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Changes to Pre-Hearings at SSAT

No longer mediated outcomes

Just a quick note for those contemplating SSAT appeals for CSA decisions. I was advised by SMS that I have a pre-hearing scheduled for the very near future. I rang them because I never recieved the notification by mail beforehand.  I was concerned that I've not been given a financial disclosure form to return and thought it might affect our ability to work towards some sort of compromise if possible.

The SSAT case manager informed me that "they've got a new CEO and the way they operate is changing, but the website has not yet been updated." Apparently this new CEO has decided that the SSAT is not for mediated outcomes. According to the case manager, this means that the pre-hearing is an "information session" where both parties are advised how the hearing will run, and what information they will need to provide for consideration.

That's quite different to what is presented on their website and also in many threads here, so I thought I'd share. It's a bit dodgy for me, because I'd been preparing for something quite different. I'll drop a note back here to outline the procedure once I see what happens.
So on one hand the government says it wants to reduce the conflict in family law matters and on the other hand a creature of government chnages the way it does business.  I wonder if they told government about the changes?
Well, I've done the pre-hearing, and it was exactly the way the case manager described. The only people on the call were the ex, myself and the tribunal member. He ran through the procedure, gave an overview of the appeal, got us each to comment on the general case. He then directed us to provide different docs, eg pay slips, proof  of payment of school fees, then set a hearing date.

He stated up front that the procedure had changed, but only mentioned that they were now recorded, and that the pre-hearing member could now sit on the hearing.

I imagine that the second point combined with the lack of any type of CSA representation means that there is no possible way for a compromise or mediated solution. Certainly no outcome except for a full hearing was mentioned.
This unilateral change in the way the first external appeal process is conducted needs to be taken up with the relevant Ministers without delay.  
Bigred said
This unilateral change in the way the first external appeal process is conducted needs to be taken up with the relevant Ministers without delay.
Who by? the overworked SPCA people or a new generation to replace the tired veteran warriors.
Well Conan it depends on how strongly people might feel about it as an issue.  Me?  I feel strongly and have made my peronal views known in the right places.  Suggest others do the same if they share my outrage.  Obviously you don't see a winding back of rights as important.
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