mentioned something about a pre-something trial. She was waffling along a million miles an hour using terms I would need to be a lawyer myself to understand.

    Where does it go from here ? Do they make an initial decision at the initial hearing about where the child stays or visitation by the other parent and a set date for proper hearing e.g. 6 months down the track or a no sooner than date?

    I'll be lodging a form 4 also but don't want to complicate this question.

    Any help on family law appreciated.

    I'll keep reading but getting a little lost in WA Court proceedings.
     
  2. babyfirst

    babyfirst Well-Known Member

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    P.S. Below is experience I've had with lawyers in WA

    1. First Lawyer I saw. Male one. Pretty much said near impossible for father's to get primary custody. Lots had happened at that time but no proof. Needed subpoenas. He said subpoenas are bigger than ben her. Didn't see him again.

    2. Second lawyer woman - said yep, yep you'll definitely get primary custody and, I kid you not, said she'll never see her daughter again. I explained I didn't want that, I just wanted my daughter to be able to see her in a safe manner. She said if it was her, she wouldn't let her see the child again. I find it hard to believe the courts would order this and I think she was just saying what some fathers would like to hear. Didn't see her again.

    3. Saw a very nice older woman lawyer. She was very understanding. Very cheap. Would let hour run over into 2 hours sometimes and only charge for 1. Problem was, she wasn't really getting full facts even though I saw her about 6 times with all the info. She got muddled all the time re-asking things I'de told her twice before.

    I lost confidence in her when she started telling me of all the clients she had had in similar situations to mine who lost in court. That Valium isn't illegal. That I wouldn't be able to prove how much she was taking. She was muddled in the processing for form 4 and hadn't actually done one before. I stopped seeing her.

    4. Just recently I saw a very expensive senior legal counsel. I emailed all information through before seeing her. We had a meeting and she had a perfect understanding of the situation. She had read all info I sent through, even through hundreds of pages. I expected her to only skim read. She seemed to know it all off by heart. She was a bit of a weirdo but obviously highly intelligent. Came across like a bit of an eccentric boffin. She bamboozled me a little expecting me to be as smart as her and I wasn't keeping up. She shattered some of what I was previously told about waiting times for form 4 that my case may well not be considered urgent at all.

    She did confirm I had well than enough to get intial custody and supervised access for my ex seeing my daughter. She explained form 4 automatically causes the court to use an independent child lawyer for my daughter which she explained is very good if you get a good one but very, very bad if I get a bad one. She explained a bad one can be simply one that doesn't like me. She was pretty candid how the system can go sometimes. She explained if a good one who does like me and believes me I will barley need a lawyer myself as they will do all the work for me.

    A good child lawyer will push for the same orders I want. If a bad one I will definitely need senior legal councel to fix things. Her rate to represent me in court is over 6K a day. I could afford mabye 3 days max. Just to see her for one hour visits is about twice that of a normal lawyer.

    That's where I'm at. Now wondering where to go from here.
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    1. Family dispute resolution. You can pursue an exemption, but it's likely the court will order you both back to mediation at first mention anyway.
    2. File initiating application for parenting orders, and you can seek property settlement at the same time if you want. Application must be accompanied by an affidavit - if parenting orders, affidavit must be why orders sought are in best interests of the child according to section 60CC FLA 1975; if property orders, must disclose all relevant assets, contributions and future needs. Make sure you tick the box for interim orders.
    3. Serve the application on the other party. They may respond if they wish.
    4. Await interim hearing, where interim orders will usually be made, including directional orders ahead of next mention.

    Evidence isn't tested at interim hearings, but you'll get orders in place while awaiting final hearing. Expect this process to take a long time, usually around two years, unless you settle by consent before hearing, which is how 95% of such matters are settled.
     
  4. babyfirst

    babyfirst Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for info.

    I'm starting to get head around it all.

    Just need to work out how to get her out of the house. She hates the house and numerous times has said "rent it out and we can rent somewhere else".

    Might do that simply to get her and her stuff out of only real asset we have. Once tenants are in its protected from damage, other druggies moving in and the mortgage is almost being paid in full by rent.

    It's a lot easier getting the house sold when needed down the track than her refusing to leave it and me paying mortgage plus rent for the unit for my daughter and me to live in.
     

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