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NSW Wife's Ex Prepared Papers for Custody of Children - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by ProblemWithWifesEx, 28 January 2015.

  1. ProblemWithWifesEx

    28 January 2015
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    Hi All.

    For the last 18 months my wife and I have had full time care of her two kids from a previous relationship with out any formal agreement with the ex. He has the kids every second weekend and half of the school holidays and this has been fine but there have been several occasions where he says that he can not have the kids because it does not suit him and we have to break the bad news to the kids who are always super excited to see their dad.

    We mentioned to him that it is unacceptable to not see his kids on his weekend and that he must make arrangements on his weekend should he not be able to look after them (he lives at home with his father and has several family members in the same suburb as him). He has constantly threatened that he was going to get a custody of children order in place and finally after 6 months of the same empty threats he presented us with papers he had prepared by his sister who is a lawyer.

    I have several concerns about the papers he has prepared, mainly the fact he has had a family member prepare these for him.

    My question is, should these be prepared by someone independent (i.e. not a family member) and should these be prepared by a lawyer who practices in family law? His sister only practices in general law and is not a family lawyer.
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    It's quite clear that your hostility and criticism of the father is causing you to focus on the wrong issue, here.

    Who wrote the proposal is 100% irrelevant. It's what's in the proposal that matters.

    Summarily, the court cares only about what's in the best interests of the children, which is outlined under Section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975.

    Just as an added note, the father has done the right thing by getting someone with legal training to draft the proposal. The court firmly believes that nobody knows what's in the best interests of the children better than the mother and the father, so to suggest that 'someone independent' is a better candidate for drafting orders that will dictate how often the children see each parent until they are 18 years of age is erroneous, at best.

    I would suggest that the mother consider what's in the proposal. What does she agree with? What does she disagree with? What other proposals would she like the father to consider? Then I would suggest the mother do exactly as the father has done - get legal advice to draft her response and then forward it to the father.

    As an added note, I am a step-mother myself and my advice to you is to play a supportive partner role, not a parental responsibilities role. On more than one occasion, step-parents have been ordered to move out of their partner's home and spend no time with the children because they were seen to be exacerbating the conflict or negatively influencing the relationship between the children and the other biological parent. Involving yourself in their dispute may backfire on you if this ends up in court.
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