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Obstructed telephone contact by Mother's new Partner

This is a situation where a Dad reported that the Mother's partner obstructed his telephone contact with the Children.

HI,

I had a Dad ring me yesterday and he was quite angry. He rang his Children on the Tuesday between 7 pm and 8 pm as stipulated in his Court Orders and as he always does year in year out. But to his surprise not the Children nor the Mother picked up the phone, no it was her partner. So far so good, the partner wanted to have "a few words" to Dad and told him to stop sending the Mother emails or this would not be the last time they are having a chat. Dad faxed me through his Orders and there is one Order that says all communication between the parties shall take place by email unless there is an emergency. As I assumed correctly at the time things were tense between Dad and Mum and there were some emails thrown at each other which were of rather nasty nature.

Dad is now asking me how he can stop a third part from obstructing his telephone contact. I can see where Dad is coming from, the purpose of this phone call is solely to talk to the Children and Dad feels this is highly inappropriate behavior for third parties to pick up that phone call to run an argument with him. It can only be assumed that the Children wouldn't be far or at least in the same house/unit. Dad also explained that the obstruction upset him to the extent that he couldn't enjoy the call with his Children.

Dad wanted to take out an AVO, but I found there is no grounds as the partner did not threaten him. Dad then wanted to run a contravention, and I explained to him although the partner initially refused to put the Children on the phone, he did do so, in other words the contact occured.

Dad is asking me what to do here and all I could offer him is the advice to make damn sure he does not enter into any type of conversation with a third party and to just keep on saying "can you put the kids on please". However if there is somebody on here with some other ideas or experience…..then please share.


 

General Obligation Created by a Parenting Order

I would suggest 2 things 1/ A very polite email drawing his ex-wife's attention to

FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 - SECT 65NA

General obligations created by parenting order that deals with whom a child communicates with              (1)  This section applies to a parenting order that is in force in relation to a child to the extent to which the order deals with whom the child is to communicate with.

             (2)  A person must not:

                     (a)  hinder or prevent a person and the child from communicating with each other in accordance with the order; or

                     (b)  interfere with the communication that a person and the child are supposed to have with each other under the order.

and asking her to bring this to her current Husband/Partner's attention. No further threats or challenges, just the information.

2/ Learn not to be provoked by outside influences that diminish his relationship with his child(ren). Because if the other party figure out they have found a button, they might just keep pushing it which in the end will only lead to more time consuming litigation and agrevation.

It is a basic principle … never give the other side any emotional ammunition to feed on or throw back at you. Easier said than done, but well worth the effort.

Remember - "The last word" has no meaning in Family Law unless it belongs to a JUDGE




For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
BB said
Dad is now asking me how he can stop a third part from obstructing his telephone contact. I can see where Dad is coming from, the purpose of this phone call is solely to talk to the Children and Dad feels this is highly inappropriate behavior for third parties to pick up that phone call to run an argument with him. It can only be assumed that the Children wouldn't be far or at least in the same house/unit. Dad also explained that the obstruction upset him to the extent that he couldn't enjoy the call with his Children.

Dad is asking me what to do here and all I could offer him is the advice to make damn sure he does not enter into any type of conversation with a third party and to just keep on saying "can you put the kids on please". However if there is somebody on here with some other ideas or experience…..then please share.
A couple of sections of the key changes made to the Family Law Act last year that may be of interest to you are as follows:

60b Meaningful involvement

-   Willingness for each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with children ensuring that children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives.

60CC Attitude of Parents

-   Again it is reinforced that willingness for each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with children for the other parent is now a major item in determining factors.
-   The Court must consider the attitude of the parents where they have taken or failed to take, the opportunity to spend time with the child etc and facilitate the other parent doing these things.
-   Primary sections defined "the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents"

63DA Equal and Substantial Time (Cont.)

-   "Substantial and significant time" is defined as time, including week days, which allows the parent to be involved in the child's daily routine and both parent and child to be involved in occasions of special significance to each other. (Includes telephone contact)

I would suggest these sorts of things are reminded to her in a politely worded email. I would also suggest that they try the new Family relationship Center (FRC) and see if they can get a better working relationship. It is extremly difficult when the "lives with parent" decides to be so obstructive in this case through her new live in partner.  :|



Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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