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Do you have to attend mediation?

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My childs mother and i attended family law court 12 mths ago. We have shared parental care. I initiated orders due to contact being refused and games played putting my child in unsavoury situations and concerns for my child as was involved in docs services. In all being said and done it took 2 years to get current orders in place and cost my family alotfinancially and emotionally. Overall things continue to be strained between my childs mother. Of course my child is my only focus and concern and i always act approriately in all interations with mother no matter what she does or says. The mother has just left a domestic violence situations and put avo on her current partner of 4 yrs. the avo includes my child,she has gone to various refuges and the mother has all sorts of agengies helping her. I have offered my help in relation to my child and thought it best my child come home until the mother found accomodation etc. as i didnt think the refuges stress etc was ok and could be avoided for my child….mother refused stating she wanted department of housing to give her a 3 bed house and believed if my child was with me she wouldnt get what she wanted. I have good orders in place and since the changes have sort legal advice in regards to the need to "update" orders to reflect my childs current situation. The solicitor said no need for mediation as we have agreed on new change over location, schools etc. now the mother has settled into her new accomodation she is now back to her old behaviour and
getting nasty again with harrassing text msg, refusing phone contact etc. today i get a letter requesting mediation. I know she is just going to try and cause trouble and upset everyone again for no particular reason. Only difference is this time she wont have legal aid as she has come into money. My question….do i have to attend mediation? What happens if i dont?  O_o
Greenthongs59 said
My question….do i have to attend mediation? What happens if i dont?   
Then eventually she will be issued with a 60i certificate which is required for an "Application in a Case". Presumably also containing references in her Affidavit of how you refused mediation.
Go to mediation and show willing.

Thanks conan. I will do exactly that....but i also know it will be a hard and disturbing day. As a dad and a person who trys to keep the peace i will go to mediation. I just wonder what surprise/stunt she has planned. And wont compromise on my child, she deserves so much more. Thanks again
I agree with Conan that you should go.  You can do a few things to prepare and make it easier for yourself though.

Have you thought about requesting some information on what she plans to bring up in mediation?  You could ask, in writing of course so you have a record of everything.  No harm in asking so that you can have time to prepare and think about her proposals. Makes you look reasonable and willing and if she does answer at least you won't have so much of a surprise.

You can also ask for the mediation to be by 'shuttle' which means you don't have to be in the same room and the mediator goes between the two of you in different rooms.  I think there are advantages and disadvantages to that but it at least means you don't have to be in her presence.

I have found the 5 times I have attended mediation to be very very difficult but the main thing is to try and stay calm and focussed.  Anything you agree to in the mediation doesn't necessarily need to be signed off later if you seek advice and want to change your mind.  Try to let the mother show her true colours by being the reasonable and calm one - it worked well for me because the various mediators we have seen have seen through my ex. 

Also if there are some minor points that you can concede on that don't affect you too much are are not unreasonable (and you may be able to tell that from what the mediator says) then it would be good to give a little because once again, it puts you in a good light. 

Its not much fun but a necessary evil that you can use to your advantage if you are a reasonable person putting the children's best interest first. 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Thanks for your advise larissap. Yep its no fun i agree. I actually emailled her yesterday stating i was contacted for mediation and wondered if she could inform me of topics she wanted discussed. After alot of to and fro i think i have pinned it down. She wants me to sign a childs passport to take re on holiday. So i have asked for clarification about trip and copies of such. I am a little nervous particulary about who keeps the passport. In the future would i need to authorise my child can leave sustralia again? When time comes for us to travel it likely mothet wont give me passport (if she keeps it). Has anyone been in this situation? Are there laws on this?
I have had some passport issues but fortunately I am the one with the passports because I got them for the children. 

You could ask for new orders specifically making provisions regarding who keeps the passports, what you have to do to get permission to take children overseas, that the  passports have to be returned - all in writing and submitted to court so that you can put in a contravention application if it is not adhered to.

I have heard that when there are issues with who keeps the passport that a solicitor can keep it in safe keeping.  Either yours or hers but with orders as to the circumstances in which the passport will be given out. Or if neither of you have a solicitor you may be able to find another person or independent solicitor that will keep them for safe keeping.  There are lots of options and failing agreement you can always try and put the children on a watch list at the airport if you think she might abduct them.

You might need to start another thread about passports though and see what others say.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Both parents permission is normally needed for the issue of an Australian Passport.

You could make arrangements for the passport to be stored neutrally ie a Solicitors but would need to make a formal agreement about the conditions of release and return.

You could have details inserted into your orders about who stores the passport and the conditions of return to either party. This makes it part of a Court order and easier to enforce.

If you have any concerns that she would not return to Australia (if she leaves) you can obtain an Airport Watch from the FM Court, you would however need some valid reasons for this.

If neither of you trust each other you can have an agreed (mutual) order made at a Local Court for the child to be placed on the Airport watch list. If you later come to an arrangement you can have the Watch List removed at the Local Court.

By default, Court and Consent Orders are made under the Amended Act. This includes the provision that a child or children is not to be removed from the Commonwealth of Australia without the permission of the other parent (unless specified in orders) Permission being loosely defined as no objection. (This of course has little effect on someone who deliberately abducts a child)
If court orders do not mention anything regarding taking the children out of the country, then is it reasonable to assume that either parent can take the children on an overseas holiday during their allocated time?

I have found a way that childrens passports can be obtained without the OP permission, providing there are no "reasonable objections".

Would I be breaching the above court order if I did this? The order simply doesnt mention it.
BDouble said
If court orders do not mention anything regarding taking the children out of the country, then is it reasonable to assume that either parent can take the children on an overseas holiday during their allocated time?

I have found a way that childrens passports can be obtained without the OP permission, providing there are no "reasonable objections".

Would I be breaching the above court order if I did this? The order simply doesnt mention it.
Read the last paragraph of my previous post. It does not have to be mentioned in the orders, if your orders are titled Family Law Act 1995 ….
it is a provision of the Act.
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