Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Where to from here?

Add Topic
Hi, I am in desperate need of some advice.

My ex and I have tried to sort the custody of our son through mediation after going to court. It looked like it was going good and that we would reach an agreement and we wew actually congratulated by the mediators and all involved at how well we were getting along. But now that I am working full time and am no longer entitled to legal aid, he has changed his mind and now wants me to only have our son every second weekend.

There is a lot more to it and is quite complicated but I am stuck. Where to from here?

I am terrified of the prospect of having to self represent myself in court and can in no way afford to get a solicitor / lawyer unless I go in to major debt. Which is what I'm considering.

My ex has a barrister but is self represented, which I don't understand fully.

I would really appreciate any advice I can get.
How old is your son ?

Is your son living with you currently ? How much time does he spend with the father ?
My son is 4 and I only see him on Wednesday after work for 2 hours and Saturday from 9-5
We have had a few different arrangements in place. The first was initially to get "some" time with him as my ex took him from me one night after a visit. He just refused to bring him back (there were no orders in place at the time) so the police could do nothing to bring him back.
So he spends pretty much most of the week with him.
Prior to our separation I lived like a single mother. My ex had no interest in our son. I would have to beg him to spend time with him and have to negotiate simple things like getting him to watch him while I have a shower. He would come home for lunch (which consisted of smoking a few cones) and hide so our son wouldn't see him because he would be upset because dad has gone again.
Sorry I'm venting :/
ok , So he is now proposing you having your son every second weekend ? Will that be from Friday until Sunday , including overnights ? If so dont you think that would be an improvement  on the current arrangement though ideally you would like 50/50 ?

You mentioned you both work , is your son in childcare ?
Yes that's right. It would be an improvement but I do think 50/50 would work.
Yes he is in childcare 5 days a week now
ok , so you dont have any orders in place now ? just a parenting agreement from mediatation ?

are you allowed to visit your son at daycare if you want to ?
We do have interim court orders that state I pick my son up from daycare on a Wednesday and then take him back to his fathers on Saturday 5pm.
This changed when my accomodation fell through and I could not have my son with me as I the place I lived at was not suitable for a child (share house). So I asked my ex to have him until I could get a place of my own. At mediation we agreed that I would see him on Wednesday after work for 2 hours and Saturday 9-5 until such time I get a place and then hopefully go back to the shared care arrangement as mentioned above. I have not signed off on this as I now have a place of my own with my new partner so the interim court orders still stand but that was whilst I was living with my dad.
It's complicated and there is so much more involved. Not sure how much I should really divulge on here.

There is nothing to say I can or can't visit my son at daycare but I have been reluctant to do so as I don't want to jeopardise the case in any way
Iamnotanna said
…..
My ex has a barrister but is self represented, which I don't understand fully.
He can use the Barrister to represent him in court at the main hearings and he can take care of the initial phases himself, typically the attendances at mention and directions hearings.
Iamnotanna said
There is nothing to say I can or can't visit my son at daycare but I have been reluctant to do so as I don't want to jeopardise the case in any way.
I would certainly be attending day care from time to time. There is nothing preventing you from doing so and I would expect mum and dad to be attending day care from time to time. There are numerous events that require parents at daycare and Kindy so you should participate to the maximum extent possible. If the visits are orderly, and non disruptive and you have built a rapport with the centre you should have no problems and the court will be interested to hear that you are maintaining a proper relationship with the child.

Is the father operating on the interim orders you have now? Is that adequate time for you. It sounds like circumstances have improved for you and there should be no reason you can't have a proper time arrangement now. The time you have now for a four year old is unsatisfactory. Why are you not getting Friday pick-up from day care to drop off at day-care Monday every alternate weekend and an overnight or two as well during every week. At four there should be no issues with this. Why is the father withholding contact? When are you next in court?

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
 
Secretary SPCA said
He can use the Barrister to represent him in court at the main hearings and he can take care of the initial phases himself, typically the attendances at mention and directions hearings
Just a note.  I was in court last week and my ex was taken to task for appearing for himself when he had a solicitor and barrister on record.  Specifically the Magistrate said 'If you have a solicitor and barrister they should appear for you, you can't chop and change'.  So maybe it is a 'personal' thing with different magistrates.  My ex said that he was appearing for himself because 'it would be $3000 for the day and my barrister told me I could appear for myself at a mention'.

Just thought I would throw this into the mix.

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.
Thank you for your reply.
The interim orders we have that still stand now are not being adhered to by him or myself. They stated that I have my son whilst I was living at my fathers place.
I have since gotten a place of my own with my new partner.
The time I have with my son is nowhere near adequate. My ex does not want to disrupt our sons week. He strongly believes that it is bad for our child to start going to school from 2 homes rather than one. He says he has a child psychologist report that he paid a lot of money for that shows this, but wont show it to me.
We are in court at the end of August for a LAT.
Well, your ex may believe that personally, but there are a hell of a lot of children who split their week between 2 places and do just fine, and the courts are making plenty of orders to this effect, so his views are not necessarily shared. I'd be wary of the supposed psychologist report, he may well be bluffing.
I believe we can make it work. I guess I need to wait till he has the same mindset as I. It's a long road ahead!
larissap said
Secretary SPCA said
He can use the Barrister to represent him in court at the main hearings and he can take care of the initial phases himself, typically the attendances at mention and directions hearings
Just a note. I was in court last week and my ex was taken to task for appearing for himself when he had a solicitor and barrister on record. Specifically the Magistrate said 'If you have a solicitor and barrister they should appear for you, you can't chop and change'. So maybe it is a 'personal' thing with different magistrates. My ex said that he was appearing for himself because 'it would be $3000 for the day and my barrister told me I could appear for myself at a mention'.

Just thought I would throw this into the mix.
You can use a Barrister for certain parts of the case. These must be identified and stated. What you can't do is have a solicitor writing some letters and the SRL writing others. The solicitor on the other side will be expecting to work with the SRL's solicitor unless it is clear that the SRL does not have or has dispensed with his solicitor. You will need to dispense with the solicitor in writing to both your solicitor and the other side. You can't just have one sitting in your back pocket in case you find you are not getting anywhere.

You either have a solicitor acting or you don't. The Barrister is engaged at that point by the SRL not the solicitor. The court needs to know who is acting in what capacity so expect a judicial officer to give you a hard time if you do not have complete clarity. The Magistrate is completely right to make such a statement.



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
 
Thank you for clarifying that Secretary SPCA

I do not know what has happened and I'm still in shock about it all but my ex has agreed to a 50/50 shared parenting arrangement.
I don't have this is writing but have written it down in my journal should he be bluffing just to stop me from getting the assistance I need before court and giving me false hope.

He has said that he will get his barrister to draft the orders and will send to me once she has done so. He does not want to go back to court ever again and has stressed that our son needs me and if he was to destroy me financially or psychologically that that is definitely not in the best interest of our son. He also said that if either one of us has something on like a work function or needs to travel away for work etc, that we would not have our son looked after by a babysitter or other family member but rather rely on each other (of course I agreed)
He said that we should try to be the best parents ever for our son like we were when we were together (in happier times) but just not "together".

Why the sudden turn around from "you don't derserve our son after what you've done!" to all of this? I really don't know. If in fact he is genuine, and he did sound genuine, what more can I ask for? I will give it everything I have.

That being said, I still have my reservations. How long should I wait before receiving the draft final orders? Court is supposed to be in about 5 weeks time.
What the?! I don't understand a word of what you've just posted vijendroy!
Injury Lawyer? Are you in the right place?

Moderator Note

vijendroy's post has been deleted due to it breaching the rules regarding advertising and spam

Last edit: by MikeT

I got the same post from this VJendroy , Lawyers must be trolling forums to prey on members.

Good to see the Moderators picked it up quickly and removed the post.
Unbelievable! How low can you go?
I guess nothing surprises me anymore.

Yes, thanks for picking it up and removing it MikeT :)
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets