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QLD Where to Find Cases with Settlement Offers as Evidence?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Kidspriorityalways, 22 June 2016.

  1. Kidspriorityalways

    Kidspriorityalways Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Wondering if anyone knows where I can find recent (last 5 years) cases where "Without Prejudice" settlement offers have been admitted as evidence as the family court considered that it was in the best interests of the children for the information to be disclosed?

    For example, where consent orders would be agreed by the other party in exchange for a monetary figure and guarantees of future payments of all of the child/rens expenses.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Where rights of others are being discussed (eg children), 'Without prejudice' offers can be admitted by courts.

    Which way are you arguing?
     
  3. Kidspriorityalways

    Kidspriorityalways Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rod,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I am wanting to submit the without prejudice offers made to show that the other party is putting financial and other considerations above the care arrangements, or best interests, of the children.

    Do I need to ask the Judge/Court's permission to place them into evidence as they have been marked "Without Prejudice" or can I just file them with an affidavit prior to the next mention?

    I thought being able to mention other family court cases where without prejudice material was submitted into evidence may be a requirement or at least help?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me, but what's the relevance of the 'without prejudice' offers to the best interests of the children in accordance with s 60CC of the Family Law Act? Why does it matter in respect of the care arrangements moving forward?

    Is this simply being used as an opportunity to show the Court what a jerk the other parent is for seemingly putting financial matters above the children's best interests?
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You can submit whatever you like to the court though the court is not obliged to accept what you send in.

    AllForHer is right. The family court could interpret your actions the opposite to what you intend. Think carefully before proceeding.
     
  6. Kidspriorityalways

    Kidspriorityalways Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    In the without prejudice offers, the other party abandoned their initiating application advising that they would agree to whatever I had asked for/I had responded to in terms of care arrangements for the children if I paid sums of money and agreed to pay all expenses for the children in the future.

    So I am trying to show that the other parent, on more than one occasion, abandoned the "best interests of the children" and their own initiating application care arrangements for their own financial and other reasons.

    As further info, their initiating application was for them to have full responsibility for the children and that I would have the children every second weekend from Friday night to Sunday night inclusive. My response filed at the court is shared responsibility, 10 nights care for me, 4 nights care for the other parent each fortnight. So their without prejudice offer was a significant change to their initiating appliction.

    We currently have interim orders of shared week about care Monday to Monday.
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that's going to have any long-standing relevance to your case. What you're attempting to show the Court is that the other parent is prioritising money over the children, but I think you'll find the Court less willing to adopt your point of view as fact.

    Consider it objectively.

    Say Parent A has unilaterally decided to withhold the children from Parent B indefinitely and for invalid reasons.

    Parent B tries and tries and tries to negotiate an outcome without involving the Court, but to no avail. So, Parent B engages a lawyer and commences proceedings to see his/her kids again.

    The Court finds no valid reasons for the children not to spend time with Parent B, and orders the children recommence the same pattern of time with Parent B as interim orders.

    So, Parent B is now seeing the kids exactly the same as he used to, except now he also has a debt in lawyer fees. Both Parent A and Parent B stand to lose significant sums of money if the trial goes ahead, so it's in the best interests of the child to get out of the Court system and save all of those funds for the children.

    However, had Parent A been reasonable to start with, Parent B wouldn't be in Court.

    So, what does he do?

    He offers to agree to the interim orders as final orders, provided Parent A compensates Parent B with some contribution to the unnecessary legal fees imposed as a consequence of Parent A's unjustified and unilateral actions.

    Would you say that means he doesn't care about the children? Probably not.

    See, unless they explain them to you, you don't know the reasons as to why a 'without prejudice' offer was made, but you're asking the Court to assume it's because the other parent doesn't really care about the kids. Even so, it has nothing to do with the children's best interests - a 'without prejudice' offer isn't going to cause harm to the children, nor is it going to impact their relationship with either parent. Including that kind of thing is basically just saying, 'See? Look at what a jerk the other parent is,' which never goes down well with the Court because it's petty and it's derogatory, neither of which are characteristics the Court likes to see in a parent.

    With that said, I can't predict what the Court will do. I just think you should consider carefully whether this information is relevant, or if it's just an attempt on your part to twist something that happened so that it suits your narrative, even though realistically, it probably doesn't.
     
  8. Kidspriorityalways

    Kidspriorityalways Well-Known Member

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    Thanks AllForHer.

    I understand what you are saying.

    Thanks all.
     
  9. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    To clarify. You have said you have Interim Orders that provide for a 50/50 week-about arrangement. You have also said the other parent abandoned their orders? Are you referring only to the Interim's or have they withdrawn the application?

    From your information this would fall under s60CC 3(i). However, 3(i) forms only one of a number of considerations the Court must consider.

    You were seeking for 10/4 in your favour? What is your current position?
     
  10. Kidspriorityalways

    Kidspriorityalways Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    They only "abandoned" their initiated orders in the without prejudice offer.

    I didn't accept their offer so the matter is still going through the court system with no changes to the initiating application orders or my response.

    So, I am still seeking 10/4 in my favour.

    We have a Family Report Writer scheduled in the next few weeks.
     

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