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Ex has alleged a contravention

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My girlfriends ex has aleged a contravention I need some advice as we only have 2 weeks before court

Background: My girlfriend has an 11 year old daughter from a previous relationship.

There were court orders made in 2002 in relation to the custody of the child. Basically, the father gets to spend time with thechild every second weekend,half of the school holidays and on birthdays etc.The father of the child lives in the same suburb. All was good until this year.

At the beginning of this year the child told the father that she no longer wants to go to her, fathers house. The child was hung up on. Since then six months passed and the father did not contact the child.We encouraged the child to speak with her father but got sick of pressuring her. We made arrangment for the child to go to her grandparents house (his parents) on several occasions for sleep oversduring this time. They also tried to encourage her to contact her father.

The child continues to express that she does not want to go. Eventually the father called the child and made promises that he didn't keep. The father did briefly attend the child's birthday party.

Current issue:We recently have received correspondence from the father's solicitor stating that I am to attend court alledging that we have contravened the order. There are three incidents that they have alledged relating to my girlfirend not allowing the father to have access.

The father is relying on his statement for evidence of the breaches. Contained in his statements are lies.

I understand that the onus of proof is the balance of probabilities but I need some advice on how to prove that these allegations are lies.

Also I understand that they will not let the child give evidence. I would like to know the best way for the child's views to be considered.

We are seeking legal aid and are hoping to get an adjornment as we have not had sufficient time to defend our case.
You need to look at a thing called "reasonable excuse".

You need to document all of the attempts you have made to encourage or assist the child in having contact with her father. This will form an affidavit when you get legal representation.

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. 
Thanks for your reply Artemis.

In relation to reasonable excuse I had a look and it appears to be defences in contravening the order. In our case we havent contravened the order.

The only reason the child hasn't been to the father's house is because he hasn't come to pick her up. He is stating that he has called and arranged times. But he is lying.

We would like her to have a good relationship with her father but he hasnt called her to talk about their issues or anything.

The only correspondence we have got from him for a request to see his child was through his solicitor.
You need to respond to the contravention allegation. In order to do this, it is useful to understand what a contravention is, what the defense against it might be and how to disprove it.

This is the information I am trying to give you.

You will disprove the contravention if you can formulate an affadavit with evidence to corroborate it.

"We encouraged the child to speak with her father but got sick of pressuring her. We made arrangment for the child to go to her grandparents house(his parents) on several occasions for sleep overs during this time. They also tried to encorage her to contact her father. The child continues to express that she does not want to go. eventually the father called the child and made promises that he didn't keep. The father did briefly attend the childs birthday party."

Saying these things does not make them fact.

If the father has evidence that he attended handover and you were not home, you will be in a bit of bother if you are relying on "he's lying" as your response.

Having said that, the father will find it difficult to run this contravention. Even so, it pays to make sure you put the effort in now so that you give your legal representative all the information possible.

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. 
Thanks again Artemis.

I have evidence in relation to the alledged contravention I just don't want to post them on the internet.

I also understand that almost all evidence is admissable in the Family court.

Another problem I have is I cant find a part in the family law act in relation to if the Father does not make any attempts to contact the daughter.

I have been looking at the definition of reasonable attempts but im only finding the custodial's part.
You raise an interesting point. But first, a digression. The terms "custodial" and "non-custodial" parent are no longer used. The new terminology is "lives with" and "spends time with". Cumbersome, I know, but it can pay to be educated and current when in court.

Spends time with parents are under no obligation to actually take the children on their "time".

The obligations on the "lives with parent" are very great, in ensuring the child has a "meaningful relationship" with the other party. There are many judgements about these obligations. A famous one is the "crossed arms" judgement which says words to the effect, of it is not sufficient for the mother, with crossed arms to say "see, I tried".

This is why I stress to you the importance of your partner documenting her attempts to chivvy they child into attending and so on.

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. 
I have been researching this since last week when we recieved the court documents. And yes I have seen the "crossed arms" judgments on a few recent cases. Which is interesting that the "spends time with" parent has no obligations.

But while surfing I found this ((4) Without limiting paragraphs (3c) and (i), the court must consider the extent to which each of the child's parents has fulfilled, or failed to fulfil, his or her responsibilities as a parent and, in particular, the extent to which each of the child's parents:

a) has taken, or failed to take, the opportunity:

(i) to participate in making decisions about major long-term issues in relation to the child; and

(ii) to spend time with the child; and

(iii) to communicate with the child; and

b) has facilitated, or failed to facilitate, the other parent:

(i) participating in making decisions about major long-term issues in relation to the child; and

(ii) spending time with the child; and

(iii) communicating with the child; and

c) has fulfilled, or failed to fulfil, the parent's obligation to maintain the child.

I don't know where it is in the legislation. Just to let you know there is some sort of convention on here at the moment with family lawyers thus why we dont have one yet they are all too busy.

My girlfriend has an appointment with legal aid next week.
Hey QLDman,

I think you may be looking at this from inside the box trying to protect your partner, this of course is admirable as she has done nothing to deter the relationship of the child with her father in your opinion.

You will need to step outside the box and become a little less emotionally invested to see the practicalities of the situation to assist her best.

She has a lot of responsibility as Artemis is trying to explain, in fact she has most the responsibility to try and ensure the child has access to her other parent and it is deemed it's the ' lives with parent ' who must initiate ' a meaningful relationship '.

Your main concentration should be the defence of the contravention as to why your partner has contravened the orders and how she has encouraged ' a meaningful relationship ' between the two parties.

Less on proof of guilt and more on defence.

The court can not make an adequate decision on limited evidence and hear say by both parties.

All of this Artemis has already explained previously and the badge SLR-R 500 represents there is significant time spent addressing legal issues, you may want to go back and re-read the posts just so you can view them from a new slant, this will assist your partner and what advice you can project to them immensely, remember view from outside the box and away from protection mode to be of the best benefit, the system is not moral so concentrate on legal.

All best hope this helps direct your perspective.

D4E          
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