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Children's Age - Are my kids really too young?

Mother preventing overnight access due to children's age

Hi, my ex is not letting me have my kids overnight and in fact is only allowing me 4 hours on a Sunday morning to spend with them alone.

She says the youngest of my daughters is too young to go with me overnight or even a full day. She also says the kids can't be seperated either so on that basis she is refusing to let me have my girls overnight until the youngest one reaches 4 years of age which is 2 years away.

My kids are 2 years and 4 years of age and I have a great relationship with them and my ex knows it. I think her main concern is that they might enjoy being with me too much and also she doesn't like spending nights on her own. So I think it is all about her and not the children. I really want the kids to stay with me a night or two a week because we have lots of laughs together and they love me a lot. Both them and I are missing out on true bonding right now.

I am researching this to find out what the courts postion might be. What I have found so far, 2 years seems like a reasonable age for the kids to start staying overnight. My solicitor agrees too.

My ex has got a barrister acting for her to prevent me having the kids overnight. I know we wont be able to agree at the mediation sessions planned to occur in two weeks time so I am thinking of issuing proceedings almost immediately. I wonder if anyone can tell me what they think about this? :(
 

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Guest

You should really be asking us.

No your children are not too young. There might be some problems on the 'tender years' doctrine but there are examples of 2 year olds having weekends with the Fathers.

There have been recent cases 3 year olds having 5 consequitive days

The issue is not so much age as your ability to care for the youngest child - not what you think your abilities are - but what you can prove to the Court

Now you

1 Should be registering with FLWG

2 Applying to join SRLR

Because answers to unnamed people in public forums are going to be very general. SRLR also has closed forums to protect your privacy and get down to the full details of your case




Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Join

OK I am going to join up.

I want to take my 4 year old to Brisbane for a weekend to see her Great Grandmother who hasn't seen her for more then a year.

I really should be able to do that shouldn't I ?:(
 

On the little information provided

There should be no problem you having care of both children overnight, asuming basic skills. If your relationship is with the children then there will be no problem.

In mediation I would be proposing at least 2 periods in your care each week. 2 Years is not too young. As for travel, I took my 3 year old interstate for 9 days. We traveled by air. It was only a matter of having the nessaray items for amusement to make the trip go like a breeze.

Once you join the site and SRL-R we will be able to offer more specific options.


For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!

Getting the message through to her.

I am having difficulty validating my signup at the moment. Have sent a message to Admin.

Thanks for your comments. Everything I read suggests the same - that any court will likely award me overnight stays with both my children and allow me the opportunity to take the eldest and probably both, interstate on short trips to visit family. My ex just doesn't understand or believe it or has not done any research of her own to recognise it.

I just don't know how you get this message through to her without having to spend thousands of dollars going to court. I wonder - does mediation seek only to get each party to give a bit in order to reach common middle ground or does it also help educate as to what a likely court outcome would be?

I have no problem managing the basics with my kids and could happily look after them overnight or for a weekend. I am a well paid executive. I am not violent, a drunk, drug user, gambler or anything. I come from a highly respected family - my father reached the top of in his career in government office and moves in circles that include George Bush (not that that is anything to write home about!) and the Queen of England. I have always paid my child support (the maximum) on time every month. My ex puts the girls in to day care during the week but does not work because she lives comfortably on what I and the government give her each month. Yet she is overprotective of the children to the extent that the kids aren't allowed to be kids half the time - some of the stories I could tell you would make you fall off your seat!  However, my ex lets me see the kids - (albeit in her presence) most weekends and at least one night during the week (in her presence at her house provided it is convenient for her) so I am not exactly a stranger to my children and they are always pleased to see me. I have babysat the kids (at my ex's house) and can happily get them off to sleep at night. All the things of substance they have done in their short lives and will likely do in the future have and will be with me but until my ex agrees to overnight and weekend stays all those fun and educational things are on hold - for two years according to my ex!

Whilst well paid I am by no means rich (particularly after we split up) and have to weigh up the benefits of spending who knows how much money to be with my children now as opposed to say, investing that money for their education or whatever in the future. Isn't it somewhat ironic that she will use my own money that I gave her when we split and that I give her each month to fight me in court to prevent me having a fuller relationship with my children !



 

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Hi guest

I have been there for my daughter since her birth and took on board all duties concerning her ( except breast feeding ). When seperated my daughter was 3 and her mother moved some 300k's away. We established a 38% care regiem for my self and she had the rest, this entailed nine consecutive days with myself leaving her brother and sisters with her mum ( first marriage children ).

Allowing for the fact that each visit my daughter travelled some 600k's and was isolated from both parents by distance she survived very well.

Soon after this was disrupted by the mother preventing contact for four months, re-connecting came easily and this also has left no adverse problems. Several attempts were made to perminantly disruptive contact before my X moved back into the area, these did not work and my daughter now spends 50/50 with mum and dad.

part of my X's problem was she wanted my daughter out of the way when establishing a new relationship ( ha ha Affair ), then when this was secure wanted me to be an every second weekend dad.

Personal experiance has shown me that kids adapt a lot better than parents do and some parents need to make the kids dependend on them otherwise their purpose in life dilutes. Overprotecting or training dependancy ????

Guest said
I am having difficulty validating my signup at the moment. Have sent a message to Admin.
I believe we have fixed any validation issues and your user name "Goodad" should be fully able to login

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Guest said
Thanks for your comments. Everything I read suggests the same - that any court will likely award me overnight stays with both my children and allow me the opportunity to take the eldest and probably both, interstate on short trips to visit family. My ex just doesn't understand or believe it or has not done any research of her own to recognise it.
Perhaps court is not where you want to be with this matter. It is most likely that Mediation may assist here. There are many many cases where Dads take their very young kids away (Providing you can takle care of them of course) and your very reasonable request to visit their Great Grandmother who hasn't seen them in over a year is simply a ridiculous situation. She will be gone I would guess in the not to distant future if she is elderly and it is complete an insensitive and controlling act by a non cooperative parent in not letting you go.

The family law act is very clear now about these sorts of behaviours and they will go extremly badly for your ex if you end up in a court. The new Act is clear…

Importantly however, in cases where family violence or child abuse are not issues, the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents, now becomes the most significant factor that the court must take into account when determining best interests and this leads to the making of orders through the Rebutable presumption (61DA New) of shared parental responsibility.

It then follows on to the new section 65DAA (New) ordering that the court MUST consider the child spending equal or substantially equal time
Guest said
I just don't know how you get this message through to her without having to spend thousands of dollars going to court. I wonder - does mediation seek only to get each party to give a bit in order to reach common middle ground or does it also help educate as to what a likely court outcome would be?
Most definitely as the Mediators are obliged under a range of new sections in the Act to cover off the implications of not facilitating a meaningfull relationship for the children with the other parent. This is covered in section 63DA obligations of mediators.

Have you any "common" family members that both parties can communicate with that might broker any arrangements? Mediation at any of the Mediation center is worthy of attendance. It is usually fairly quick, inexpensive and after July 1 you will have to go there anyway before contempalting a court process. Any option is worthy of consideration before the court option which is expensive for both parties if represented. Your ex will need to spend significant resources both time and money as will you.

I assume you have not been to court at this stage and that there are no orders in place. If this is the case you each have equal parenting rights. The arrangements you have for contact arrangements seem to be working currently except it is always in her presence and supervised in most cases.. Are you able to take the kids to the park etc unsupervised to build up some trust arrangement? Not that you should have to do that but you need to start getting some independance with the children. At some stage you need to be able to have the children on your own unsupervised and go on various outings. The situation is untenable as it is.

I cannot stress the importance of the willingness for each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with children ensuring that children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives as that is the very foundation stone of the new Family Law Act. The Judiciary appear to be taking a dim view of non compliance and judgements recently are reflecting this position.

I would recommend joining the SRL-Resources group also if you are contemplating going to court.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
Thanks for great info and genuine concern.

We have not been to court at this stage though we both have had our differing orders drawn up. I had my alternative orders drawn up after she emailed her orders to me which stated I would only have four hours with the girls on a Sunday morning for the next two years. She requested that I sign her orders quick smart because the "mediation process would likely take months" and she wanted it all sorted out "quickly". I of course sent them to my solicitor and he recommended I have my own orders drawn up to take to mediation.

It has taken 5 weeks to get the first mediation appointment at Penrith. Initially they meet with us seperately and then together I believe.  I believe she went today, then I go on Friday. I am hoping the joint appointment will not take so long to arrange - no date yet as they say they don't organise that until after the initial meeting. My solicitor after reading her proposed orders and  email recommended that if a reasonably fast outcome can't be achieved at mediation then I should commence proceedings very quickly thereafter.

You are right, my Grandmother in Brisbane is unlikely to be around much longer and nor is my Grandfather in Ulladulla who is even older and I can't even take take the kids down there (from Sydney) to see him. (Well I might be able to if I allowed her to come along - but not Brisbane as she is scared of flying!).

I will attend the mediation session on Friday and will report back where I am at at that stage.
 
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