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Saying hello and asking about Family reports

Saying hello and asking about Family reports

I thought I'd introduce myself, after looking around the site for a few days.

I am, or will be a SRL in Family proceedings in the Federal Magistrates Court, scheduled for hearing in December.

I have three lovely children, two boys 10 and 5 and a daughter who is 8. The ex and I have had consent orders in place for several years. We have gradually worked up to what is now pretty much 50/50 care on a halfish a week each basis. Although she and I live 60kms apart, the orders have worked well until now with a lot of effort on both sides.

She's applied to change the orders because she wants the children to go to Catholic School. I don't have the funds to pay for this (and she's not asking), but I do have a philosophical objection to them attending a religious school, (both of us were agnostics when married for the record). I don't believe they will receive in any way a better education at such a school.

At the same time she wants to change the arrangement of days we have had for several years, which I believe has worked well for the past few years.

Obviously we've done the mediation and the stuffing around (application was made early last year). And a family report has been ordered and a Report writer allocated.

My next step is preparing my affidavit for the Court deadline, and obviously, having the Family Report done.

All of the above is just the basics really, I guess I just wanted to introduce myself. And if possible, get the lowdown on how the Family Report process runs, and what to expect with that.

What is missing?

The orders are working well and they have ordered a family report! This is a contradiction - information is missing.
Note that Catholic schools are not all about religion. Your arguments would be easily defeated in court.

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. 
Welcome to the site.

More information will yield better advice. From what you have said, it must be remembered that many non-religious people send their children to catholic schools.

You are also vague on the change in days and what prompted this change. This is the real nub of your argument in court.

A family report is an additional expense and not usually ordered for situations where all is well, but mum and dad can't agree on a couple of sticking points.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
The schooling issue should be determined quite quickly as a single issue. Make sure your material annexes all relevant info from all the alternate schools and be ready to argue the merits of the schools in terms of curriculum and what they have to offer. Also consider convenience, transport, distance from the 2 homes etc. As Monti said it is NOT so much about Catholicism, but education.
The change in live with/spend time with Application troubles me. How did she get over the Rice and Asplund threshold? Was this even raised?
T12 said
The schooling issue should be determined quite quickly as a single issue. Make sure your material annexes all relevant info from all the alternate schools and be ready to argue the merits of the schools in terms of curriculum and what they have to offer. Also consider convenience, transport, distance from the 2 homes etc. As Monti said it is NOT so much about Catholicism, but education.
The change in live with/spend time with Application troubles me. How did she get over the Rice and Asplund threshold? Was this even raised?
 

A&P - because the actual contact arrangements are different from the consent orders. The 5 year old is now at school. These are major changes.

Monti - a Family report is not necessarily contradictory to the facts as described. I'd imagine the views of the eldest child might be relevant in consideration of the issues.

Does the Mother say you are spending the 50/50 time spend with children or is she disputing this?

4MYDAUGHTER
4mydaughter said
A&P - because the actual contact arrangements are different from the consent orders. The 5 year old is now at school. These are major changes.
 
Major changes are if the schooling arrangements are substantially different from pre schooling arrangements. The child attending school is not necessarily a change of circumstances (R&A) - because it was an expected scenario.

4mydaughter said
Monti - a Family report is not necessarily contradictory to the facts as described. I'd imagine the views of the eldest child might be relevant in consideration of the issues.
 
As Monti says 'not enough information' - however if the orders are 'working well' it is somewhat contradictory unless the dynamics indicate that contact time is a serious issue.
We do not know whether Rice and Asplund was argued and it may well be that an FM has seen orders and contact arrangements that are radically different and then two parents who now cannot agree and because of the high school issue has sent it for a Family Report.

4mydaughter said
Doesthe Mothersay you are spending the 50/50 time spend with children or is she disputing this?

Even if she agrees this has occurred - the orders are different - and she could argue - "this was until the eldest child attended high school"
Perhaps 50/50 has not been in place for a long period of time. If this has been in place for a period of time he could argue a 'practice has developed'.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Just a quick response to say thank you for your replies.

As I understand it, Rice and Asplund does not apply as it has been more than two years since the consent orders were made. Even so, my solicitor (when I was represented), did make this argument originally, and the first order I am seeking is that the case be dismissed (on that basis).

I should be working, but I'm going to try and respond quickly to a few issues…

The orders are working well and they have ordered a family report! This is a contradiction - information is missing.

  Although I have been very brief in the info I have provided. That is the basics. We have been unable to come to a resolution in Court mediation and private negotiations. We haven't been able to resolve it. Neither of us have issues with the other's parenting ability. Both of us want to continue the 50/50 care. The issues in dispute are schooling and the arrangement of the time. There are some concerns regarding the travel - but as I said, I believe the orders have been successful thus far. Although, on that point, the ex argues otherwise regarding travelling and how the time is structured.

Although it might be unusual, I guess the Magistrate has ordered the report so as to have as much information as possible to make a decision.

You are also vague on the change in days and what prompted this change.

  For obvious reasons I'm going to remain vague on some facts including the proposals she makes for change and what the current arranegment is. My ex is very internet savvy and I don't want to compromise anything. I will comment on what (I think) prompted the change. She has a new partner whose child attends this school. The partner will be paying for the fees.

The schooling issue should be determined quite quickly as a single issue. Make sure your material annexes all relevant info from all the alternate schools and be ready to argue the merits of the schools in terms of curriculum and what they have to offer. Also consider convenience, transport, distance from the 2 homes etc. As Monti said it is NOT so much about Catholicism, but education.
Thank you, I have already done this in  the original affadavit, and will expand on that topic with annexures and information in the next. I'll avoid focussing on the religion issue.
because the actual contact arrangements are different from the consent orders

  "Contact" arrangents are exactly as the orders. Provision was made regarding Primary School, with High School to be decided through mediation if necessary. On that point, she didn't bother. She went straight for the application to Court. She does not dispute we share 50/50

Again, many many thanks for your responses. It is a very anxious and lonely time for me at the moment. I take some comfort and much confidence in knowing many of you have been here before.
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