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Parenting plan.. Now what?

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So the mediation is done (waste of time) and was partly agreed. But he gave the month he wants it to start. No specific date, refused to sign the parenting plan and gave no contact details. What am I supposed to do now? Sit and wait for him to contact me and plan our lives around him? I'm confused. What do I have to do next? Any ideas?

What am I supposed to do now?

What you have is not worth the paper its printed on.

Unless a parenting plan is registered with the Court - it is unenforceable. However, in the future it may be considered by the Court if it is being asked by either party to make a parenting order.

Note: Communications made in mediation are not admissible, including possibly an unsigned parenting plan.

What do I have to do next?

Presumably you have a s.60I certificate from the mediator, so now you are at liberty to apply to the Court for enforceable orders, if that is something you want to do.

I would like something written so I can at least make plans/ dr appointments around him and it just seams like that can't even happen. The mediatior has said we can go for another session in 5/6 months. I would prefer to stay out of court.
I am wondering if I should send a letter to his solicitor or leave it until he decides he wants to meet her? I'm a bit annoyed that I'm having to do the run around for him to just give maybe answers.
repartnered_mum said
I would like something written so I can at least make plans/ dr appointments around him and it just seams like that can't even happen.
Ask the mediator/centre for a written outline of what was agreed. When you get that you will know what is supposed to commence and roughly when. In the meantime get on with life and enjoy the holiday period with your child(ren). Most solicitors are closed for a break and so are the courts.

Sound's like you need another mediation session in 5/6 weeks not months,  to work out what was was decided at the last mediation. All sounds very unsatisfactory to me. If you need to take the child to a doctor then plan it, make the appointments and get it done, If the other parent has the child at that time they will take the child to the Doctor surely? Is this a particularly difficult issue for you ?

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
Thankyou for your replies
Because the op has never met the child things are very complicated. The appointments are for specialists and the wait is usually 3/5 months. Which I have no choice but to make these appointments. The op has expressed that he will be holidaying overseas for 3 months so he was unable to commit to even signing the parenting plan. I feel as though there is nothing I can do but wait. Which in itself leaves a lot of unsertanty.
The things that were agreed on we're the supervised visits once a month ( I had offered more) and the drug tests.
As I said this leaves me with no answers or insight as to what he wants.
He has still to this day refused to pay child support so unless I was to pay for the drs he would likely not take her.
Dear Repartnered Mum,

As there are no Orders in place, the issue of parental responsibility remains at large, and there is no statutory  obligation to consult with and reach agreement with the other parent before acting. However, I suggest that you make your appointments,  email the Father, advise him thereof, and give him a reasonable period to reply in writing if he wishes to rasie an objection to your proposal. Arguably, no Court will ever hold it against you, for acting in your child's best interests.

In so far as the Child Support goes, I suggest you immediately request the CSA to commence collection procedures.

If your matter ultimately proceeds to Court, then you can litigate child support, including any arrears outstanding as part of the proceedings, and aslo use the evidence to support  a departure application from the administrative assessment, especially if your child has special needs.

As the Secretary suggests, press the mediator for more immediate action or request the 60I Certifcate and commence proceedings.  Going to the expense of writing to the other side may be  a futile waste, as they are under no obligation to reply, and your ex may be empowered from  denying you what it is that you seek.

CSS has been involved from the start, each month a different excuse is used from what I've been told. It dosnt bother me as I've not needed it yet and if i was to receive it, it will be placed in a desperate account for when it is needed.
I have not been given an email address or any way to contact him other than his solicitors info.
I have a certificate. But I don't have the funds to go to court. I am allowed partial legal aid, but also I would prefer not to have to go to court, I could do without the stress of it.
repartnered_mum said
CSS has been involved from the start, each month a different excuse is used from what I've been told. It dosnt bother me ….
Well It bothers me that you are unable to get any child support to assist you in care etc. Could you please let me know when you first made application to the CSA and what reasons you have been given each time for the non collection. (I assume you meant CSA (Child Support Agency) I am happy to take this up with CSA on your behalf. You can use the "whisper" or "Personal Post" functions to send any information privately.
repartnered_mum said
I have not been given an email address or any way to contact him other than his solicitors info.
What sort of father does not want to participate in the parenting and simply give a solicitors email address. It seems all rather odd to me and there must be much more than we know about. There must be some real angst between the parents here as this is not a normal response from an interested father. Most fathers bend over backwards to get contact and make sure the kids know where they live and phone numbers in the chance the children will call.
repartnered_mum said
I have a certificate. But I don't have the funds to go to court. I am allowed partial legal aid, but also I would prefer not to have to go to court, I could do without the stress of it.
It is not a path for the faint hearted and there is a fairly arduous process to go through that can take a lot of time depending on how agreeable the parents are. The best outcome is to try hard in mediation and get some agreed written results that can be effectively operated. Practicality should be high on the list as to what can be agreed. If what you agree is not practical nor workable long term then it will all fail before it starts. If it is not practical for the father to pick up from school then there is no point setting up such arrangements in the first place. Whatever is agreed has to be practical and workable. Parenting is not easily dissoluble and you now face a difficult and complex task of working long term with the other parent on matters concerning children. It does mean you need to communicate for some years to come. Having an email address provided at a solicitors clearly says there is some fundamental problem here and the future for good cooperation seems quite limited if impossible in this case.

You should discuss that issue at mediation as unless you can find a workable arrangement where you can both communicate in a civilised and proper way about matters involving the children then there is no hope a court is going to fix your problems. Do you really expect a court will solve all the problems? You or he could easily get an outcome neither of you like. What will you do then?

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
I have been with CSA since feb 2011.
Most of the excuses have been there are mix ups with his pay, then couldn't afford it, then not in a position to pay, and lastly agreed on a payment plan for the 2 thousand in arrears, which has been broken twice now.
I have given up.
He is apparently holidaying so I'm not going to hold my breath.
From what I know from when we were together he had some pretty costly habits ( which I'm told he is now seeking help for now)

As for him demanding time with her then changing his mind… That I can't explain.
But I would like him to make an effort soon before it's too late to make the bond.
I have had to work hard to accept that he will be in her life and am trying very hard to make it possible but as it stands I may as well talk to a wall.
He wants her, then he dosnt, then he thinks he might…
Secretary . . Would you please have a read of this and let me know what you think. Cheers.

-I have orders, op sees children every other fortnight, holiday visits to commence easter 2012.
-Orders say each parent must keep the other parent informed of current address and must have contact telephone number. Each parent is able to contact the children and children contact the op.
- I have a phone number which has been disconnected and an address which I now know is wrong, through my eldest telling me the number on the mailbox. She sought this information for herself because she and her sisters have tried sending their father christmas cards and letters but he has received none.
- I have not been able to speak to my children during any of their visits with him including Christmas Day (which was just devastating). The thing is at the beginning I wanted to speak to them all quickly as they had not seen their father for a long time and I just wanted them to know I was thinking of them and yes for my own peace of mind.
- I have tried to be flexible, offering extra time and some make-up time because I haven't been able to make the changeovers quite on time because of work committments and the large distance to travel, and also because the children missed a visit because I had a migraine and could not travel (although I did offer for him to come and pick the children up).

Yes, there is obviously other things, but I am concerned atm about not being able to contact the op and the children when they are in his care if there are any emergencies, relating to the children and relating to my other family members an myself which may impact on visits/getting to changeovers (even car accidents or odd traffic hold-ups).

I am unable to communicate with the op, when I do by email I cop abuse so I keep that to a minimum. Dare I even bring up changing Shared responsibility to Sole responsibility (keeping in mind I don't want to stop him from spending time with the kids - although I DO want to change the arrangement we have atm because the children are getting too exhaused with travelling up to 10 hours each fortnight, possibly have less term time visits and increase holiday blocks. How do you think this would go down in court ?

I'm lost atm and feeling extremely anxious about the whole situation but do not know what to do or who to turn to.
HI Staying Safe

Do you have  a telephone communication order in place that the Father is required to comply with?

The test applied by  a Court when considering the  contravention of  a parenting order  is not the best interests of the child. Rather, you must first  establish on the balance of probabilities in minor  cases or  beyond reasonable doubt in more serious  cases that a contravention has taken place. Then depending on any excuse proffered and its reasonableness or not , the Court has a discretion to consider  a range of penalties, including in the worst case imprisonment. However, the intention of any such penalty  is not punitive, but rather to bring about future compliance witht the courts orders.

However, The effect of an order for shared parental responsibility is set out on section 65DAC: where 2 or more persons are to share parental responsibility for a child; and (b) the exercise of that parental responsibility involves making a decision about a major long-term issue in relation to the child. (2) The order is taken to require the decision to be made jointly by those persons. (3) The order is taken to require each of those persons: (a) to consult the other person in relation to the decision to be made about that issue; and (b) to make a genuine effort to come to a joint decision about that issue. Major long-term issues" is defined in s 4 and it includes (e):  changes to the child's living arrangements that make it significantly more difficult for the child to spend time with a parent.  Howver, note  s 65DAE, - parents do not have to consult on matters, which are not concerned with long term issues, when the child is spending time with one or other of them

So, if the changes made to the Father's residential address make it significanlty more difficult for the childen to spend time with him, then he has an obligation to consult with you and reach agreement in relation to it. I guess, in this way the points you raise might be relevant to the issue of ESPR if you decide to re litigae. Howver, in this regard note the rule in Rice v Asplund, let alone the emotional and financial issues involved to all parties following litigation.

The other salient point here though is your duty  to support the childrens relationship with  their Father. A failure to do so can bring considrable harm to children.
Hi Bos, thanks.

The orders basically state that we each have to have a known phone number so each of us can contact the children whilst in the other parent's care. And the orders also state that we must inform the other parent of changes in address. Quite frankly I don't care where HE lives I just want to know where the children will be residing whilst with him and I want to be able to speak to them (with reasonable frequency - i.e., when necessary or special occasion like birthday or Christmas) AND for emergency purposes. If the children have an emergency situation I only have an email contact for him which i cannot access unless I have a computer with internet capabilities.

I know that  I really only have to discuss major long-term things and health things with their father but he will not communicate with me about any health issues even ! And refuses to carry through with medication/treatment doctors have prescribed. This is the reason I am wanting to consider Sole Responsibility, he is refusing to communicate with me and when I do try (like this weekend because one child had a slight infection) he told me at the top of his voice infront of the kids and everyone around in the public venue that he wouldn't talk to me and he didn't care and wouldn't look at it (meaning our child). That child then grabbed me and didn't want to go with him (only 3) so I was gently encourgaing her when he grabbed her arm and yanked her away from me. It was very distressing for the kids, the people around and for myself. I just felt awful after this.

I am finding it very hard to cope with. I am really trying hard to make things easier for the children and make sure they are safe and happy but it seems that no care is taken for the kids and only a want to "get back at me".

I don't want to go back to court. But I also don't know what to do.
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