Consent Orders understanding?
1. The consent orders state that I am entitled to two weeks with the kids and every second weekend, these two weeks state in March and September, I have already had one week with the kids in January for ten nights during my sons birthday and have requested for 23rd 30th September, my ex is paramount on me to have the kids another week, this being March, as the Consent orders came into effect after I had the kids in January and has threatened me with court action for breaching the terms of the consent orders and that she will seek that I pay for all costs.
My question is, do I have to comply with the consent orders as they are written, if I do not wish to have the kids, is this enforceable for me to do so, and if I don't what are the consequences of my actions?
My question is, do I have to take the kids at all for Makeup Time, and would the court see that I am being fair, or un reasonable in my suggestion at taking the kids on the Monday as well, rather than takingthe kids for a second weekend in a row, this being the makeup time.
2. Make Up Time, I am about to embark on a business trip to Chile, to which I have provided my ex with 21 days notice, a copy of the Itinerary and suggested that I take the kids the weekend I return, which is in the rotation of fortnights and that I also take the kids on the Monday and return Monday night to her house as the makeup time, as I am leaving early on Sunday and have advised my ex that I can only have the kids Friday night and not Saturday night, as the plane fly's Sunday morning at 8am. my ex has rejected this and is trying to enforce that I take the kids for the makeup time on another weekend.
The negative is that she may try to use you not taking the time allocated in court proceedings, so be sure you keep accurate records as to the reason for not spending time with them if the case has not been finalised. Not such an important issue if the case is finalised I feel.
For example, if she is demanding that you take the kids in March (despite your business trip plans), there is absolutely nothing she can legally do if you decide not to take them. If she refuses to make them available for collection, that is a contravention of the orders. But if you choose not to collect them on the dates she makes them available, that is not a contravention. The choice is yours, you are not obligated to see your children. So either your ex has no idea what she is talking about and is very misguided, or (more likely) she is trying to bluff you to get the plans she wants.
As for make-up time, this is only required if either you or your ex keep the kids beyond the times/dates stated in the court order. For example, if your ex didn't make the kids available on the weekend you are due to see them, you can request that she give you an additional weekend to make up for that lost time. BUT - you are not legally required to offer make-up time if you don't collect your kids for their scheduled visits, and in fact what you are talking about is not make-up time at all, it's simply a request to rearrange the dates that the kids are to spend time with you.
So, you are well within your rights to skip the March visit if you have other plans, and there is nothing she can do about it. However, she is also entitled to refuse your request to take the kids on the weekend you return, because it is not stated within your consent order, and it will be your choice to forego your allocated 2 weeks in March. She is under no legal obligation to rearrange visitation around your work schedule.
One would hope two adults could manage a simple re-scheduling of dates, but if you guys don't get along, it probably won't happen that way. I think you're doing the right thing by offering to have the kids when you return, to compensate for the time they will miss out on while you're away. But if this ruins the ex's plans for the holidays, you may find she refuses to play nice, and there's not much you can do about it.
"Each of the parties shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the child spends time with the Mother/Father as follows: …"
That is reinforcing the obligations of a parent to spend time with the child. That puts responsibility on both parents to have the legal duty (without failing to appear), and to make the child available to the other parent.
It sounds like you are being totally proactive about it and surely that will become a non-issue.