Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Travel and consent order - advice needed

Travelling overseas for work without children and ex wife threatening to call the police if I don't pick them up for school

I am hoping someone is able to advise me on my legal rights regarding a problem I am having with my ex wife and parenting arrangements.

I have a consent order which allows 50/50 care of our three children. We have the children week on, week off and are to agree on care arrangements during school holiday periods, as long as we both have equal care. We have had this arrangements for almost 2 years now although consent orders were only finalised a few months ago. I pay CSA . I have not had an amicable relationship with my ex for almost a year now since she harrassed my fiance and I have tried to restrict contact as much as possible including demanding that she only contact me in emails. I have been given an opportunity to work overseas for two months over the school holidays. I notified my ex wife two months ago to advise her of this and asked to negotiate care arrangements and financial assistance. She was not willing to negotiate with me and basically said she wouldn't agree to it. I sought advice from Legal Aide who advised she cannot stop me from travelling as long as I advise her in writing which I did.

Recently she contacted Centrelink and CSA to make changes to 100% care over the period that I am away. Therefore I signed the contract with the employer and booked flights, arranged insurance etc. During email conversations about our child care arrangements in which I agreed to pay her directly rather than to CSA but asked that she organise this with them and limit her email contact (as her emails are often emotive and unnecessary) she replied that she is now not agreeing to me going away and will continue 50/50 care over the period that I am away. She stated that if I do not pick the children up from school on the week that I have them (after the date that I leave for overseas) she will have the school call the police, and have the police pick them up from school. I have signed a contract and cannot cancel my plans. I am willing to agree to her CSA requests. She has also threatened to stop making payments on her mortgage and as I am still on the loan (the consent orders allowed her 12 months to organise for me to be removed) this would result in me being held equally responsible.

I am wondering what my legal rights are in regards to this issue. I don't want the children to have to go through the humiliation of being picked up by the police when their mother and they themselves are aware I won't be in the country and am unable to pick them up. Does anyone have advice on what I should do in this situation? Her argument is that I'm not abiding by the consent order but Legal Aide advised me I can do this (it is a minor breach of the order but it is not a significant change in circumstances) so I followed their advice. Should I just advise her that nothing has changed, I will be out of the country and not able to pick up the children and go forward with my plans. Am I doing anything legally wrong by doing this?

Also does anyone know if there is anything I can do legally to prevent me from being responsible for her house repayments if she does not make them (I cannot afford to pay two mortgages and do not want it to affect my credit rating or worse). The consent order says we will be removed from each other's loans and land titles but we have 12 months to do this and the bank advised that from their perpective I am also responsible if payments aren't made.
I can assure you that the Police will not get involved, this is nothing more than an attempt by your ex to bully and intimidate you.  Instead, if she does this, she runs the very real risk of the children being put into foster care and her being charged with abandonment.  

It would be worthwhile for you to drop in to the local Police station and show them copies of your correspondence with her, just to give them a heads up.

If she continues to harrass you via email, report her to her ISP, as this is a criminal offence.

You cannot be charged with breaching the Consent Orders, as the criminal burden of proof applies to breaches of orders.  i.e.  failing to facilitate contact just to annoy the other parent.  You are just not exercising your right to contact.  You have given her plenty of warning, in writing, so she will not have a leg to stand on, so go about your plans.

I would cease responding to her nitpicking and stick to facts about the children and keep to the BIFF principles.

In relation to the bank, drop in and see your bank manager and show them a copy of the orders and her communications with you, often they will put a stay on your share of the mortgage, when there is a family law matter going on.

As for not going through the CSA, don't even think about it, all bets are off now.
jjdavid.. i agree absolutely with smurfergirl, also would continue with csa, not a private agreement. just have her emails directed to a seperate folder so your not clogging up usual emails, but keep them as u shoulkd keep all coresspondence.  
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets