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Can I amend my Final Orders, and if so, to what extent (schooling issue)?

Final Orders, schooling

Dear all,

I have recently submitted my application for Interim and Final orders to the Federal Magistrates Court, and I have been given a hearing date. I however have not yet served these documents on the mother, and plan to do it early next week.

However, I have only just read a new family law judgment on Austlii (Connor & Wing [2008] FamCAFC 19, that has made me re-think one of the aspects of my Orders. Connor & Wing is a very interesting case because the father wants the child to attend a school that is halfway between the mother and father, and the mother wants the child to attend school that is close to her only.

In my case, I live 30 minutes away from the mother, and despite my disagreement, the mother enrolled the child last year to a school local to her (in kindy).

I have up until recently considered that there was nothing I could do about this in my Orders, but after reading this case, I am of the view that maybe I have an option of changing my Final Orders and asking that my son change his school at the beginning of next year to a school located between his mother's residence and mine, making easier for both parents to take him to school.

If I do this, I could also ask for 50:50, where I am now only asking for 5 days out of 14.

However, I have already put my Orders in, and I do not mention anything about schooling.

Can I amend my Final Orders to reflect this new demand, or is this too substantial a change to be accepted as an amendment to my Orders?

It is required of you in accordance with the Family Law Rules that you serve the documents on the other party.

You can file an amended Application. As cases go it would be likely that time will allow you to do that at a later time.

Orders can be amended right up until the judge adjourns to make a determination.

Consider how else you might amend your orders as you continue to develop a sense of the facts and legal issues.

At the initial hearing you can mention that you are likely to amend your orders in accordance with the discovery of facts and as they allow you to formulate your case.

Being seen to be consistent and plausible is a consideration open to you.

It could well be that you need to obtain more feedback from those who visit here in respect as to how to structure and strategise your case.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
I endorse Verdad's advice.

You say the Mother enrolled your child in kindergarten without gaining your agreement beforehand? This action may reflect poorly on the Mother at trial. Unilateral decision-making in parenting matters does not reflect well.

Has the Mother imposed contact arrangements? If so, this might also reflect poorly on her.

Did you offer mediation as a way of resolving the impasse?

If not, next time may I suggest you do. Put an offer to her in writing.

If the Mother refuses to engage in mediation, that might also reflect poorly on her, while at the same time framing you in a positive way.

Good luck.

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