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Hearing In 8 Weeks For An Urgent Recovery Order

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Seeking advice on a hearing for a recovery order and being undermined.


Hope you are all doing well.

The Child BG aged 13 was to spend 2 weeks with me in January. After one week, we got into a dispute over reading books to break up screen time on the computer. He demanded to speak to his mother on the phone to which I refused. He said he wanted to back to her house and not spend time here again. I told him he could pursue that after this spend time finished. After throwing a remote across the room I sent him to bed.

Next morning, he contacted a friend on the computer. The friend relayed a message to his mother to come over and speak to him via a headset. He told her he wanted to go back to her home (primary carer). She drove to my house and told him to wake me up, she didn’t care that I was asleep. He woke me up and while I was still waking, mentioned his mum was here to pick him up. The mother berated me for sleeping in everyday and accused me of not spending quality time with him.

A few days later I sought an urgent recovery order on an ex-parte basis that same day but after reading the criteria, didn’t have much hope. I was banking on a comment a Magistrate made previously after the mother stopped spend time going ahead years ago. He put her on notice that if she pulled any nonsense, he’d grant a recovery order. He has now left and the case file been transferred.

Matter is listed for March and the recovery order is now moot. I feel like I’ll be at a disadvantage at the hearing. The reason being I won’t be allowed to raise any further evidence not mentioned in the affidavit for the recovery order.

I haven’t served the mother yet. Am I better off seeking to withdraw this hearing and instead apply for a contravention of current Final Orders?

This is now the third time that the child has refused to have spend time, or in this matter, contacted his mother to return to her house. I tried emailing the mother and informed her that he will now continue to do this. Part of her justification was that the child sounded distraught over the headset.
Two cases I hope to use are Cartland vs Cartland [2014] and more recently I stumbled across GABRIELLI and O’DOYLE [2017] FCWA 46.

Any direction on how to deal with teenagers who have been rewarded in these situations by the other party would also be appreciated. My concern is that this Judge might go down the child’s wishes path. In a previous hearing she foreshadowed when the child gets older, I may only see him once a month and that’d be driving him to a friend’s house.

In haste, I suggest a judicial solution will not fix this. You need to deal with this through properly trained professionals who can get to the bottom of the issues and deal with the child's addictions. If you contact me via a personal post with your details I can provide a couple of health professionals that deal with this sort of issue. We have had some good results but conversely some average outcomes also so nothing is certain.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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What you are experiencing is pretty common when kids get to their teens and in the cases where a child has two homes they can and will play games with both parents. It's probably time to let go and to salvage and build a positive relationship with both your teenager and their mother. The recovery hearing might be worth pursuing to show the mother she does not have absolute power. I don't think a contravention with achieve much.
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