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Time limit for serving the Parenting Order application onto the ex?

If on the date of my application, I have been given a hearing date 7 weeks later, can I delay serving the documents onto my ex until 4 and half weeks before hearing date (when I get my child for the school holidays? I ask this because I fear that the Moth

I am looking for information on how soon one has to service a Parenting Order application to the other parent after application to the Court.

I have recently just lodged my application for interim and final orders (child residence orders only), after a frantic final week trying to finalise the wording. I have been given a court date set for 7 weeks later, for what I presume is the hearing for the interim orders.

Now I am required to serve the documents on my ex, and in the Service Kit is states that for divorce cases, I have to make sure that the documents are served at least 28 days before hearing. It however makes no reference to Parenting Orders.

I want to know how long I have before serving the documents onto my ex, because in 2 and a half weeks time, I hope to get my child for the school holidays.

If I wait until I get my child for the school holidays before I serve the documents on her, then:

(i) She cannot (as I expect her to), deny me access to my child for the school holidays in response to my initiating proceedings.

(ii) She has a very explosive personality, and I do not want my son to be near her when she receives the documentation, for fear of her over-reaction.

So in short, even though upon application of my parenting orders there are 7 weeks before the first hearing, can I serve the documents onto my ex 4 and a half weeks prior to hearing?

Thanks
Hi there.

Need more info my friend - and don't panic.

I presume you are unrepresented?

Are you in the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court?

If you are in the Family Court, is it a Less Adversarial Trial (LAT)?

Are you the Applicant - ie. did you file a Form 1 - Application for Final Orders.

I have attached the Family Law Rules document for you - however, you may want to use the HTML version available online as its easier to navigate.

Attachment

4MYDAUGHTER
4mydaughter said
I presume you are unrepresented?
Yes.
4mydaughter said
Are you in the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court?
Federal Magistrates Court.
4mydaughter said
Are you the Applicant - i.e. did you file a Form 1 - Application for Final Orders.
Yes, I am the applicant.

Even though the ex knows I am doing this, she will nonetheless be surprised when she receives the documents.

I have no doubt that she will cease all my contact with my child in response.
Go to https://filesearch.familylawcourts.gov.au/cws/index

Enter your file number and client number into the dialogue box.
I have just looked over my documentation and I note that I have been given a file number, but there is no reference to a client number.

Is this an error on the part of the Court?
Hi Mate,

My experience is with the Family Court and Children's matters.

My ex withheld my daughter from contact for two months leading up to a mention hearing last year. Early last week, I filed a Notice to Admit fact. Her response to that was to withhold contact last Saturday - which happened to be my daughter's 3rd birthday. Needless-to-say, I was fairly miserable over the weekend. I can relate to your worries.

The Federal Magistrates web site is very helpful.

The Family Law Hotline (1300 352 000) is always a good first option for information.

You can always pop into Legal Aid for a free 25 minute consultation if you time during business hours.

Sorry I don't have the exact answer right this moment. I will come back to you.

4MYDAUGHTER
Phone the Family Court's information line 1300 352 000 after providing your case number, ie. SYF xxxx/2008, they will quiz you a little and provide you with your CLIENT NUMBER.

Then entering them into the dialogue box delivers you to the information that the court has on your case.

From what you have written you will be possibly asking for interim orders in respect of you contact with your children.

Accordingly, it may be a good idea to formulate your first arguments to that purpose.

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

Un update regarding my query - response from FLC enquiry desk

Folks,

I just went to the Family Court with my enquiries and this is what they told me:

(1) They provided me with my client number, which they had not noted on my application forms.

(2) Regarding a Time Limit on when I need to serve the Parenting Order application to the mother, I was told that there was NO fixed deadline to serve the documents, but they need to be served giving the other parent a 'reasonable' amount of time to respond. He said that otherwise the other parent could claim that they did not have sufficient time to respond.

I asked him what the Court considers as reasonable in these matters, and he said "no less than 7 days."

I then asked that if I served the application with 30 days prior to hearing (instead of immediately), could the Court hold this delay against me.

He said "No."

I then re-stated that the Service Kit says that the application for divorce needs to be served to the other party with at least 28 days prior to hearing, and he said that this applies to divorce matters but not to other matters.

I also stated specifically that she will be required to submit her own affidavit, so would 7 days (or 30 days) still be considered sufficient time for her to respond?

He said "yes", 7 days is enough time for her to respond.

So, as far as what I was told, it is pretty clear that I do not have to serve the application to the mother immediately. As such I will wait until I have my son for the school holidays, which still gives her over 30 days to respond to my application.

Thank you for all your assistance.
Is the other party represented?

If they are the strategy you would employ may be effective.

If the other party is self-represented-the court might give leave for more time to compete the Affidavit.

Consider an overall strategy. Are you about getting a result or something more. Emotions have little or no place in conversations with the bench.

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
Thanks for the questions verdad.

If I serve the documents now, she will stop me seeing my son over the coming school holidays.

If I serve the documents when my son is with me during the school holidays, there is not much she could do.

I take your point however and it is a very good point that I have not considered. The mother is currently un-represented and I believe that she will be so overwhelmed by the process that she will need representation, despite how much she will hate paying for it.

In any event, assuming for now that she will be self-represented, do you think the Court would consider 30 days as sufficient time for her to respond by way of her affidavit?
Isys.

Do you have a record of contact? If so and she stops contact because of orders issued then I doubt that it would bode well with a fair Magistrate/Judge, especially if it resulted in an emergency order to re-establish contact.

Certainly the Magistrate I was before, very quickly ask the question "How long since you've seen you child", the answer turned the tables somewhat, basically the Magistrate advised us to come back later, when contact had been arranged and I swear that the Magistrate also reminded her solicitor about the warning of an AVO or contempt  that he nearly received the prior week. Perhaps also get some sort of record that contact for the Holidays is to be, and then serving after that.

Perhaps you'd be able to explain to her that, if she does take action to deny the child their right to know and be cared for by both parents, then it is becoming more likely that she will be seen as one who does not look to the child's best interest. I'm not sure how she'd take this, also I'm not sure if there are actions you could take to enforce/strengthen  this.

I'm no expert, but I think altering who's party you speak  from/for, can make quite a bit of difference. That is, instead of saying "she will stop you having access", saying "she is stopping the child having access", although the same thing, can be seen more as considering the child rather than yourself. I hope that doesn't sound like me having a go, just that I think it may be advantageous to try to get thinking that way round. Perhaps some of the more experienced SRL's could comment on this facet.

P.S. If I get to say nothing else, I wish you all the best and sincerely hope that your Son gets his time with you over the holiday.
The assumption you make is seemingly a contravention if the orders you have instruct her to give you contact. What grounds do you have for this?

Allowing her to understand that you will have to proceed with a contravention application, might avert the need to file a contravention application, this might cause her to baulk.

Your comment about as to whether she will reach for for representation would be best known to you. Again this is an assumption.

Contempt requires a flagrant disrespect of the authority of the court.

There is no need for the mother to be represented if you are both there in the interests of the children.

Any behaviour by either party can be factored into how the matter is determined.

Being seen as a reasonable person by the bench whilst maintaining the integrity of your case might be considered.

As a self represented party, your ex-wife could end up with more time than you might hope for, if you do not allow her time enough to respond to the documentation.

There is more than a court matter in each case. Winning could include having a functional communication with your ex-wife and a good relationship with the children.

MikeT has a valid perspective. If your arguments are cast from what is in the best interests of your child they may have more impact. The child's rights are paramount to those of the parents in the courts realm.

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

When to serve documents

Hi Isys

Questions such as this one are best asked within the SRL-R Members area.

Generally, for Parenting Issues applications, the courts like the other party to have reasonable notice. I also note, you must have been through a mediation process of some sort, at least you must have a certificate or the FMC wont accept your application.

I expect you have also been told a copy of the intiating application must be served on the other party by hand, and not by yourself. It may become important that you can prove the documents were served.

As for the exact timing, you will need to balance the risks you perceive against the requirement to give reasonable notice.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!

No existing orders - Seeking them now

verdad said
The assumption you make is seemingly a contravention if the orders you have instruct her to give you contact. What grounds do you have for this?

Allowing her to understand that you will have to proceed with a contravention application, might avert the need to file a contravention application, this might cause her to baulk.
Thank you guys for the insights.

However let me state that there are no existing Orders. These are my first attempt to get Parenting Orders. So she is not contravening anything.

I have been seeing my child for the last few months only 2 days per fortnight, only because this is how often she would let me see him since separation. I was however hoping to have him for one week during the school holidays, and she signalled that this was possible.
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