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Children moving against my wishes and changing schools

Hi guys,

Got an issue I would like some input into.

I have three kids, two from my previous marriage (boy 12 and girl 10) and one with my current partner (girl 5.) I have had orders signed by consent in place since Nov 2009 which have been adhered to by my ex mostly. I instigated the last lot of orders and after 18 months of legal who har (ie, deliberate delays by both legal teams to drag it out) she signed shared care by consent.

My ex has one child and another on the way to her boyfriend. I dont care about this. I care however that she has decided without consultation and only being notified by the kids that she is moving to xxxxx from their current area in xxxxxxx. My son 12 is staying at school he is currently at in xxxxxxx whilst my daughter 10 is changing schools to one in xxxx. Again this is without any consultation to me. The change would mean a round trip from my home outside of xxxxxxx of an hour to get them to school and me to work each morning.

In addition since approx Oct this year girl 10 has expressed a desire to come live with me fulltime and change schools to the same school as my other daughter from 2011. Of course the ex has said this didn't happen yet I have heard from the kids that she has advised this and has been trying to guilt trip her about it (eg what do you care, you want to live with your Dad, etc.)

I initiated mediation in Oct to discuss this and the move though it was ignored. I then sent a letter where I threatened court if no mediation and received a letter from her solicitor saying she will instigate mediation. I attend the initial meet and greet at a FRC in mid Nov though as of today she has not met with them at all. In speaking with FRC today they are giving her til the end of this week to mediate or they say she has not been an active participant.

I know also that tomorrow girl 10 is being picked up from school by the mother and taken to the school the ex has decided upon. It is my contact week.

I have emailed the school in question asking if has contacted them and await a response. In my opinion, if they accept her enrolment they are contravening the orders.

I am planning that at the end of this week if no mediation is in place that I lodge a contravention at the very least with the goal of having the court order that they will not accept the enrolment (if possible) and post this (or maybe whilst lodging it) to highlight girl 10's desire to live with me.

My concern is that she is deliberately dragging this out and delaying it as long as possible. I am also worried that the courts may not hear the matter until after she moves and/or changes schools.

Any thoughts on what I am doing here and any ideas much appreciated.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

fishman3226 said
…I have had orders signed by consent in place since Nov 2009
Do you have orders specifically relating to the schools the children attend? Do you have an order in relation to Shared Parental responsibility?
fishman3226 said
..I know also that tomorrow girl 10 is being picked up from school by the mother and taken to the school the ex has decided upon. It is my contact week.
This seems at odds with the contact regime that has been going on for some time. Is this for a meeting with the new school? If your orders are clear then that could well be a contravention of the orders.
fishman3226 said
…I have emailed the school in question asking if has contacted them and await a response. In my opinion, if they accept her enrolment they are contravening the orders.
Not the best thing to do. You need to build a rapport with the school regardless of the attendance by the child for 2011 or not. You have no chance of filing a contravention against the school. You have to deal with the mother in this matter and keep all options open with both the existing and possible new school. You could contact the new school, preferably personally and discuss the fact that you have existing orders that state the child goes to xyz school as the case may be. This needs to be done in an amiable and friendly way. You also need to bear in mind, depending on the wording of your existing orders, you cannot file a contravention until the event happens. Regardless of an enrolment if she has not attended. You may in fact not be able to file a contravention until 2011.
fishman3226 said
I am planning that at the end of this week if no mediation is in place that I lodge a contravention at the very least with the goal of having the court order that they will not accept the enrolment (if possible) and post this (or maybe whilst lodging it) to highlight girl 10's desire to live with me.
This matter seems best settled in mediation and I would suggest your legal representative may well in fact be able to negotiate with the mothers solicitor if your mediation cannot be managed. 10yo is not in a strong position to pull up stumps and decide where she is going to live. How would you feel if she said she wanted to spend all the time with the mother. The court will consider the wishes but that about all they will do. You already have shared care.

The change to school will be problematic as the child will loose contact with her peer groups and school friends. We do not advocate changes to school year until end of a stage and in this case year 6. The problem is this is the mid part of a stage and she will well miss parts of the program at a new school as they don't all teach the same parts of the syllabus at the same time. Relocation of one parent is a complex and traumatic issue where it impacts contacts. Whatever the action it does need to get dealt with reasonably promptly and delays are not going to assist your case. The courts won't hear this matter now until sometime in February I suspect. You need to have someone with expertise look at your orders and determine what options there are in those and then make some decisions.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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The orders highlight joint parental responsibility

In addition they do show too that any disagreement about schools has to be mediated if no agreement.

It appears from contacting the FRC that she has contacted them though I am unsure when she will attend. I have told the FRC (and they have agreed) that the mediation will not be pursued if nothing occurs by the end of next week.

If I was to lodge contravention orders too - can I serve them personally or can they be done via registered post?
If you know the specific school that you want to apply for and you would like them to start in September so that they has a good start and doesn't feel left behind, I would suggest that you give the school a call to see if they have a place for your children. Obviously, it would help if it was in your catchment area.



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