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NSW What Happens if Ex Seeks to Change Family Court Orders?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by ricd, 3 June 2016.

  1. ricd

    ricd Member

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    Hi, guys

    I am new to this site and what a great needed site this is. Glad I found it. I need help on this matter, thanks.

    I am from Sydney. I have two daughters, aged 7 and 9 years and have shared care (see them 4 nights/ fortnight and half the school holidays). I pay child support and have never missed a payment, pay, half the school fees, dancing and swimming. I feed and clothe them when they come over and my eldest daughter's psychologist bill.

    When my kids are swimming, my ex always took them and recently has decided that I take them during the week, but I have told her that I work and I can't take them but I am happy to take them on weekends. She refused, saying she has things on weekends - not work as she does not work full time, so we both stopped taking the kids swimming.

    My youngest daughter is enrolled at the same school as my other daughter and is in year 2 and has been having difficulty reading and learning. She went and got extra tuition for her for speech therapy and she has been paying for quite a while and she recently asked me to pay but I refused as I don't have any money,.so she went to a psychologist for the kids to have her assessed and he concluded that she has the normal intellect of a girl her age but has a learning processing disorder - not a hearing problem.

    All this is is that when someone tells her something, she perceives or does something else - she's 7! I approached the school where my youngest daughter is currently going and they have agreed to put on helpers to the help kids with any difficulty and I have told my ex about this and that moving my daughter will be hard on her as she will lose friends, etc., but she refused
    .
    So the other day I got a letter from my old solicitor that she wants to amend the family court orders and that I sign the school form for the new school and that I pay half the kids' tuition, but it is in the child agreement as I have looked a dozen times. The solicitor also states in the letter that if I don't respond, they will take me to court with her seeking sole parental responsibility and custody of children and that I pay her family court costs.

    I have decided to go without a solicitor to represent myself. I am not wasting money. What can happen? What can they do to you if I refuse to do it? Anyone been through something similar?

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    1. Keep being a good dad
    2. Don't panic, there is plenty of time to think things through
    3. Think carefully about what you want (say 50/50 parenting, reduction in child support amount, no change?)
    4. Talk with a Community Legal Centre
    5. Don't give the ex any ammunition to use against you (ie keep following current orders)
    6. Send a reply back suggesting:
    • they will be responsible for your legal costs if they proceed with unnecessary legal action (ie call their bluff)
    • You want/do not want changes to child support (see step 3 above)
    7. Keep being a good dad
    8. Enjoy life and your kids (they grow up fast)
    9. Wait
     
  3. ricd

    ricd Member

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    Thanks, mate
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So firstly - make sure your old solicitor knows that you don't want them to work for you and you don't agree to pay them. Just to save your money.

    Next - wait 6 months. Then stop paying for anything but child support. Or at least write to the ex and make her understand that every penny you pay beyond the child support agency amount is voluntary, but I think you do have to respond to the letter. If you don't, she could argue that the failure to respond was implied agreement. If the letter that was sent to your old solicitor was written from your ex's solicitor, then you should respond.

    You can do that without a solicitor. Just write back and say that you don't agree to the change of schools. Include that you feel that you've met your obligation pertaining to the orders and that if the ex chooses to seek sole parental responsibility, that is her prerogative. (Mate, it ain't gonna happen and I reckon any solicitor that suggests it should be shot - unless you're talking about a parent that has been convicted of child abuse).

    Oh - I'd also suggest that given the ex has claimed that she'll go you for costs - I reckon you should ask for a costs schedule from her solicitor to help you comprehend what sorta money she is claiming you'll have to pay. Why? Just so you can laugh at how much money she has wasted. The solicitor won't provide it.

    But, seriously, until you find yourself inside a court room, there really isn't any need to worry about anything. You write as long as you don't threaten to hurt anyone.

    Now as far as changing schools go, I'd like you to go to abc tv and do a search for "Revolution School." It is a documentary about Australian schools. One of the things it emphasizes is the importance of stability and the negative impact moving schools have on kids.

    Maybe you could send a link to the ex, just to help her understand that you're not being vindictive by refusing - just doing what is in the best interests of the kids. BTW, how far is the new school from the old one? Any ideas about why she wants the move?:

    And everything Rod wrote is spot on. Keep being a good dad and don't even bother discussing this silliness with the kids.
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    If everything you've said is accurate, I would argue they're bluffing - intimidate and threaten in the hopes you'll just agree, but know you probably won't.

    Likelihood of sole parental responsibility is almost zero. You're an involved father with a history of being able to co-parent (even if it's with some acrimony). She won't get it, and to boot, she'll look foolish for trying.

    Likelihood of Court agreeing to change schools, also fairly low. They might order a therapist of some description, but I don't think the Court will agree that changing schools is a necessary disruption for a child of 7 years.

    Email your solicitor and advise they don't represent you. Then email your ex's solicitor and advise of same, and inform them that you are not agreeable to the change of schools. Then let them do the work.
     

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