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Rice and Asplund

Another FamCA judgment with Rice and Asplund mentioned.

When the legal profession get caught by this net as well - small wonder that many SRLs walk into the well documented minefield of change of circumstances

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Attachment

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

Case Law - Recent Cases 'Change of Circumstances'

Recent cases (post July 2006) will be posted in this section

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

The threshold test - re-opening pre-July 2006 cases

Elsewhere GD said
I visited a solicitor last week to see if there were prospects for gaining increased access. My consent orders are from 2001 so are well before the 2006 amendments which usually give fathers more time than before. Like many of that time they are for alternate weekends and half gazetted school holidays.

As is well known, the passing of the new act is in itself not a reason to reopen orders. To reopen them there has to be sufficient change in circumstances since the orders were made to warrant reopening them. I believe this is commonly known as the threshold test. The principle has been around for a long time, in cases such as Rice and Asplund (1979) FLC 90-725.

It used to be that the threshold test was not too difficult to meet. Indeed, even the passing of time so that the children are now older was enough to pass the test. Knowing this, I considered I would be able to meet the test, have the orders reopened, and achieve a more equitable outcome than the current alternate weekend half gazetted school holidays arrangements.

My own change of circumstances were:

- moving into the next suburb to the old marital house­ after living with my Mum quite some distance away for a year directly after separation;

- repartnering, with a new step-daughter with whom my 2 boys have a good relationship;

- children's wishes to spend more time with me;

- my ability to spend more time with kids; and

- passing of 6 years since the orders were made, kids were 4 and 2, now 10 and 9 ­ with all the changes that accompany that ­ such as now  attending school.

It therefore came as quite a surprise to learn that I would not qualify to meet the threshold test, and have the orders reopened.

Basically the change of circumstances have to (at least) be something rather extreme that goes to the heart of the ability of the resident parent to care for the child. eg. mother becomes a drug addict, kids show up bloodied on your doorstep saying look what mum did to me, etc.

Events such as re-partnering, new siblings, the kids getting older, and changes that occur as a normal part of life, though personally significant, are no longer deemed sufficient change of circumstances to re-open pre-July 2006 cases. In deciding such threshold test cases that come before them, at least in Brisbane, the FM's now consider the threshold test to reopen a case in isolation, (at least if mum has a competent soli herself) without considering the merits of the change to care arrangements. If the threshold test is met ­ then the merits of changes are considered, if not, case dismissed, you are wholly unsuccessful, and open to having a cost order made against you. Your case is only about meeting the threshold test, nothing more.

The reason seems to be that the courts don't want to open the floodgates for every aggrieved father to revisit their orders. This is why the act was drafted so that the change of law was in itself not a reason to challenge existing orders. The threshold test has been super tightened by the FM's now for much the same reason.

The advice I was given was very up to date, and based on decisions the solicitor had received only the day before.

This is a major development, and worth sharing.

GD

Lucev FM: Rice and Asplund Rule -­ A material change in circumstances

More information about cases affected by Rice & Asplund (1979) FLC 90-725 - the one that often derails getting changes to existing orders (such as increased contact and residence).

This one was recently published on the FMCA (Family) website and the Federal Magistrate (FM) listed some changes in circumstances that do pass the test from other precedents:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FMCAfam/2007/907.html

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FMCAfam/2007/907.rtf

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SPS & PLS [2007] FMCAfam 907 (2 November 2007)
Last Updated: 20 November 2007
FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT OF AUSTRALIA

The case references are footnoted at the end of the judgement in the above link and included below:

The changes are outlined in paragraphs 10.a) to 10.g):

Rice and Asplund Rule -­ A material change in circumstances

7. An application for variation of previous orders[10] must pass the threshold under the Rice and Asplund Rule, that is, demonstrate that there is a material change in circumstances. The continuation of the Rice and Asplund Rule in relation to orders pre-dating the Family Law (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 (Cth)[11] is expressly provided for by the FL SPR Act.[12]

8. The Rice and Asplund Rule operates to prevent renewed or ongoing litigation concerning children's issues where no new circumstances are to be brought before the Court.[13]

9. In McEnearney, Nygh J put it in language all might understand:

"… that the principle that there be an end to litigation has equal force in custodial disputes and in some respects may have even greater force in custodial disputes. The last thing, of course, that this court would wish to see would be a perennial football match between parents who because the strict principles of res judicata are not applicable might seek to canvass again and again the question of custody of a child with the enormous psychological harm which they would be inflicting not only upon each other but especially upon the child.

One comes back to the fundamental principle that the interests of the child are paramount and that consideration alone should lead a court to discourage a parent from coming back before the court too soon after the court has had an opportunity to consider fully the situation of the child and there is really no startling new circumstances that can be brought before the court."[14]

10. What constitutes a material change in circumstances is dependent upon the facts of individual cases, but usual examples include:

a) marked adverse behavioural changes in a child;[15]

b) re-marriage and recovery from illness of a non-live with parent;[16]

c) re-marriage and stabilisation of accommodation of the non-live with parent and commencement of school by a child;[17]

d) re-marriage of the non-live with parent enabling that parent to provide a proper family environment;[18]

e) child sex abuse;[19]

f) relocation;[20] and

g) contravention of orders.[21]


Notes:

12 FL SPR Act, Schedule 1, part 2, clause 44.

13 Freeman and Freeman (1986) 11 Fam LR 293 at 297 per Strauss J; McEnearney and McEnearney (1980) FLC 90-866 at 75, 499 per Nygh J ("McEnearney").

14 McEnearney at 75,499 per Nygh J.

15 Burton and Burton (1979) FLC 90-622 at 78,217 per Evatt CJ, Ellis SJ and Smithers J.

16 Houston and Sedorkin (1979) FLC 90-699 at 78,732 per Marshall SJ.

17 Rice and Asplund.

18 F and N (1987) FLC 91-813 at 76, 136 per Nygh J.

19 McL and McL (1991) 15 Fam LR 1; (1991) FLC 92-238; compare N & M [2003] FMCAfam 29.

20 D & M [2005] FMCAfam 89.

21 See, for example, In the Marriage of Paskandy (2005) 33 Fam LR 509; [2005] FamCA 755.
Elsewhere GD said
The Rice and Asplund case (1979) set the legal precedent re the significant change in circumstances required to re-open settled custody cases.

Just to re-open the case you have to show the change in circumstances has occurred. Cross that hurdle, and then you can start to argue that custody should be changed.

There's far more cases showing what isn't a change in circumstaces, rather than what is. The courts are very reluctant to re-open settled cases. Reasons that have been knocked back as being a change in circumstances include (from the viewpoint of a father seeking change):

- not getting legal advice;

- improvements in employment and financial situation;

- changes to work situation, eg starting to work part time from full time

- remarriage;

- New half-siblings;

- children's wishes alone;

- small changes to contact from those prescribed in the orders

- the simple passing of time
 
There's quite a few of us who would like to reopen consent/ court orders but cannot because of the change of circumstances rule. Me included.

I've only seen one successful case, and it was for consent orders being challenged in the family court, and it seemed a one off.

Things that would win would be changes to the mothers behaviour that posed a threat to the child, and basically rendered her an incompetent or negligent parent, or one who was a threat to their safety. Pretty extreme stuff so I've been advised…

It doesnt mean all is lost, the advice I received was to negotiate changes to the original orders with the mother, although over the past few years I've only managed to gain school collects on 3 days out of 10, and every tuesday evening to around 8pm. Better than every second weekend however from 5pm fri to 5pm sunday. Getting more overnight contact was deemed enough to argue that the original orders had been so varied from, that the issue should be re-opened, however the mother has baulked at this.

Your case is different to mine of course and I don't know the specifics.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has won a change of circumstances case!
Elsewhere SH said
Hi,

I still can't accept the injustice of the family law system.

Now that the trial is over, I have been told that I just have to accept it and move on.  An appeal is useless - the judge has too much discretion and no real accountability.

My daughter is six and, apparently, I have to wait until I can argue substantial change in circumstances before I have any chance of the court reviewing their hopelessly flawed decision.  In my view, the court should build in regular reviews that should not have to be organised by the "non-custodial" parent through another application to the court.

Any ideas on what would reasonably constitute a substantial change in circumstances?  I have looked at case law but feel none the wiser?

Still persevering.

Regards

Stephen

Obtaining a copy of the Rice & Asplund Judgment ?

Does anyone have a copy of the Rice & Asplund judgment please?

I've not been able to find, sight or read the judgment to date … here or anywhere else on the net.

Thanks.
 :lol:

There are many things I am not good at - but I am the google queen…..

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
dad4life said
Does anyone have a copy of the Rice & Asplund judgment please? I've not been able to find, sight or read the judgment to date … here or anywhere else on the net.
The Rice and Asplund judgement was posted on the Portal site some months ago. Click this link to go to the SRL Public forum which has this key precedent judgement  :thumbs: Also if you go to the forums and search Rice and Asplund you should return NOT LESS than xx (I got 48) posts relating to this key topic. Don't forget to select in the drop down the number of posts you want to display in your browser window once the search results are displayed or you will be going next for a few pages.

Site Director
Mr OneRingRules said
The Rice and Asplund judgement was posted on the Portal site some months ago. If you click this link it should take you to the correct forum.
Thanks very much for the referral.

I will search around the site as suggested.

Cheers.

grammar

I thought I posted an attachment? Will try again when I get to my other PC...

Last edit: by Artemis


Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

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

Suzy and Bigg

Check out:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/family_ct/1998/14.html

Last edit: by monteverdi


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

Please point out the pertinent material

monteverdi said
Thanks for sharing this.

What is the significance of this to Rice & Asplund?

What are the relevant points and paragraphs?

Having asked that, have a look at:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/family_ct/2005/458.html

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/family_ct/2005/458.rtf

IN THE FULL COURT OF
THE FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA
AT SYDNEY

Appeal No. EA 38 of 2005
File No. SYF 6446 of 1997

IN THE MATTER OF:

KB - Appellant/Mother
- and -
TC - Respondent/Father

REASONS FOR JUDGMENT

BEFORE: Bryant CJ, May, and Boland JJ

HEARD: 5 May 2005
JUDGMENT: 8 June 2005

APPEAL SUMMARY

MATTER: KB and TC
APPEAL NUMBER: EA 38 of 2005 (SYF 6446 of 1997)
CORAM: Bryant CJ, May and Boland JJ
DATE OF HEARING: 5 May 2005
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 8 June 2005

CATCHWORDS:
APPEAL - children - relocation to Japan - whether change in children's wishes constituted significant change of circumstances - weight to be given to children's wishes - whether children's wishes influenced by father - whether appropriate weight given to the children's attachment to the mother - whether appropriate weight given to the likely effect of change of the children's living arrangements and the disadvantages of living in Japan - whether sufficient weight given to the disadvantage of Japan not being a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction - whether the approach in A v A: Relocation Approach (2000) FLC 93-035 of setting out each relevant s 68F(2) factor, the relevant evidence and the submissions with particular attention to how each proposal has advantages and/or disadvantages for that factor must be strictly followed in light of U v U (2002) 211 CLR 238 at 260 - whether the benefit to be derived by a child from sibling relationships is a matter which could be subject of judicial notice - whether a 'circuit breaker' approach by making an interim order for allowing a one year relocation appropriate - evidence relating to the father's credibility as a witness and non-disclosure of financial affairs - whether appropriate that the father pay interim child maintenance of $250 per week per child whilst the children were with the mother in Australia and spousal maintenance of $300 per week whilst children remain living with the mother in Australia prior to their departure to Japan

House v The King (1936) 55 CLR 499

Australian Coal and Shale Employees' Federation v The Commonwealth (1953) 94 CLR 621

Gronow v Gronow (1979) 144 CLR 513

CDJ v VAJ (1998) FLC 92-828

Rice v Asplund (1979) FLC 90-725

King v Finneran (2001) FLC 93-079


Bennett and Bennett (1991) FLC 92-191

A v J (1995) FLC 92-619

R and R: Children's Wishes (2000) FLC 93-000

H v W (1995) FLC 92-598

A v A: Relocation Approach (2000) FLC 93-035

B and B: Family Law Reform Act 1995 (1997) FLC 92-755

U v U (2002) 211 CLR 238

Hevi Lift (PNG) v Etherington [2005] NSWCA 42

Adam P Brown Male Fashions Pty Ltd v Philip Morris Inc (1981) 148 CLR 170

Rutherford and Rutherford (1991) FLC 92-255

Aarons v Knowles (1995) FLC 92-627

Gilmore and Gilmore (1993) FLC 92-353

Smith and Grey (1993) FLC 92-366

Emamy and Marino (1994) FLC 92-487

Reed CJ and Reed RD and Draper MJ (Intervener) (1995) FLC 92-649

Brott and Joachim (2001) FLC 93-071

DJM and JLM (1998) FLC 92-816

Appeal dismissed.

Discussion re relocation, significant change in circumstances and Rice & Asplund … starting at Paragraph 17 (The trial Judge's judgment).

Also discussion of grounds of appeal.

Rice & Asplund and Relocation (Australian Journal of Family Law (2007) 21)

The following excerpt was found elsewhere…
David Hudson said
Australian Journal of Family Law (2007) 21 AJFL No 1

Variation of parenting orders and the best interests of children: Are some categories of change more likely than others to satisfy the rule in Rice and Asplund?

(b) Relocation


Relocation, for the purposes of this discussion, refers to the situation where a parent proposes to move to a new geo-graphical residence with a child making it difficult for the child to spend time with the other parent.38 Relocation cases are not a distinct category under the FLA. Rather, they are cases essentially involving questions of residence and contact and are determined, as for all parenting orders, with the best interests of the child being the paramount (although not necessarily the sole) consideration.39 In arriving at a decision, the court must evaluate the competing proposals presented by the parties.

These proposals may include two or more of the following: that the child relocates with the primary care-giver; that the primary caregiver relocates and the child stays behind with the other parent; that neither the child nor the primary caregiver relocate; or that the child and both parents relocate. The court is 'not, on any view, bound by the pro-posals of the parties'40 and may put forward its own alternative proposal if that better serves the best interests of the child.

From the limited empirical evidence available on relocation, it would seem that in the vast majority of cases it is moth-ers with predominant care of the children who seek to relocate and that in a majority of cases this is permitted.41 While there is no onus on the part of the mother to show compelling grounds for relocation,42 employment opportunities, living closer to family support, and moving to be with a new partner or because of a partner's new job emerge as better reasons in terms of success rates,43 suggesting that the social and economic implications of gender are given considerable weight in the court's decision making process. Relocation cases are amongst the most difficult that the court faces owing to the competing interests involved.44

Hence, Watts has described the 'essential tension' in relocation cases 'between the child's right to have a relationship with the contact parent and the child's interest in ordinarily living with a residence parent who is happy and not "imprisoned" in a place the parent does not want to be'.45 Not surprisingly, the issue of relocation has generated a significant amount of case law at both the Full Court and High Court levels, particularly over the past decade,46 and a voluminous amount of academic literature has followed in its wake.47 The adequacy of the legal ap-proach to relocation is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Family Council.48

Where parenting orders are already in place, a parent's relocation with a child within Australia is not permitted where that would disrupt the time that the child spends with the other parent, except with that other parent's consent.49 Reloca-tion to an overseas destination also requires the consent of the other parent.50 If that consent is not forthcoming, new parenting orders must be sought that will accommodate the move. This raises the question as to what the relevant mate-rial change is for the purposes of the Rule?

On one view it is the proposed move itself, and thus a prospective factor. This was the view taken in the case of Fryda and Johnson.51 The mother, two months after making consent orders that provided for her to have custody of the chil-dren, informed the father that she intended to marry a US naval officer and to relocate with the children to Japan. In accepting that the father satisfied the threshold test of changed circumstances, Connor J stated:

It is true the circumstances of the children have not yet changed but they will change if the children are permitted to go overseas. It is a logical extension of the principle … that [it] applies equally to the situation where the circumstances of change are imminent.52

There are, however, difficulties with this view. The change envisaged by Connor J was not really imminent. Rather it was entirely dependant upon the mother succeeding in her application for variation. Furthermore, the argument that there will be a material change if a variation of orders occurs is a line of reasoning that could be applied in all applica-tions for variation and would essentially defeat the purpose of the Rule.

A preferred view is that the change is constituted by a parent having formed an intention to relocate which has implica-tions for the best interests of the child and calls for a re-evaluation of existing orders. In turn, this intention usually re-sults from some change in the parent's life that has occurred since the making of the previous orders.53 Where a parent has formed such an intention to relocate, all potential outcomes have a bearing on the child's best interests. Dismissal of the application for variation could lead to the parent relocating without the child, making existing arrangements un-workable.

Such an outcome could also affect the child's right to meaningful involvement54 with that parent which is now a primary consideration under the new provisions.55 Alternatively the parent may abandon their intention to relocate and remain living where they are, but at a financial or emotional cost with resultant flow-on effects to the child. Equally, a successful application will usually result in the child's meaningful time with their other parent being affected. Even in the less likely event that both parents move in tandem to the new location, change and adjustment will be inevitable for the child.

Based on these considerations, it stands to reason that a proposed relocation will normally constitute a change of cir-cumstances sufficient to satisfy the Rule. This proposition finds implicit support in all cases where the Family Court determines a relocation case when parenting orders are already in place. Indeed, the fact that there have been few re-ported relocation cases in which it has been contested itself suggests that the threshold issue is generally not disputed in the context of relocation. However the focus of this article is on cases expressly dealing with the threshold test. These provide more direct support for the usual nexus between relocation and a finding of a material change of circumstances in turn calling for a reassessment of a child's best interests.

Thus, in Goulston v Spitzer56 a consent order was made in June 1978 granting predominant care and control of the child to the mother. The order further provided that the child was to remain living in Australia until she was at least 14-years-old. The mother subsequently applied for custody of the child (then aged 10) and permission to take her to live in Can-ada and, in March 1980, the Family Court acceded to her application. The father appealed arguing, inter alia, that greater weight should have been given to the parties' prior agreement, especially when circumstances had not changed.

In dismissing the appeal, the Full Court noted that, while the court should encourage parties to reach a compromise in child related proceedings, such agreement does not preclude a party from bringing the matter back to court nor does it fetter the discretion of the court. Furthermore, the Full Court found that circumstances had changed since the making of the consent order. The mother's present Canadian husband had made a genuine attempt to settle in Australia but had been unable to secure suitable employment. There was now a 'desirability, if not a necessity', for him to return to Can-ada, and this was regarded as making the situation very different from that which had existed when the parties made their agreement.57

A further example is provided by Radford and Alpe.58 The parties made consent orders in December 1982 permitting the mother and her new husband (Mr Alpe) to take the children of the marriage (a son and daughter) to temporarily reside in the United States on condition that the son was to return to Australia no later than January 1984. When in late 1983 Mr Alpe secured permanent employment in the United States, the mother successfully applied for variation of the consent order enabling her to remove the children from Australia permanently. The father appealed. In upholding the decision of the trial Judge, the Full Court found that '[t]he actuality of the Alpe's situation, the way in which the children had settled in America and their desire to return, all made it appropriate to reconsider the matter'.59

These cases not only support the view that relocation will normally constitute a sufficient change for the purposes of the Rule but also that, in such cases, the length of time between the making of the original orders and the hearing of the application for variation becomes less material60 and restrictions placed on the movements of a parent in earlier consent orders count for little.

While both Goulston and Radford involved relocation to an overseas destination, it seems that relocations within Aus-tralia would also satisfy the threshold test where they impact on a child's ability to spend time with another parent.61 Indeed, relocations within the same city may even constitute a sufficient change of circumstances for the purposes of the threshold test, albeit that the changes sought to contact arrangements are likely to be of a more minor nature, thus poten-tially making the case for re-opening litigation a harder one to establish.62 In such cases the relocation may already have occurred because compliance with previous orders has not been rendered impossible by the move but, rather, merely inconvenient.

An example is provided by the unreported decision of D & M.63 Here, the resident mother moved homes after the origi-nal orders were made. As a result, instead of it being a matter of minutes to the point of contact changeover, it became an hour-long drive. In circumstances where this saw the 3-year-old child spending two hours of travelling time for one-and-a-half hours of mid-week contact, Emmett FM found the threshold test satisfied and went on to order variation of the existing contact arrangements.

The above-mentioned cases all involved the resident mother's application for variation based on her proposed relocation with the child. However there is no reason in principle why a relocation by a contact parent would not also constitute a material change of circumstances, at least to the extent that it makes the existing parenting arrangements impractical or unworkable or, conversely, where is makes the possibility for increased contact or shared residence more feasible. An example of the latter situation is found in the unreported decision of B & R64 where the father sought a variation of con-sent orders for contact with his 11-year-old son after he moved to a home within minutes of the mother's house and the child's school. The trial judge accepted that the close proximity of the father's new residence to the mother's, combined with the fact that all of the child's half siblings were living with the father, constituted a sufficient change of circum-stances (although the husband's application ultimately failed on its merits and was dismissed).

It is important to distinguish the situation of relocation from those in which a party seeks to satisfy the threshold test by pointing to a mere change of residential address(es) by the other parent. In the latter scenario, the applicant for variation raises the changed residence issue not in an attempt to show that it has any implications for the existing parenting ar-rangements but to demonstrate a lack of stability in the other parent's life and consequential disruption to the children's lives, thus reflecting poorly on parenting capacity. Generally, this sort of complaint would, it seems, be inadequate, in itself, to establish a sufficient change of circumstances. The explanation for this supposition lies in the fact that there is no inherent nexus between a change of residential address by a parent and the best interests of a child. Moreover, if a change of residence does impact upon the child's interests, the impact may just as likely be positive as negative.

The point is illustrated by the case of Freeman and Freeman.65 The father argued, inter alia, that the mother had failed to give the children a suitable environment citing five changes of residence from the time of separation in 1983 until De-cember 1984. The Full Court, however, rejected any suggestion that this (or the other matters raised by the father, for that matter) warranted re-opening the question of custody. Indeed, Strauss J noted that the improvement in the mother's accommodation since July 1985 'would be an additional ground for leaving the children in the wife's care and not for changing their custody'.66
Maybe if those men who marry those women and hence are cause for the relocation only knew what they were in for? :P

New partners are a common reason for relocation - why should that be given weight over the relationship with the father. i.e. - if they can argue that talking by phone, email and the occasional visit is enough to sustain a father/child relationship then why cant the same be said for a new partner?

Surely the new adult relationship should not have precadence - that puts the adult needs ahead of the child's need?? O_o

Anyway the new partners could have THEIR relationship by phone, email and cybersex if they wanted to :P

The argument that the new partner provides a male or female role model is wrong as well because that undermines the child's relationship with their natural parent.

I know its a tough call but if PEOPLE knew that could NOT move away and take the children whenever they liked it would mean that the only relocations would be AGREED not arbitrated. It would change their view of how things worked.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Unfortunately there are women out there who think their child/ren belong to them and a system which sees children as Mum's main domain.

And given that the generation of law makers father's were so distant (out their winning the bread) you can understand how it happens.

It's not right though. Relocation should not generally be allowed. You give up lots of other abilities as a parent and that should be one of them.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Jon Pearson said
….New partners are a common reason for relocation - why should that be given weight over the relationship with the father. i.e. - if they can argue that talking by phone, email and the occasional visit is enough to sustain a father/child relationship then why cant the same be said for a new partner?

Surely the new adult relationship should not have precadence - that puts the adult needs ahead of the child's need?? O_o I know its a tough call but if PEOPLE knew that could NOT move away and take the children whenever they liked it would mean that the only relocations would be AGREED not arbitrated. It would change their view of how things worked.
You raise a point that we thought we had dealt with adequately in the new revisions to the FLA.

A couple of sections of the key changes made to the Family Law Act last year that may be of interest to you  and were inserted to try and get on top of the "Move aways" and "Relocators" are as follows:

60b Meaningful involvement

-   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.

60CC Attitude of Parents

-   Again it is reinforced that willingness for each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with children for the other parent is now a major item in determining factors.
-   The Court must consider the attitude of the parents where they have taken or failed to take, the opportunity to spend time with the child etc and facilitate the other parent doing these things.
-   Primary sections defined "the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents"

63DA Equal and Substantial Time (Cont.)

-   "Substantial and significant time" is defined as time, including week days, which allows the parent to be involved in the child's daily routine and both parent and child to be involved in occasions of special significance to each other. (Includes telephone contact)

You should also take time to read the "Explanatory Memorandum" that accompanied the new Family Law Act amendments last year. We have not yet developed that section of the guide to show those key documents but will do so. I would also suggest that a read of the "relocation posts/topics" in the forums will result in finding the SPCA submission to the Attorney Generals department enquiry into relocation. You will see a number of things in there that have in fact been adopted. To find these use the search function in the forums and search for "relocation" by submitter "secretary_spca"

We are extremly dissapointed in one or two relocation cases recently that go against the spirit , intent and legislation of the Act that have been allowed simply because the mother wants to go off and hanky panky with some other bloke. Poor old expendable dad too bad. Well I can say that the Judiciary have not heard the last from us on these cases we are following.

Jon keep up the great posts.. I wish I could reply to more posts but my skills do not allow me to extend time to 48 hours in a day… We have a massive agenda to run through this next year and as the King Pirate in Pirates of Penzance from the good old Glbert and Sullivan days (Jon English I recall) would say "We are not finished yet".. O_o

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.

I think the work that this group has done and is doing is great. To some extent though - even though the changes may have been made to the law - maybe the judges magistrates and others are not up with things.

Maybe Women and Men were educated as to the way the system (should?) work BEFORE they start breaking up - them maybe they would not fall into outdated role models - or find out after they go to court.

Maybe a pamphlet at marriage guidance centers, information people need to know - before they get married, doctors & hospitals - information they need to know when they get pregnant - about the law and possible outcomes if the marriage breaks down.

Also of course the relationship centers, church groups and family counseling areas. - The summary and key points in law and likely outcomes (rough statistical analysis of court matters?) - to prevent people from assuming certain things - to better inform them.

The hearts & minds awareness campaign?

Does LF have funding and is there already a media & information dissemination arm?

Maybe we can get a grant  for this sort of work?

Anyone had success with getting funding or grants?

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
SRL-R in conjunction with the SPCA have been working on a submission for the AG and CJ on 'modifications' to the Rice and Asplund case law and Court re entry procedures.

Because this is a public forum (and subject to Google and public searches)  - details are in the SRL-R Members area

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