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Mother blocking after school care

Breach of Orders?

Hi everyone.

I have 'lives with, lives with' orders. Shared parental responsibility. My 7 year old lives with me every second weekend and alternative Wednesday's. On Fridays I pick her up from school from about 3:30 and drop her to school Monday morning. I don't have a partner.

I work in the city and my daughter goes to primary school in Engadine. I have to leave work at about 1:30pm to get to her school by 3:30 using public transport.

The school has an after/before school care facility. I want to enrol my daughter into this facility on a casual basis in case I can't make it there for some reason and neither can the mother.

However the mother is creating problems. She's refusing to agree to me enrolling my daughter. The mother spoke to the principle and told him the she doesn't agree to it.

There is nothing specific about care arrangement in the orders.

My view is that its not really the mother's concern. If I chose to utilise the after school care service when my daughter is technically under my care - i.e. 'living with' me - isn't that my choice alone?

Whilst there is no specific about care arrangement in the current orders - could she be 'contravening' the orders?

4MYDAUGHTER
4mydaughter said
Hi everyone.

I have 'lives with, lives with' orders. Shared parental responsibility. My 7 year old lives with me every second weekend and alternative Wednesday's. On Fridays I pick her up from school from about 3:30 and drop her to school Monday morning. I don't have a partner.

I work in the city and my daughter goes to primary school in Engadine. I have to leave work at about 1:30pm to get to her school by 3:30 using public transport.

The school has an after/before school care facility. I want to enrol my daughter into this facility on a casual basis in case I can't make it there for some reason and neither can the mother.

However the mother is creating problems. She's refusing to agree to me enrolling my daughter. The mother spoke to the principle and told him the she doesn't agree to it.

There is nothing specific about care arrangement in the orders.

My view is that its not really the mother's concern. If I chose to utilise the after school care service when my daughter is technically under my care - i.e. 'living with' me - isn't that my choice alone?

Whilst there is no specific about care arrangement in the current orders - could she be 'contravening' the orders?
 
I'd have to say that it sounds as though she is being unreasonable. What is her concern about your daughter being enrolled? Is it just a control thing, or is there more to it?
She's offered no real reason expect spurious nonsense about maintaining routines, etc.


2 weekends ago we had an incident. She wanted to take our daughter to a friends wedding on my weekend I agreed. Things got a bit messy, communication problem argument. First major argument since Court Orders made.


Last weekend was my make up weekend in lieu. I requested that she pick up my daughter from school Friday and Id pick her up from the mother at 6pm. I explain that my employer wasnt happy about me leaving work 3 Fridays in a row at 1:30pm to pick up my daughter.


The mother refused and told me that from now on I had to comply strictly with court orders.


I picked my daughter up Friday, we had a great weekend. However my employer cracked the shits and retaliated for me taking Friday arvo off. Got a call late Friday afternoon from temp agency (have been place as Temp in the same position for 6 months now, struggling to get a permanent role) and has told that I wasnt required to work until Wednesday (yesterday).


So Monday I decided to enrol my daughter in after school in case I need it. And the mother come out, called the school principal and deputy principal saying she wont allow it. So theyre not accepting her enrolment.

4MYDAUGHTER
4mydaughter said
She's offered no real reason expect spurious nonsense about maintaining routines, etc.


2 weekends ago we had an incident. She wanted to take our daughter to a friends wedding on my weekend I agreed. Things got a bit messy, communication problem argument. First major argument since Court Orders made.


Last weekend was my make up weekend in lieu. I requested that she pick up my daughter from school Friday and Id pick her up from the mother at 6pm. I explain that my employer wasnt happy about me leaving work 3 Fridays in a row at 1:30pm to pick up my daughter.


The mother refused and told me that from now on I had to comply strictly with court orders.


I picked my daughter up Friday, we had a great weekend. However my employer cracked the shits and retaliated for me taking Friday arvo off. Got a call late Friday afternoon from temp agency (have been place as Temp in the same position for 6 months now, struggling to get a permanent role) and has told that I wasnt required to work until Wednesday (yesterday).


So Monday I decided to enrol my daughter in after school in case I need it. And the mother come out, called the school principal and deputy principal saying she wont allow it. So theyre not accepting her enrolment.
 
That sounds very familiar, except the OSHC issue. You'll probably have to seek orders if she's not going to be reasonable. Although, I have to wonder what the Principal's reason is if you have residency on those days. Would they take your refusal to allow something on her days (say an excursion or something) as a reason to stop it? What reason did the mother give the Principal?
Perhaps show the Principal your court orders, because they will show that you are responsible  for all decisions for the child when she is in your care.

The Principal is only worried that the school will be liable if the mother takes any action against them. If you can show the Principal that they are not in any danger of legal action, they will concede.

They may benefit from knowing your work issue and that OHSC will help you from becoming unemployed.

If that doesnt work, call the office of the  minister for education and complain that the Principal is refusing your reasonable request to use the OSHC
I spoke to the principal today.

He really doesn't want to get involved - to 'pick-a-side' so to speak.

He says the orders aren't specific enough to give him confidence to make a call either way.

But I worked out something with the Principal.

The mother told the Principal that 'she would pick up our daughter if the father couldn't - therefore no need for OHSC' or words to that effect.

So as far as the Principal is concern - the mother's given a commitment. If she meets that commitment then no worries. But - as he said - if the situation arises where the mother doesn't follow through with that commit - that being - if the mother didn't turn up to pick our daughter up for any reason when I'm unable to - then he'll allow the enrolment and put our daughter into OHSC - on the spot. He said that the mother couldn't reasonably oppose OHSC if she failed to follow through with that commitment.

But of course - he's thinking like a rational human being!

BUT WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS THIS….

When it comes to urgent school matter - isn't it possible to file an urgent application with the court for an expedited hearing?
 

4MYDAUGHTER
4MD  you are actually the spends time with parent.

No she is not contravening the orders or rather not contravening in a way that the Courts would deal with.

You are making practical arrangements just in case. This is entirely reasonable. If the time is specified in your orders - that is your time. The Principal obviously has a little problem interpreting the orders which is strange considering the NSW Dept of Education does have both a Policy and a department that deals with this.

Back to an FRC for this minor issue?
My orders are worded "child lives with the mother… except when the child lives with the father".

So 'lives with, live with' as apposed to 'lives with, spends time with' orders.

4MYDAUGHTER
My ex wife practices in that area and if she 's given your ex any advice it will account for your headache .

The simple fact is that unless there is a specifically worded order to the effect that the other parent is to be given first right of refusal, then you have nothing to worry about. Ignore her. Even if she wanted to agitate the issue she's got rice v asplund hurdles which are huge in your case, and I'd go so far as to say a costs order against her is an application you should make if she wants to take you to court.

The reality is that the family court is very much aware and alive to the trade offs and compromises that modern working families are required to make and in your case you have nothing to worry about .
I would have thought that with the wording as quoted you should be able to enrol your child in school. Shame some people are just full of spite. Good luck

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure"
Surely you are not taking this nonsense back to the courts. I must say it is so disappointing to see this back here after things had settled down after such a difficult time over the last seven years.

Whoever crafted the orders has fallen into the trap that the child lives with both parents. In law however (not real life) the child actually only lives with one parent and "spends time" with the other. An experienced practitioner would not make such an order. For all intensive purposes you should consider as Conan has rightly posted that you are a "spends time with" parent.

The time after school on Friday at that weekend is YOUR time not HER time. The court has ordered it so. She cannot determine whether you can or can't enrol her in after school care. It is completely your choice and her complaints are quite frankly ridiculous. She needs to let go, let you get on and parent in the limited and minuscule time that you have. If she has a problem with it she can always suggest mediation and pay for it while she is at it.

The school should be standing well clear of this. If you have shown them orders that you have the child from after school Friday then what you arrange with the care is your responsibility. You could also ask your employer if you could start early every second Friday say 6:30 or 7am perhaps which would allow you to get away earlier.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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4MD I agree with SECSPCA its a shame that its going a bit pear shaped after 2 years.

Remember the last bout, you were both at each other like cats and dogs, but after proceedings finished you and the ex gained back respect for each other. If it were me I would be taking the personal approach with her and trying to work things out without the need to resort back to the courts.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas
I'm concerned that the school Principal is rejecting and OSHC enrollment when he has no power to legally do so…..on the say so of the mother……for no valid reason…..when the child is in "father time". I would still ask the Dept of Ed to intervene.

It is unreasonable for the Principal to place conditions your OSHC enrollment. You are the responsible parent during this time. Do you need the ex's permission to send the child to sleep over at Grandma's when its your care time?

Im not having a go at you 4MD, just trying to give you an external persective. Your ex is being unreasonable.
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