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x2 FMC Trials (relocation) Adjourned

Mother has successfully adjourned 2 FMC trials - has anyone see this before?

HI All - I'm new to these forums so please be gentle!

This is a long and frustrating story so I'll be as brief as I can.

I have 2 boys who live with their mother.  Since separation (6 years ago) I have had the usual contact arrangements i.e. alternate weekends (5pm Monday - 6pm Sunday) and half of school holidays (consent orders).

Several years ago - I repeatedly asked the mother if I could have the kids for the Sunday night on my weekend and take them to school on the Monday.  Never received an answer despite several requests, so my solicitor wrote her a letter which was ignored.  Initiated FRC mediation.  Mother failed to turn up to x2 agreed sessions - certificate was issued.

A couple of months later my new partner and I bought a house within 20 minutes of the children's residence, and I changed jobs to be within 15 minutes of children's school.  Within a month of us moving in, mother places her house on the market and announces that she's moving 2 hours away citing that the move "is for work purposes", and that children will be going with her.

I start proceedings with a FMC application opposing relocation and seeking the extra time with the children.  Mother's barrister argues Rice v Asplund, which fails.  Conciliation conference is ordered - no agreement.  Trial date is set, family report is ordered.  Family report strongly supports my application.  Mother still pushes matter to trial.

Trial day arrives.  Parties arrive with their barristers and witnesses.  Magistrate calls in respective barristers and proceeds to roast mother's barrister because her client failed to have her new partner included in the interview with family consultant.  Magistrate states that trial can't commence because of this.  Orders an amended family report including mother's new partner.  My barrister makes cost application - Magistrate agrees to reserve her decision on costs being awarded against the mother.

A month later - directions hearing to set date for next trial.  Mother's solicitor states that her client has "quit her job" (her sole excuse for having to relocate) and asks that the trial be delayed for 6 months.  Magistrate refuses - states that matter has been hanging around for too long - must proceed to trial ASAP without further adjournment and sets new date.

One day before next trial - mother's solicitor rings my solicitor and says her client wants to settle and faxes my solicitor the terms.  We're not poles apart.  Polished a few things up and send doc back to mother's solicitor for her clients approval.  Neither solicitor hears back from mother.

Second trial day arrives - all my witnesses and my barrister arrive.  Mother arrives on her own - no barrister.  Announces to my barrister that she dismissed her legal team the night before and is now a SLR and that she'll be asking for an adjournment.  My barrister states that The Court made it clear that there was to be no further adjournments, and that we would oppose such a request anyhow.

Parties enter courtroom.  Mother fronts up to the bar table, states that she's now SR and requests an adjournment.  Magistrate hits the roof - no adjournment granted.  Mother first for x-examination.  Court adjourns for lunch less than an hour later.

Court reconvenes.  Mother again fronts up to bar table and asks for another adjournment, citing that she's not prepared and "had no idea that the trial would be so intense".  Magistrate is astounded - asks my barrister what he wants to do.  My barrister opposes adjournment, but states that if The Court does allow it, we will make another cost application.  Magistrate adjourns for 15 minutes to think about it.  Court reconvenes and Magistrate denys the request for an adjournment.  Mother then goes all wobbly on her feet and says that she's suddenly feeling ill and needs to see a doctor.  Magistrate is speechless, but clearly furious.  States that The Court now has no choice but to grant an adjournment and lists matter for further directions hearing in a months time.  Magistrate also makes a cost order against the mother in the vicinity of $10K, and orders that - pending trial - the children's weekend time be extended to include Sunday nights as per my application…….

Has anyone out there encountered these sort of theatrics before, and if so, what did you do?  My solicitor reckons that he has never seen anything like this in his 30 years of family law.

These proceedings have cost us thousands, and we still have no result (despite the court's best efforts) 13 months down the track.  What is stopping the mother from continually aborting trial due to "health reasons".  When does enough become enough - and can the court make a determination in her absence even though she's defending (or maybe frustrating) the matter.

Thanks for taking the time to read this sorry story.  I hope someone has experienced similar and can offer some advice.

Cheers
Sorry, I cant give you any advice, even though I have encountered many pathetic theatrical stunts performed by my ex's, But I did get a giggle out of reading about the events.  :lol:

Would love to have seen the Magistrates face when she 'got crook'!

Best of luck, and maybe film the next episode so we can all enjoy it on You Tube!  ;)
That's unbelievable.. Did she ever state reasons not to grant you one extra night in the first instance? Was there ever any violence in the relationship.. Not that I suppose you admit if there was.. Hmm
How old are the children? Did the mother stay there on her accord after quitting job?
If you are a good father then I am glad for once that the father in the matter is being seen in a positive light and supported to receive fair go, even tho it has taken a long time and cost a fortune.

A supporter of 'Family Violence is NOT O.K.' and equally of 'Fight for Good Father's Rights'.
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