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Relocation and change of schools

Attempts at consultation have failed

I have current consent orders in place that state that I must consult with the other parent about all issues to do with health, education, religion etc etc.  The orders also have a line in it that states that either of my children are not to physically share a room with anyone.  This was due to the fact that my ex was wanting to move to live with her new partner in a shed with herself (pregnant at the time), him and my two children all in the shed/one room with no running water or bathroom/toilet.  So clearly there needed to be orders in place to prevent this from happening.

I have almost complete care of my son and my ex has almost complete care of my daughter.  My ex is in her fourth house since we separated in 2010 and my daughter is now at her third school since then.

My son and I have only moved from our family home to where we live now and he has had no change in school as I have wanted to create a stable environment for him.

Now I am wanting to move to live with my partner of almost three years and her children.  I am only moving 15 minutes from where I currently live and there will be no changes to the time spent with either parent as a result.  The school my son currently goes to is not supporting my son appropriately and will be 40 minutes from where I will be living.  This would mean that it would take over one and a half hours one way to get to and from work.  Currently it takes me almost one hour either way.  I am also likely to change jobs in the new year and will no longer have the flexibility to continue to make this type of trip to work back and forth each day.

I have consulted with my ex for the past three months with regards to changing schools for my son, from a public school that is unsupportive and which she does not like herself to a Catholic School that is within a block of our new home that my ex previously wanted the kids to attend.  Which I only didn't allow previously as my son was only a few months into kindergarten and following the separation I didn't want to create any further unnecesary changes.  I have also offered to pay all school related costs as my ex currently does for our daughter, who attends a private school.  I also need to vary the order regarding sharing a room as my daughter will need to physically share a room with my partner's daughter for approximately five nights per year which are the expected times we will have both girls in our care.

I have explained all this to my ex at great length, each time she wishes to introduce other issues or changes she wants, which I have explained I am not happy to renegotiate (as it has taken multiple legally assisted mediation sessions to get the orders as they are) and now she is simply not reading the redrafted Parenting Plan that is to be attached to the orders.  She has come out with every excuse as to why she hasn't had the time to read it etc.  This is having a negative effect on my son, to the point where his psychologist has written to my ex to explain that he is feeling stressed and anxious as a result of her not communicating or making a decision on these issues.

As the time is drawing closer to needing to make a decision due to my pending move and also needing to finalise my son's school placement to commence in 2015 I need an answer.  I have placed my name on waiting lists with the local mediation services but they are going to take several months.  I do not want to pay for private mediation again as it is $150/hour and I have already spent a considerable amount this year in legal costs due to my ex being unable to communicate.

What would people suggest as options to resolve this issue?

I plan to move either way and will simply send my daughter to other family members when my partner's daughter is with us so she is not physically sharing a room and I may have to make my life driving in the car to and from my son's current school and work.  But I think 15 hours travel to and from work every week is too much.

The other option is to ignore her, move schools for my son and have my daughter share the room with my partner's daughter and let my ex take it to court, as she has constantly threatened.

My son wants to move to live with my partner and her children and wants desparately to move schools.  My daughter, up until she was manipulated by my ex, wanted to move house and actually wanted the current orders to be changed so that she would always be spending time with my partner's daughter.  Now my ex advises me that my daughter doesn't want to spend time with us at all.  I think this is another issue in itself and intend to also take that further.

But in relation to moving schools and sharing less than one week per year, what are peoples suggestions/options?

Thank you
Hi Challenger .
Without knowing all the details to your situation ie - Consent orders in place since when ?
Here are my thoughts and by no means are they Legal advice but more what I would do if I was in your situation, which is a tough one as by the sounds of things you have gone to great lengths to abide by the consent orders and  provide an environment that is in the best interests of your son.
Does she pick up the son from School ? Is she involved in his schooling life , attend teach parent interviews ? go to school concerts ? Help him with his homework ?

1. You are the primary carer of your son . and His mother has consented by by orders to spend 5 days /nights a year with her son.
2. You have consulted with her on Issues regarding education and proposed changes - via mediation and in writing . She is just being difficult and not agreeing which you have given her ample opportunity to do . Judges don't like that .
3. I would write her a clear letter outlining the changes you are planning to make and set a date for her to respond in writing. Send it by certified mail .Be as reasonable , polite and child focused as you possibly can in your letter .This will be helpful later if that matter ever made it to court.
4. If she responds and agrees great make the changes and move on .
5 If she doesn't respond , make the changes and move on.
6 If she responds and doesn't agree , knowledge it in writing , make the changes and move on .
7 If she takes you to court then you have shown that you have consulted and have been reasonable , and I think she would be in for a rude awakening from the Judge who will quickly see through the game playing and her being difficult .

Good Luck
So you want the mother to make all the changes you want, but aren't prepared to entertain any of her thoughts on other changes?

I can't imagine why she won't negotiate with you.
I don't think you can have it both ways. You can't say, on the one hand, I won't renegotiate issues the mother is concerned about as it took so long to get the orders settled, but on the other hand, you want to change the orders yourself to suit your own needs.

My advice would be to hold off on moving in with your new partner until you have mediated and addressed all the issues. Clearly the ones you have in the front of your mind are not the only issues that need addressing, contact with your daughter also needs to be discussed.

Also, try and get some counselling on how to assist communication with your ex and reducing conflict. The ongoing conflict will ultimately harm both your children, so strategies to reduce the conflict are essential.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts phoenix21.
I have my son majority of the time. He sees his mother every second weekend and half of school holidays.  I have already had multiple converstations with her and sent emails setting timeframes. She insists that she has until school starts next year to reach an agreement which is placing unreasonable stress and anxiety on my son. She has nothing to do with his current school presently as she lives two hours away and doesn't like the school he attends.  I take him to school and pick him up every day and do his homework.  This arrangement would not change if my son changes school.

Last edit: by Challenger1

Challenger1 said
Malady said
So you want the mother to make all the changes you want, but aren't prepared to entertain any of her thoughts on other changes?

I can't imagine why she won't negotiate with you.

I have attempted to be reasonable and have discussed a range of changes. Majority of the ones she is requesting are unreasonable and cannot be entertained if I want to keep my job or move. She is just trying to be difficult. Sounds like your a pain in the ass like her yourself.

Challenger1 - this is not appropriate.

Whispering to me that I am a "pain in the ass" like your ex wife just indicates to me that your negotiation and communication skills leave a lot to be desired.
Whispering or sending abusive messages will get you banned.

Challenger read the site and moderators rules before you make any more posts.

 Senior Site Moderator and Administrator
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