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Undefended Family Court Trial- Children's Matters/Parenting Orders

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Seeking advice/knowledge

I've just attended a second Readiness Hearing (Applicant Father had not filed or served any of the required documents in prep for the first Readiness Hearing) and I am moving forward to a now undefended Trial in a month (date was fixed at first Readiness Hearing).

This is a children's matter where Applicant initially sought equal time with our children in late 2015. At that time both the children and myself (I am the Respondent Mother) were protected by restraining orders due to family violence on his part. The Applicant Father has continuously been non-compliant with Court Orders, declined to complete Court Ordered urinalysis tests (these were Ordered by the Court due to his intravenous meth use) and failed to attend Interim Hearings and Conferences, he has also failed to file or serve any ordered docs in over 18 months.

The children have been attending Court Ordered supervised visitation on a fortnightly basis where the Paternal Grandparents are the listed supervisors. Visits have not been supervised as per the Orders and my attempts at resolving this with the grandparents has not been received well. I have also recently had to take out another FVRO against Applicant Father following abusive phone messages I received after Process Server had attempted to serve Ordered documents for first Readiness Hearing.

With that said, can anybody provide any suggestions/advice/constructive criticism relevant to self-representing at an undefended Trial?
 
I have a couple of comments after reading the material provided.
thecolourblue said

… The children have been attending Court Ordered supervised visitation on a fortnightly basis where the Paternal Grandparents are the listed supervisors. Visits have not been supervised as per the Orders and my attempts at resolving this with the grandparents has not been received well.
Did you raise this at the last directions hearing. I assume the Grandparents have signed undertakings. If they have, the court would/should have carefully set out the terms of what that means, their responsibilities and what happens if they do not adhere to them.

Undertakings by a supervisor should not be taken lightly or the duties treated flippantly as it will most likely result in the supervision stopping. At the very least you should write setting out the issues in a concise form and advise that should contacts not be supervised in the terms set out in the orders, or undertakings were given, then you will have no choice but to file an 'application in a case' to have this issue dealt with before the hearing.

This letter can be added to your final affidavit material. They should be mindful that losing supervision may also mean losing contacts as a supervised contact centre will deal only with the father.
thecolourblue said
I have also recently had to take out another FVRO against Applicant Father following abusive phone messages I received after Process Server had attempted to serve Ordered documents for first Readiness Hearing.
I just wondered why such service would prompt an abusive phone call. Did you accept the documents? If not then why not?

thecolourblue said
With that said, can anybody provide any suggestions/advice/constructive criticism relevant to self-representing at an undefended Trial?
Being a self Representing Litigant is no easy walk in the park. The biggest issues will arise in cross-examination which is a difficult component in the hearing.

It is vital that your affidavit material is in order. That every paragraph is supported by evidence and annexure or bundled attachments if voluminous. Good affidavit material is worth a lot and makes the process flow. You will only be able to file up to six subpoena's so using them wisely is important. Medicare will be one of the subpoena documents I assume. Treating Doctors and the laboratory for drug testing. There is much on this site here about self-representing. Many forums and many thousands of posts. There are a number of practitioners that pitch in from time to time when they have a moment spare.

You may advise also if an ICL is appointed and what has been done with respect to a family report.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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