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Continued Sibling contact without estranged step parent

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I aplogise if this has already been discussed. I searched the forums but only found topics close to it on grandparents.

In a nutshell I want to continue to have a relationship with my brother. He is 6 I am 35. Our father was killed in a car accident 18 months ago. For the first 16 months I had an ongoing relationship with my fathers widow. Then once she got all the estate finalised, moved on with a new man, our relationship became estranged.

I have gone from having weekly contact of  at least 6 hours a weekend where my children and my brother all played together to now nothing at all.

I do not want to see my fathers widow. I am deeply hurt and am not at the emotional strength to stand in the same room as her without crying. I want to let my brother play with my children and continue his relationship with me without his mother being present. I feel that it's better he does not have any opportunity to see the tension and instead be oblivous to all and simply enjoy time with me and my children.

I know it is easy to say I am choosing not to see him because I don't like his mother. But it is not easy to actually have unbiased fun and stress free time with my brother if his mother is present. I would never say anything to him about his mother, I would never try to destroy his relationship with her, but I simply cannot be in the same room as her and I believe it's in his best interests not to be in the presence of the tension.

Becasue we used to all spend time as a "family" my brother only spent limited time with me without his mother present. How ever I spent a lot of time with him, couselled his mother when she needed advice on behavoir and social and emotional development. He was sol close to my son that he wouls say he was like a brother to him rather than the tecnical "nephew".

I asked for once a month, just 3 hours a month to be able to see him without his mother. Now, I got her  lawyer sending me intimidating letters  stating that "you do not have standing to apply to the Family Law Court for a Parenting Order" They also said I am not allowed to send my brother letters telling him I miss him otherwise they will take a protection order against me.

What is the interpretation of being "involved in the day to day care, welfare, or development" becasue I have had limited actual time with him without his mothers presence does that mean he has no right to have contact with me unless his mother is there?

I thought that because I was his sister and that I saw him every weekend that that is involvement. Heck I was the one entrusted with delivering the awful news that our father had died and was heavily involved in ensuring he understood and coped.

This is so distressing, and brings up the grief I feel for the loss of my father.

I am just not sure if my interpretation of involvement is actually correct.
Others with more experience will answer, but I understood that it is the childs right to see and know his family and this does definately include you as his sister. Age is not mentioned in what i have read.
The Family Court clearly recognises significant family members. The Family Lawyer doesn't know what he is talking about and is postulating and trying to bluff you into going away. Commence immediately an application to a local FRC (Family Relationship Centre) to commence mediation in relation to this matter. If that fails get a 60I certificate and take the matter to one of the Family Courts.

(4) In an application under subsection (3) by a person who does not, at the time of the application, have any parental responsibility for the child, any person who, at that time, has any parental responsibility for the child is entitled to be a party to the proceedings.

(1AC) For the purposes of subsection (1AB), a relative of a person is:
(a) a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, step-father or step-mother of the person; or (b) a son, daughter, grandson, grand-daughter, step-son or step-daughter of the person; or
(c ) a brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother or step-sister of the person; or
(d) an uncle or aunt of the person; or
(e) a nephew or niece of the person; or
(f) a cousin of the person; or
(g) if the person is or was marriedin addition to paragraphs (a) to (f), a person who is or was a relative, of the kind described in any of those paragraphs, of the persons spouse; or
(h) if the person is or was in a de facto relationship with another personin addition to paragraphs (a) to (f), a person who would be a relative of a kind described in any of those
paragraphs if the persons in that de facto relationship were or had been married to each other.

S60CC Best Interests
(3) Additional considerations are:
(a) any views expressed by the child and any factors (such as the childs maturity or level of understanding) that the court thinks are relevant to the weight it should give to the childs
(b) the nature of the relationship of the child with:
(i) each of the childs parents; and
(ii) other persons (including any grandparent or other
relative of the child);
(c ) the willingness and ability of each of the childs parents to facilitate, and encourage, a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent;
(d) the likely effect of any changes in the childs circumstances, including the likely effect on the child of any separation from:
(i) either of his or her parents; or
(ii) any other child, or other person (including any grandparent or other relative of the child), with whom he or she has been living;
(e) the practical difficulty and expense of a child spending time with and communicating with a parent and whether that difficulty or expense will substantially affect the childs right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis;
(f) the capacity of:
(i) each of the childs parents; and
(ii) any other person (including any grandparent or other relative of the child); to provide for the needs of the child, including emotional and intellectual needs;
(g) the maturity, sex, lifestyle and background (including lifestyle, culture and traditions) of the child and of either of the childs parents, and any other characteristics of the child that the court thinks are relevant;
(h) if the child is an Aboriginal child or a Torres Strait Islander child:

(l) whether it would be preferable to make the order that would be least likely to lead to the institution of further proceedings in relation to the child;
(m) any other fact or circumstance that the court thinks is relevant.

I think s4A of this part is relevant also. Keep in touch through the forums or contact the SRL-R group on this site. You have a good case and I will be suprised if you do not have a reasonable outcome. I would like to hear back as to your outcome in any event.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Thank you this is very helpful. I thought the Lawyer was trying to indimitate me.

They wrote quite awful threatening words in an attempt to force me to give up.

I had already booked my intake appointment with relationships Australia prior to receiving the lawyers letter.

I was in shock that they could write such nasty things and be so confident that I had no standing what so over to seek an ongoing relationship with my brother without his mothers approval.

They also told me I was not allowed to write to my brother and tell him I miss him and if I continued they would take a protection order out against me!

I just can't believe the hostility.

I get it, she used my father to get out of her poor country - he used her for the company - they made each other happy on the principle of joint need and acceptance. Once he died she used me to help her finalise the estate, and then bang straight after she got her final super payout she commenced becomming rude and announced she was in a serous relationship with another man.

And that's fine she can move on with her new relationship, cut me out of her life - I'd prefer it. But i do however want my brother to know and have a relationship with his biological family in Australia. Hi only other biological family he has contact with are over seas.

As I said, we went from every weekend contact to suddenly no contact at all, I was also previously named in her will as his carer should anything happen to her… then this all happens.
Hi Sorry it's taken some time for an update. I have been unwell and had to reschedule my intake appointment so i am just waiting patiently for a new one.
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