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Shared responsibility - not putting kids needs first

Hi what can I do?

Consent orders in place with equal shared responsibility. What happens if one parent has lost the ability to put the best interests of the child first? For various reasons I want to change my daughters schooling' agreed to before divorce, but now I'm told no.

I will pay fees and arrange trnsport and it doesn't affect contact. I have a mediation certificate, so after legal advice I think I'll have to contravene the order. Much to my disgust. What will happen?

Is the Rice & Asplund rule relevant?

I'm dealing with a totally unreasonable person who punishes the girls as a way of getting to me. How long would it take to get a court hearing if they file for contravention?
What is appropriate when in this situation where there is no resolution and all reasonable attempts have been tried but the other party forces you to contravene an order with even legal aid saying that whilst not ideal I really have grounds to do so and this is the easiest, least expensive option?

Please help.

Would they be forced to change back to the old school which isn't as good?.

Im told no as they'd  be settled.  All advice accepted, even the negative. I don't like doing what I have to do but this is also what the girls wants and they're tired of the other halfs denigration and selfishness where now they want to reduce their time away because they're tired of being lower priorities.

Last edit: by OneRingRules

It's only a contravention if the Orders state the girls are to move/attend a certain school and it hasn't happened.

Rice and Asplund doesn't apply for contravention.
The Full court Judgement in Re G: Children's Schooling [2000] seems to cover some of the relevant considerations for such a specific issue Order, namely, Education - Choice of School - Best interests of the child - Whether choice made by residence parent is to be preferred - Weight to be placed on prior agreement between the parties - Treatment of children's wishes - Regard to be had to the burden of travel to school by residence parent

In granting the wife's application, judge had regard to matters such as:
*   The children have lived constantly with their mother;
*   The wife undertook thorough researches into the two schools;
*   The children's wish to remain at School A, their good progress at School A and their reluctance to transfer to School B;
*   The younger child's physical disability;
*   The travel time from the children's residence with the mother is much shorter in respect of School B than School A;
*   The wife's intention to undertake retraining or employment and the hindering effect of the travel associated with School A;
*   A Family Report prepared for the proceedings which was consistent with the wife's view that the children would cope with a change to School B.

N.B. This is a pre-amendment judgement and likely highly biased if Nicholson was involved. .

In my humble opinion do the Nike thing - just do it. Shared parental responsibility only requires the parents to consult and make genuine effort to resolve major long term issues involving the child. Usually in such school disputes one parent acts unilaterally to decide the issue. By the time the court decides the matter the decision is moot and likely neither parent can afford private school.
I think the Rice and Asplund rule applies to the changing of parental orders and the need for a 'significant change of circumstances' in order to have orders 're-visited'. I believe it's purpose was to stop endless litigation so confusedmother is absolutely right I believe.
Guest said
…Consent orders in place with equal shared responsibility. …. For various reasons I want to change my daughters schooling' agreed to before divorce, but now I'm told no.
Firstly you are now obliged to consult about the issue. That is more than just say "I've told you". It is possible to run a contravention on this although as srldad101 has said if the contravention is filed very late, say some months after the event and is not heard expeditiously, then it may be difficult to change things.

If the girls are keen on the new school, they are old enough to have a view, there is good argument AND that the other parent is not being excluded, and the other parent could be seen to be actually advantaged in some way then (If you were in court) you should not have too much of a problem relocating the school. BUT every case is unique. It sounds like mediation has not worked in relation to this specific issue. Is there some sweetner to the deal that could be offered? It already sounds like paying the transport costs and or fees is part way there. What other options are there. Is the change of school at the correct time in the curriculum for both girls? Is the father going to be able to get to sports events and or school events easier than before? (That is if he is a hands on parent)? Have you arranged a site visit/tour for the father at the proposed establishment so he can get a real genuine feel for things there? Has the father any better opportunity to interact with the new school compared to the old? Have you outlined all the pluses and minuses so it is clear and plain to see? Would there be any REAL and tangible benefits for the girls at the new school over the old? How will they deal with missing their friends at the old school? I don't expect you to answer any of the questions here but to grasp all the issues.

This is not an easy decision but it sounds like a decision that has to be made before the 2011 year starts.

A court hearing on a contravention matter should not take long to set up. Probably something like 4 - 8 weeks say for an initial appearance/mention. I think I might suggest trying harder at mediation and thinking about how the father could be better involved with the new school. Failing that and providing it is GENUINELY in the girls bests interests and not other issues clouding the change of school, I think I would probably go with srldad101 on the issue but it will create significant discourse with the father.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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