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My son has been to the solicitors for access to his daughter. Mediation was unsuccessful. Papers have been served a week ago. Federal court case due early February. Does anyone know whether my son will see his daughter before the court case or do you have to wait until after the decision. Any info greatly appreciated, My son forgets to ask half the questions when he sees the solicitor.
no decision would be made by the court about your son seeing his daughter until the court date. If your son has a lawyer maybe ask them to write her a letter about contact, it may spur her on to actually accept at-least initially.
Unless there are reasons for it or age issues, from what I have seen only if the mother avoids any contact with father it CAN (but not always) go harshly on her.
Why is he not seeing his daughter now? What's the mother's issue?

No reason apart from him and his ex fight all the time and he's decided the relationship is no good for either of them. He wants to see his daughter but she always has plans. He went to mediation twice and she refused to go. If we ask to see her we get told to take it to court. Which is was happened.
Chlova, don't forget to login to post directly

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

Ok. So no allegations of domestic violence, etc.

If he had acted in November, he could have filed for Christmas holiday orders and had the matter heard before Christmas.

You say the father has sought to spend time with the child, has he put any his proposals to spend time with the child/ren in writing?

Is the mother represented by a solicitor?

Is the mother represented? If "papers have been served a week ago" I assume on the mother, then she will be getting some sort of legal advice by now.

A good solicitor or mediator should be able to arrange something over Christmas. Most reasonable people will accommodate some sort of contact and not being reasonable will go against her in February. This is a difficult time to be going to the Federal Magistrates Court as they are pretty well finished for the year dealing with cases already lodged prior to the holiday deadlines which were published some time ago. If you are in a small country town the local constable might get involved or if you are in a church group the local pastor may be able to broker some contact arrangements.

There must be a lot more to this because the mother would be very foolish to completely withhold all contact. How old is the child? How far apart do they live? Has the father been involved and a hands on dad with the child when the parents were together? Is there any family violence that gives mum cause for concern here?

In respect to dealing with the legal fraternity and "My son forgets to ask half the questions when he sees the solicitor". It is critical that he writes things down over the course of time and before he is going to discuss anything then he goes through his notes and writes up a  list. Almost like a shopping list. I suggest he gets an A4 hard covered book from any stationers with lots of lined pages. Some of the SRL's (Self represented litigants) are masters of record keeping and being preparation for meetings. It is a skill you soon develop in this place.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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No AVO but he hasn't seen his daughter for 18months. He had to see her at the mothers house for visits and it always went pear shaped. She is only 3 I asked to see her a few times and his ex would stay the whole time with her which was very uncomfortable and I can assure you we are respectable people. She bore the child and she calls the shots where she goes and if you do exactly what she wants you to do. His ex had surgery a while ago and she asked my son to help her look after his daughter at her house whilst she was convalesing. He stayed for 2 weeks and when he asked to take her on a visit to us she said no he wasn't taking her any where and he left. In hind sight he should have seen a soliciter then but he thought shed get over it. We're not liked as when my son came home after arguing she says I should have sent him back home where he belonged. His ex's solicitor has responded and his solicitor didn't say much apart from it sounded positive whatever that may be. Perhaps he may be able to see her before the court case in February.
Chlova said
No AVO but he hasn't seen his daughter for 18months.
That is a problem. The daughter will hardly even recognise him if at all. I am not clear on the contacts he has had as you state he went to the daughters house "whilst she was convalescing" and looked after the child for 2 weeks. During that time he would have taken her out I would have assumed. How long ago was that?

Your best bet at this stage is to see if the solicitors can work out some contact arrangements over the holidays but you need to act quickly as they will be off later this week. Is there any reason the mother does not allow regular contacts and outings? Does he live near the mother?

You will need to document the history in affidavit form for the February so it is important you document the time lines and what has gone on with some clarity. There needs to be a clear picture of what is going on.

Why would he have left it so long before seeking proper contact and fathering arrangements. That in itself is rather perplexing. He hasn't been around for 18 months and then all of a sudden just weeks to the Christmas holidays and its all a problem.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity


You catch more flies with honey.  Maybe tell your son to contact the mother by phone or in writing himself and get him to acknowledge to her what a hard job it is bringing up a child and how good a mum she has been so far.  Ask her if she would like a break one day over the Christmas period so he can have a chance to reconnect with the child and take her out on his own just for the day or half a day or a couple of hours - not overnight yet.  Keep it civil if possible.  Keep it out of the court system if possible.  Try to remember that in any event the child will want to know her dad and will also want to know her grandparents as she grows and nobody can take that away.
Guest do you still believe in Santa Clause and faries as in most circumstances if the father has not been allowed unsupervised with the child before then he will not out of the blue be allowed it now.

Child Access

Because it is nearly christmas perhaps you should have a little more goodwill towards your fellow posters. Will let you know the result anyway. There is enough heart ache on this site already without smart unneccesary comments. Merry Christmas
It is generally regarded as a time of good will, however where there has been no co-operative parenting for a long time (at least 18 months, it seems from what little is known) it relies heavily on the mother for some goodwill in this case. Most certainly the Guest's Honey approach is good advice and beats an aggressive approach which is just likely to entrench attitudes (If they are not already entrenched). The contacts are going to have to be graduated, or reintroduced, because for whatever reasons and as tragic as it seems, this child will not even know the father in any normal father daughter relationship.

Some will suggest that the father has a right to have any amount of contact up to an equal shared care arrangement and that the law permits such arrangements (65DAA) however in practice the lives with parent controls the visiting/contact arrangements. They certainly control the arrangements until a court makes a decision and if the father is able to parent and has a reasonably close proximity the court will try and facilitate some sort of arrangements (through orders) that allow the parents to start to develop a parenting regime for the child. The mother will argue against the presumption of shared parental responsibility and try to avoid having 65DAA, substantial time considered.  

Unfortunately it is not just a matter of rock up, pick up and will see you again tommorrow. It simply won't work like that if the child is a stranger. If mum was into cooperative parenting then there could be a million permutations of outings and parenting options for the father where mum can help develop that confidence and trust that only a parent can have with their child… She could involve grandparents as well but the fact father visits to the mothers "went pear shaped" does not suggest a viable approach to the father and his parents going around to the mothers for some visits… but we really know little of the situation. What we do know is it must be relatively acrimonious because there are solicitors involved. There has been a wealth of information published here on this site about contact visits with very young children and the key is frequency and regularity, neither of which have been happening here.

If you believe in Santa (and its not such a bad thing this time of year) then anything is possible… Sometimes even in complex parenting cases like this. We have certainly had some very good children focussed outcomes / decisions in a number of different Federal Magistrates courts and I am aware of a couple in New Castle and Parramatta in recent weeks so a couple of dads had a nice Christmas present delivered by a couple of Santas sitting on the bench.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
Thanks to Chlova who has responded to me in great detail.

There appears possibility of a visit and that is good news for Dad. The best place for this case is with the Federal Magistrates Court. It appears that Dad has consistently tried to get mediation under way and the centre has not been able to get the mother to attend. We should hope that the mother will certainly get the message at the Federal Magistrates Court. Keep attempting to arrange contacts and the record of these attempts will clearly show the mother as uncooperative and that will not go well for her. Please keep us posted as to how things go. Festive greetings to you all.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
Perhaps you should send his ex DVDs of Santa Clause 1,2, & 3 to watch over Christmas. She may become a bit more reasonable after watching them - especially after watching No.3
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