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Trying to change access orders for better quality time with kids

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My partner currently travels form Kalgoorlie to Perth (approx. 1200km) every fortnight, to have access visits with his 3 year old twins.  His total visit consitutues 27 hours.  He is currently trying to have the access order changed so that they are with their mother for 4 weeks and with him for 1 week, here at our home in Kalgoorlie. 

His ex is adamantly against this and has refused to even negotiate as she says she doesn't know how SHE would cope without them for such a long period.

Over Xmas she refused to come and collect the children from us in Perth on Boxing Day, saying she had "car trouble".  This was after she had already asked my partner to have them for an extra night and he had explained that we only had accommodation booked until Christmas night and that we both had to be back at work the next day.  What unsued was that we ended up bringing the children back to Kalgoorlie with us for TWO WEEKS with her agreement.

My partner has already been through mediation where she did state that he could have them for one week a month, however this is untenable with regards to his job.  We have already spoken to his employer and worked out an agreement for the 4/1 ratio.  His ex doesn't work so it's not like she has commitments that she has to allow for, unlike my ex.

All he is trying to do is spend better quality time with the kids and reduce the amount of travelling he has to do.  As you can imagine he is extremely tired after travelling for his fortnightly visits and as we don't know anyone in Perth, he is forced to stay in a motel each fortnight.

His ex originally moved to Perth to receive treatment for cancer and then chose to stay there without his consent.  He didn't fight that situation as he felt sorry for her but the situation now is causing quite a lot of hardship and he is becoming very disheartened about not being able to form a close relationship with the kids due to lack of time spent with them.

We have already had one court session with a magistrate which was called to a close as my partners ex wasted so much time talking about irrelevant details and interrupting my ex when he was trying to speak.  We have now lodged a Minutes of Proposal and have another court date set for June 7.  My partner is very depressed and feels that the magistrate doesn't really care about what is best for the kids.

We are at a loss as to what to do.  His ex will not come to the agreement herself, in fact she has said she will do it only if the judge tells her to.

If this case is already in court then here is my suggestion. If the mother is no longer needing treatment and there is nothing preventing her from moving back to kalgoorlie then i would be asking that she covers at least half the costs of the travel for dad, and his accommodation as it was her choice to move the children away. I would ask that she be made to relocate the children back first and failing this ask her to pay. as the kids are only 3 i think 1 week out of 4 is reasonable and i would ask the court for an order to that effect, but it seems that if she is being uncooperative you may need to ask for some very specific orders, and explain to the court why they need to be so specific. I would be asking that in the event this access is granted she pay for half.

instead of asking the court for 1 week in 4 or 5 straight away, and i know this doesnt solve the travel issue in the interim, ask them for 3 or 4 days, or have them for increasing periods of time in perth over a 6 month period before bringing them to kal for a week. The court may be reluctant to uproot 2 young children for such a long period of time (i know its only a week but that may as well be a life time for a 3 year old) especially if they havent been to your home in a long time and have spend almost every day with their mother.

I cant stress enough how much you need to ask her to pay towards the travel costs. i know money may not be the issue but it is your time and i imagine you can not spend a great deal of Quality Time with 2 little boys when you have just come from kal on a friday/saturday only to return on a sunday. this may encourage her to be a little more lenient to cut costs.

dont loose faith in your judge, you may find that his attitude was more out of frustration to wards her babbling than to the case at hand. my ex did the same thing and about 4 hearings in the judge gave him a serving, worked out well for us.

Good luck guys!
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