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ex wife trying to take my kids!

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my ex wife and i had had 50/50 living arangements of our 2 daughters 8 and 13 since we split 3.5 years ago, she has recently moved away and intends to take me to court to change our court ordered agreement, she plans on taking them off me and only allowing me every second weekend for access, the kids go to school near  me, they both have attended the same school since prep, all thier friends and family are within 20klm of me, we never had a single issue with our agreement until she moved, i,m worried i may lose my kids, what are the chances of this happening? do i have opyions?
A court will consider the best interests of the child. Maybe its in their best interests to live with you.

It may be a good idea to ask the children what they want. They are old enough to know.
I don,t see how taking them out of the out of the school they,ve been in thier entire school lives and away from family and friends could be considered to be in the best interests of the children, we,re both good parents and we love our children dearly, even though she has moved away, she is still within about a 45 minute drive to get the kids to school, other than that there is no other change to our situation, i can,t understand why she is able to move away and decide that its in the best interests of the kids to live with her full time, i,m not asking for anything but to stick to our agreement, but i,m happy to have them full time if it,s too much trouble to get them to school on her week, am i being un reasonable?
You need to sit and ask her all of these questions. Do you know why she moved, was it choice or necessity? Have youa sked her why she has decided to change everything? Have there been any issues between you and her lately?

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure"
i have asked all these questions, and she just keeps saying that it,s to give the kids a stable home life, but even she addmits that they have that here, nothing has changed in my life in the 3.5 years that we,ve had this current agreement, same home , same job, the kids are equally happy with either parent, she on the other hand has changed jobs and homes 3 times in the same time, this last move was out of want not need. i don,t want to paint the picture that she,s a bad parent because thats not the case, she is a good mum and the kids love her too, but she,s sending them to live with me as of tomorrow while she makes the steps to take me to court to take them away from me, explain  that one to me?
Gecko said
You need to sit and ask her all of these questions. Do you know why she moved, was it choice or necessity? Have youa sked her why she has decided to change everything? Have there been any issues between you and her lately?
 

I think the only question that needs to be asked is "Why she has decided to change everything" after 3.5yrs.  More than likely it will come down to less care for the father, more money for the mother.
thanks wharty, that doesn,t exactly fill me with confidence! i hope you,re wrong.
Single daddy

Please use an apostrophe rather than a comma when using words like doesn't and you're. It will make for easier reading for everyone. And whilst we are not the grammar and spell check police, the use of correct grammer, spelling, and punctuation is a common courtesy to all readers.

Cheers
Ok I understand, I will do my best, thankyou.
Single daddy

There are a few different routes that can be taken to change court orders. This could be done by consent, but only if you both agree, which judging from your post, you don't. And there may be a bit of a problem reaching agreement.

Or you could try the, heaven forbid, mediation route. Sadly I am a little jaded with that route, especially when the "free" Family Relationship Centres are used. My experience has been that they are a group of self serving social workers, out to justify their existence (as social workers). They have no legal training, and the parenting plans that they come up with are very touchy feely. There are mediators out there, who you pay for their service, and whilst it may seem expensive at the time, these tend to be faster, and a lot more efficient and sometimes they will even do the session utilising the services of a lawyer.

If you plan to take this matter to court, then you will need the 60I certificate that can be obtained (hopefully without delay unlike our experience) and then lodge the necessary paperwork with the courts, and hurry up and wait. You might have to go up against the Rice and Apslund ruling though, which talks about changes of circumstances.

And sometimes the reasons are as simple as what wharty said.

How long does she intend for the children to live with you? And how is she proposing to take this to court? Have you both attended mediation?
Thankyou for your post Boots, she basically said that they are with me until further notice, she's being very secretive about it all, i really don't see the point in mediation as neither of us will agree , I genuinely believe that it's in the best interests of my children to be with me, that way nothing in thier lives needs to change except for the fact that they will see thier mum on every other weekend, or when ever she likes for that matter, where as if they go to her , they have to change schools, friends, they have no other family other than thier mum there, so surely it stands to reason that they stay with me, I don't wan't to take the kids from her, she wants to take them from me, it's a tough situation, we're both very loving parents and we both feel that we're doing what's best for our kids.
Interesting that she is leaving the children with you while she sorts herself out. And I am unclear as to how she thinks she will get this back into court without a 60I certificate from mediation. But if you get an invitation to attend mediation, please attend, as it may give you some idea of what is going on. Remember that you don't have to agree to anything that you don't want to in mediation, and also bear in mind that, no matter what the mediators may say about parenting plans, if you do make a parenting plan and sign it, then it will override your court orders, but not be legally enforceable. These FRCs seem to be intent on developing parenting plans even when there are already court orders in place (my little vent for the day, I will get off my soapbox now).

Diarise everything, keep receipts of everything that you purchase for the children whilst they are with you, whatever you can do to prove that the children are with you. If you have emails from her about her moving etc, please make sure you keep them.

You could also think about sending her an email, if you haven't already, stating that you do not agree with moving the children to another school and thereby reducing your parenting time.

If there is shared responsibility about the children (which is, or at least should be) in most court orders, then she would be in breach of the orders by making a unilateral decision to move.

Here is a resource from NSW Legal Aid, have a read, it may assist you. http://lacextra.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/PublicationsResourcesService/PublicationImprints/Files/114.pdf

As for her being secretative, try to ignore it. Just be open and honest yourself, and remember that being secretative is her choice. If she chooses to not tell you why she is moving etc, then that is her perogative. Sadly some people are not open and honest, which causes others to not trust them, and why would you.
Wow, thankyou so much, I had no idea about this sort of thing, this information is a real eye opener, thankyou :)
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