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Holidays and Grandparents

Holidays and Grandparents

My ex and I currently have a 50/50 shared care agreement.  I have a huge issue which has been bothering me for some time now but not sure if I"m just being selfish or there is a genuine cause for concern.
Our shared care agreement is a week on week off arrangement.  I am secondary school teacher, therefore have school holidays off, that is 12 weeks per year.  My issue is, seeing as I have holidays off and my ex does not, doesn't it make sense that when she is working full time I have the children?  That makes perfect sense to me, after all we SHARE the responsibilities of the children.  This is not the case however, during the weeks that my ex is working full time the children are put into full time care with her mother.  This is the same mother who is extremely disrespectful towards me in front of the the children,  the same mother who allegedly made my ex's life so unbearable she had to leave home at 16 and blames for ALL of her lifes woes.  We were together for sixteen years and there was not a day that went by when I did not hear about how much hatred she has for her mum.  So, my question is why are the children being allowed to be in this woman's care?  Does she have rights that I don't know about?  Do I have rights?
I am by no means suggesting my children do not have a relationship with their grandmother, I am simply stating that whilst I am not working it is only fair that my children are in my care and not that of a third party.  What do you all think?  Am I being selfish?
TO be honest yes you are being selfish. While the children are in your care then it is up to YOU as to who cares for the children- when they are in your ex partners care then it is her decision.


You DO NOT have rights- THE CHILDREN HAVE rights and if their mother wishes for them to spend time with their grandmother when she is at work then thats the decision of the mother.
People change and so do relationships- I had a horrid relationship with my mother as a teenager now that I am a mother things have changed and we got on great. Theres no reason why you should bring up the past like that…
Jesus… this issue again. I swear 1 in every 3 clients have this complaint.

OK:
  • Jayden is right insofaras parental responsibility is concerned. Chances are that you and partner have retained equal share parental responsibility for the child in respect to long term care and development. However, you each have sole parental responsbility in respect to the "day-to-day" care of the child i.e. when said child is in your care. Standard stuff. This means you have a say in the school the child attends or whether the child is baptized or not (i.e. those issues that pertain to the child's long term care and development) but not whether the kid can eat icecream or his/her bedtime or whether they go to day-care or grandma when the other party is at work (i.e. day-to-day care issues).
  • I again agree with Jayden when it comes to a shared-care arrangement. The child spends one half of the time in your care. Get over it. What more do you want. I have client's that would literally kill for shared care.
  • I do not agree that clients are being 'selfish', however, when the circumstances involve a care arrangement where Dad sees the child say, one day/overnight a week and the rest of the time the grandparents care for the child because Mum is at work. That is BS and I can confidently say that at least one WA Family Court Magistrate agrees with me.
  • The way to combat this issue is to seek inclusion of a "personal supervision/care Order" - i.e. "In the event that the Mother/Father is unable to personally care for the child for X amount of hours, the Mother/Father shall contact the other party by X means to offer them the opportunity to care for the child in their absense before leaving the child in the care of any other 3rd party, including but not limited to X, Y, Z."
  • Got that Order today.
So yeah, in a shared care context, you are being ridiculous. In the above senario, the Order was made - end of story.

Hope the above helps.

- Zer0ne -
Thanks for your advise Zer0ne, much appreciated.
We do have a Parenting Plan but there are no inclusions for that.  
How long is recommended for the number of hours feferred to by zerone83 and also how do you allow for partners to have the child?
So lastupenda, you are offering to have the children for the 12 weeks of school holidays insead of just half (six weeks). Will you be offering the mother an alternative six weeks (out of your usual time) so that the 50/50 continues (and is fair)?
What I can't understand is that we are both the parents of these children, we have shared care.  Why should they be cared for by a third party all the time when the other parent is at home?  I would not have issues with this as much if the children did not cry, beg and plead not to stay with her as she is quite horrible to them.  I am happy to pick the children up and drop them back to their mother if need be.  If the tables were turned and I worked during the holidays and their mother had the time off I would much rather them be with her than with other people.  Obviously there are going to be times when they play with friends or even visit grandparents.  I just don't feel that the entire half of the holidays needs to be spent with people who make the children feel so very uncomfortable.  Obviously others have not their children come home bawling their eyes on a weekly basis asking to explain why their grandmother would be calling me (their father) "lazy abo - aboriginals are lazy, they all should be sent to work in the army for ten years, that'll harden them up"  understanding that my children are also part aboriginal.  This matter has been bought up in mediation many times, my ex has admitted that yes infact her mother does say these things but because they are said in her home she could not care less.  Well guess what?  I care less.  How the hell am I supposed to teach my children equality for all, how am I supposed to teach them that racism across any board is unacceptable when their own flesh and blood are not only calling me a lazy abo (who happens to have two degrees) but also them?  It makes my blood boil.  That's all.
Lastupenda,
                I have little doubt that a court would have no issue with making or accepting orders that state that parties having care should not denigrate other parties. I believe that many orders do have such clauses. I would suggest that you push for such inclusion at mediation if that is still ongoing and if you don't actually have orders (you say by agreement) that you have any agreement or mediated parenting plan made into court orders and that such orders contain anti-denigration clauses.

A question for SRL - Resources, would the courts entertain getting over Rice and Asplund based on denigration (for others, especilly Lastupenda, Rice and Asplund is a precedent (I hope I've got that right) whereby existing court orders will not be changed unless there are significant changes in circumstances). If so, how would you suggest going about amending existing orders that do not have a clause regarding denigration.
MikeT is right - Every Minute we file includes non-denigration provisions, even if its not a current issue between the parties - it commonly rears its head down the track when households become polarised with new partners coming onto the scene.

Tip:

To make anti-denigration provisions more palatable (to both Court and 'other side'), include a 'without admission' preamble. i.e.:

"That without admission as to the prior conduct of either party, the parties be restrained and an injunction granted restraining them from:"

That way no one feels like they are 'admitting to anything' or being accused of anthing.

Pretty naff, but I find it helps when trying to get parents to make Orders by consent.

Tip 2:

When including non-denigration provisons, remember to consider the other party's partner or potention future partner:

"That without admission as to the prior conduct of either party, the parties be restrained and an injunction granted restraining them from:
 (a) denigrating the other party; or
 (b) allowing any other person, including but not limited to other family members or new partners, to denigrate the other party;
  within the presense or hearing of the child(ren).

We can't bind family members/new partners so you have to put a positive obligation on the ex not to allow something to occur - i.e. denigrating comments/conversation

Hope the above helps

- Zer0ne -
MikeT said
A question for SRL - Resources, would the courts entertain getting over Rice and Asplund based on denigration (for others, especilly Lastupenda, Rice and Asplund is a precedent (I hope I've got that right) whereby existing court orders will not be changed unless there are significant changes in circumstances). If so, how would you suggest going about amending existing orders that do not have a clause regarding denigration.
 Probably not, the change of circumstances by nature also implies some and even perhaps considerable changes to the existing orders. Unless the denegation is seriously affecting the care and other arrangements the chances of using R&A to get up would be small indeed.

There would be FRC first, then a Court application if no agreement even for a minor change.

From 'A Guide and Commentary to Creating Orders' (on the www.srl-resources.org private site)

Criticism of the Other Parent

Commentary
Reasonable parents will often praise or speak positively of the other parent, this is esteem building for children and particularly minimises in the minds of young children the confusing problem of why their parents are apart.

However in conflict situations there is often denigration of the other parent in front of a child. In the worst cases this can lead to Parental Alienation (link) and in mild cases children becoming confused about the other parent and hesitant at mentioning the other parent.

Criticism unfortunately is not always made by the parent, it can be made by friends and relatives

Things to Consider and Potential Issues
Your relationship with other parent

Will the child come into contact with other adults that may engage in this behaviour

Practicalities
Generally the only way that a parent knows this is occurring is by a change in attitude or behaviour of a child or by repeated remarks, or on occasions from the other parent

Some examples of possible orders:

  • Each party be restrained from denigrating the Child, the other party or members of the other partys family in front of the Child or within the Childs hearing.
  • Both parents are not to denigrate the other parent, their spouse and or partner, or immediate family, in the presence of or within the hearing of the children, or allowing any other person to do so.
  • That neither parent shall denigrate the other parent or members of the other parties family or permit any other person to do so, to the children or in their presence or hearing.
  • From denigrating the other party, the other partys spouse and/or partner, or immediate family, in the presence of, or hearing of, (children names).

SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
What would you classify as "denigration"?  I know what I classify as denigration but was wondering about little things.  For example; if person A voiced their opinion about person B being two hours late for either a pick up or appointment would that be classified as denigration? Where does that line start from the obvious to what ever the other person sees as denigration?
Now that is a tough one. 
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