78 Comments Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
Make sure you are clear on this. You are paying for something you might want to amend? You need everything agreed before drafting. I'd be making sure it's a fixed fee to draft to final for the court if that's where it's going. I think usually you'd pay to a trust fund. Consider using a credit card then you may have some recourse if they don't deliver. Make sure if it's going to court you're not about to get stuffed for fees there too.
yep - that is a concern. but it is a cheaper bet than making a big deal over it. Short version is I reckon you pay it, remember, she will also ow the solicitor $900 and if she wants to start making changes you can say either NOPE OR if you agree Fine BUT at her expense.
Look lets just hope you pay the $$$ and she signs, that will be a bucket load cheaper than making a court application and running a case through to final hearing. IF she mucks you around then you've lost $900 BUGGER...
I also reckon you'd be able to at least TRY to get your $900 back from the solicitor because the solicitor ain't representing you...
Look you could hedge your bets and agree to pay half up-front and the other half once the ex has signed.. But I think you'e complicating matters. Sometimes our judgements get clouded because of the emotions of it all. I reckon pay the money and hope it gets sorted.
No, he wants me to pay $900 this week so he can do it and get made into orders upon signature.
We have agreed on everything (before being written in consent draft) i just don't want to pay the $900 (half of cost) and get the draft and there is something added by her and lawyer.
etc. changeovers are at ...... ...... but only the father can pick child up etc.
Maybe i am being paranoid as original email, said :my client agrees with your proposal all for the following changes," and there was nothing about who/who cant deliver the child to changeover.
Just dont want to pay the money then next week get an email/draft saying..."my sister can pick child Up from changeover or partner cant" etc...
wouldnt put it beyond her, but she is paying the $900 too, so one would hope not.
mentally ill people do stupid things though.
yup solicitors are arrogant.
look pay the $$$ then when you get the orders you can seek clarification / request amendments. If there is stuff that you didn't agree to tell the solicitor to remove it.
And next time solicitor tells you to get a lawyer, tell solicitor to get a real job...
Don't sweat the small stuff... IF stuff gets added write to solicitor and request clarification. Who is paying for that? yep the ex...
OR lets look at this differently - just get the orders then seek clarification. Maybe solicitor meant 'stop wasting their time' because as self representers we sometimes make silly mistakes, given everything has been agreed, I reckon the terminology will be neutral. As in - Change over to occur at 2pm at XXX. so it doesn't specify dad or mum or anyone else.
Let hope you're worrying about nothing.
emca01 2016-03-22 17:58:43
Firstly, $900 is cheap to have consent orders drawn.
Depending on solicitor the total $1800 could be anywhere from 2 hours or 4. Crickey, it's hell cheaper than private mediation.
With your "little questions", I agree the lawyer responded to you rudely, but they gave you the correct direction. That is, you will need to seek legal advice else where. They are her lawyers and not yours and as yet, there is still a potential to go to court so lawyer needs to remain available to their client.
I would be requesting an amendment to the order stating, "Upon the orders being sealed with XYZ court, party A will provide party b (or the solicitor) the sum of $900"
And do not pay a cent before hand: Sorry cynical person here - I understand how things are not final until lodged with court.
If we were asked to pay money to my partner's ex's solicitor, the response would have been "Over my dead body".
Then again, I'm also a third-year law student and I have worked in law firms for years, so I suppose my partner has an 'unfair advantage' when it comes to drafting his own minute of consent orders for consideration by the ex.
Why don't you have a look at some orders made by the court to work out what you should and shouldn't include and try drafting them yourself, reflective of what has been agreed with your ex, and then sending them to the lawyer 'for your client's consideration'?
Sonata - I see it as a gesture of good will to get it sorted without court. SO if she doesn't sign the consent orders that he has been good enough to pay for well she has let the team down. I don't expect he's gonna agree to pay her legal expenses IF it goes to trial.
Mate it will let you know where you stand, if she mucks this up then go to trial get court orders and hold her to account.
From my experience and from experience of others whom I know have gone through same - it's common for the parties to share the cost of drafting consent orders once the matters have been decided on.
In my case I had legal representation. But saying that, it didn't stop the ex blowing out the costs cause he kept changing his mind after consent.
very interesting... talking to people over the weekend and from response on here, it looks like it is 50/50 peoples views on what i am doing.
We have agreed on all the main things, eg. time spent, changeovers, birthdays, xmas, holidays, if child is sick.
Only worry is if she then adds things once i have paid half like, demands.
which she is capable of, but im hoping that as she is paying the $900 too, she will want it sorted.
A worry is she trys to demand what i do and who child sees when i have the child.
I'd expect her to add things / change things / make stupid requests... I was in a similar position.... She wanted dumb things added. I got mighty PI**ED off because I'd agreed to pay for my solicitor to write the thing up and she kept wanting things changed...
BUT - While it was annoying, I managed to stay calm. Best advice I can give is STAY FOCUSSED ON THE PRIZE...
So let me give ya a stupid example... She wanted something about her having the first option to book a time for parent teacher night and I had to ensure that I was not on the school premises when she was there. So my options?
1. Say no -tell her that was stupid (it is) and lose the deal.
2. Smile and nod... Realise that IF I happened to bump into her - there would be no consequences. IT was just her trying to flex her muscles because she was on some crazy power trip AND If I ever did bump into her at parent teacher night - She could lodge a contravention and then I could go to court and watch the magistrate laugh at her.. So I agreed to the stupid change.
I smiled and nodded and got 5 nights a fortnight, which was the prize. NOTHING ELSE matters except time with kids.
BUT that said - I reckon this just might give you some leverage. So for example I'm assuming half school holidays??? IF she comes back at you with something stupid that she wants added and it is something that you can deal with just agree BUT you might also be able to bounce back with preparedness to agree BUT only if she agrees to a change that you want.
Let me give you 4 big ones that you REALLY want in your orders if it aint to late.
1. You pick up the kids from school / preschool.... You can tell her it is because it gives you a chance to be involved in their school life. BUT the real reason is it will make it harder for her to withhold the kids.
2. Make sure the orders clearly articulate who has the first weekend after holiday periods. Just stops arguments about the sequence of weekends. (I'm assuming alternate weekends)
3. That in the event that she can't supervise the kids she MUST give you the opportunity to have that time. (this aint a real big one, because lets face it, if she doesn't comply, what are you gonna do? Yup nuffink - but it is a nice idea)
4. Have the orders clearly state that you follow the gazetted school holidays of your state as advertised at a specific site. So let me give you an example. This is the nsw dept of education site
NB: They state the holidays begin on the Monday. So school finishes on the Friday BUT the advertised holidays begin on the MONDAY. WHO CARES? well my ex does. See every bloody holidays she would change her mind about when the holidays started. Her favourite trick was to include the student free days as 'holidays' BUT only when I had to have the kids on those days. I'm a teacher. So it stuffed me around. Depending on a range of possibilities I could lose 5 days over summer holidays based on how she chose to manipulate things.... And she would always win because she would simply tell me that she wasn't gonna agree, I was being a problem, the child support agency said.... blah blah.
So when we agreed to change the orders I insisted on having the nsw gazetted holidays added in. So no more arguments about when the holidays start / end...
One we struggle on is changeovers.
She has no problem coming up to the car and abusing me/banging on the car etc.
Also, only wants ME to drive to the changeovers (not my partner/mum/dad) which sometimes has to happen due to work whatever.
So we have before tried to say, child is 7 so park 50m away and stand at your own car.
She will then say NO AGREEMENT...I have to walk the child to the Dads car due to safety and tuck him in the child seat and do seat belt off before i leave him.
Just some of the sh*t i have to put up with.
Just for this consent order, i have just made it easy saying, "the child will be picked up from "suchn such" at 5pm on Friday and returned to "suchnsuch" on 5pm on the Sunday.
she has agreed.
but when i pay $900 and consent order draft comes out i dont want it saying "ONLY THE FATHER CAN DROP CHILD OFF AND PICK HIM UP"
stuff like that
Back to your original post - lawyers get paid up front. I realise you've come a long way, so if you have concerns on big issues flag them up now, don't wait for the orders drafted, if she' changes something small then weigh up if you can accept it or not. If it's a big change then maybe you write off the monies paid.
As you say or imply, even once drafted the orders don't mean much if someone contravenes them. And usually you can agree any change you want by consent. Again, one assumes if she's accepting something as consent maybe she knows a court would not entertain her for long,
If you cooperate you don't really need orders, they're just a guide - if someone wants to mess you around the orders won't stop them.
lets just wait and see..
U'm I'd be very inclined to tell solicitor that he made a mistake by drafting orders that don't reflect the agreement AND don't reflect what you've paid for and as such he needs to work it out with HIS client to sort it OR pay you the $$ back.
Consent orders SADLY can not make a twit stop being a twit. So you're gonna have to get used to the stupidity of her antics at change overs. For what it is worth my kid quickly noticed how at change overs daddy gives them a hug and says Hello OR good bye AND mummy did crazy stuff... They noticed and that has shaped their current understanding... GOOD
emca01 2016-03-28 13:17:07
Thanks Emca - we have decided to wait 24 hours more before depositing the money.
Just added two or three things via email before depositing.
That way there are no nasty surprises next week when we get official draft.
We have also want to attach a paragraph with our money so if sh*t does happen, we get the $900 back.
eg. if she completely changes email agreement.
The three added clauses were accepted by ex and lawyer which is good.
Will deposit the money tomorrow.
again, does anyone think they know what i should write when i have sent the money?
eg. sent $900 for drafting/filing/sealing of orders.
If anything major is added by your partie that we cant agree with, we want our money back.
something to that affect,
mate look I really would not worry. The solicitor should have the brains to realise that they have an obligation to write the orders in accordance with the agreement and not change stuff just because the ex is a nutter. In fact he really should refuse to make any changes once you've put your hand in your pocket to pay for it.
yep look - I do hope it works out and I realise your cynicism. But I still reckon a $900 investment is worth the punt.... If it works out great - If not oh well... But $900 is cheaper than court and it will get you the result your after heaps faster too...
Besides - I hate to say it but I reckon you're off to court eventually anyways because she'll breach the orders or do something else dumb. BUT you'll get to court quicker and get a better result IF you have consent orders stamped by the court than IF you don't... (BUT I really hope I'm wrong and you'll be seeing your kid as per the agreement, it seems like you've been posting here for ever...) MADNESS
No idea but I would have thought no and ...
- no because the intervention order is presumably between you and your ex. So as long as the consent orders work in terms of you seeing the child it shouldn't be an issue.
- i believe the intervention order can be withdrawn? If it is a problem then logically your ex could consent or apply for it to be withdrawn?
Both parties have to sign every page... (I think you have to do it in-front of a witness and that witness needs to be a JP...)
The avo shouldn't be a problem. I had an avo against me and the courts still ticked off on consent orders for me to have 5 nights a fortnight...
IF memory serves you have to complete an application for consent orders. Even though my twit OOPS I mean ex wife said that she had concerns for her wellbeing and the wellbeing of the kids...
The next question of the application she had to explain why she feared for her wellbeing and she answered "see avo paperwork attached" EVEN with that and an AVO I got my consent orders...
Gee I was hoping to get some good news from you soon... Keep us updated...
Ta Emca-got the drafts back Fri night.
It looks all good to me, as good as it can be without going to court that is.
We are Going to sign this week i believe.
Very favoured in ex-wifes favour but some contact with orders is better than none.
a few ridiculour clauses eg. if childs bday falls on dads weekend it is forefetied and i get following week...if mothers bday is on my weekend i forefiet and get following weekend, but hey what can you do.
Mother to have every xmas.
Hamilton, those orders are not very fair at all. And the last one you just quoted, could be a way for the mother to spend time with the child when the child is in your care. It is very poorly worded.
There is no reason why you should not be able to spend some time with your child on their birthday, and there is no reason why you can't spend time with the child on Christmas day. Or rather the child spend time with you. Unless there is a history of violence to the child, then no judge would NOT allow the child to spend time with you on special occasions. Her lawyer has drafted them in such a way that is certainly not in the best interest of the child spending time with you and your family.
And I suspect that there is no prevision for these orders to change as the child gets older. Is this really what you want to be stuck with?
Look i agree in part, on both sides really.
I would strike out the clause to spend "substantial time" while parent is I other's care: What does that mean anyway? It will only cause conflict down the track.
Child should spend time with both parents. Maybe something like parents spends between 4pm-7pm which child if the child is in the other care.
With mothers birthday the wording is awkward, But you are not forfeiting time. Essentially you are swapping weekends, better wording would be to "if child is in the fathers care for the mothers care, the parties swap weekends by agreement and failing agreement to the following weekendS"
Remember once the orders are signed and accepted by the court they generally are until kid is 18(. And you need a substantial change to have them revisited unless it's by consent.
I would not worry about the 'substantial time' comment....
How to define substantial time? I know CSA use it to quantify % of care and if that was the meaning then dad would have to spend about 30% of his life with the ex. I reckon it is a non-statement. Unquantifiable nonsense. Bit like my old orders that said that 'neither party shall speak derogatorily towards the other... See my ex felt that saying I have a small penis, wasn't derogatory - just stating a fact - mind you she didn't complain at the time I helped her conceive 3 kids...
cats mother - I also agree there is no reason why dad cant see kids at Christmas / birthdays... BUT if mum wont agree then that will only happen thru court... How much money do you really need to spend to get something kind of closer to fair? Oh and even when you get alternate Christmas etc, what happens when the ex don't show???
emca01 2016-04-25 20:00:06
Wow those orders you are having done up do not seem very fair at all! I would certainly be looking at changing that Christmas is with mother on even years, father odd years or something like that. Do you want to not see your child/ren at this time?
Why not write it in that should mother/Father's Day fall on other parents weekend that you will swap to the following to allow each parent the day with child/ren. Birthdays - I would think the children would like to see both parents if practical, unless you are totally happy with these orders I would not sign. They will hold true until child/ren are 18... That could be a very long time to miss out on special occasions with your children!
Sorry I do add. Have no idea about your situation, only going off what I have been told by my lawyers and legal aid as what is fair for both parties and what a judge is likely to rule on anyway.
I hope you can work it out to make you happy. Sometimes it is easier to let the other side 'win' but always remember it's your children your fighting to see.
I know they are not fair...but when you have hardly seen you're child for 2-3 years and dont want to go to court, and your ex has depression and is a nutter and hardly agrees to ANYTHING and makes up stories so everyone feels sorry for her...what do you do.
Ecma-substantial time comment did worry me a bit, but you think leave it?
We do have a clause the-all other times are agreed only through email.
"That both parties be in substantial attendance when the children, or either of them are in their care".....that is the way it is worded.
Lawyer says i can sign this week and they will let visitation starts in 2 weeks before judge hopefully stamps it.?
yep look I think it is innocuous - bit like when my orders said we were not to belittle, deride or abuse the other parent in the presence of the children.... Didn't stop her...
Look my concern is when you drop the kids back and they say they spend some time with step mum when dad was at work and as a result mum says you have not been complying with the orders because you've not been supervising the kids and uses that as ground to withhold the kids. Sadly, that is what you're dealing with.... MY ex once decided she no longer had to comply with the court orders because they say "by agreement" as and at other times 'by agreement' BUT my nutter decided that she was just gonna focus on the 'by agreement' and as she no longer agreed with the orders I wasn't gonna see the kids.... Somehow that seemed perfectly logical to her.....
Short version is that if the ex is gonna withhold the kids she will find a reason to do so. BTW if it said something like "if one parent does not be in attendance of both children for more than XXX hours then that person accepts that their time will be suspended for XXX weeks...." So that offending statement is just guff - how is she gonna know how much time the kids spend in the care of their granny of who -ever and really if the kids spend 4 hours with their granny while dad is at work or what ever WELL good....
Look I'd leave it. It really means nothing and to get it removed is just more money on solicitors letters and more crazy sh*t. Just get the things signed so you can see your kids.
signing tomorrow hopefully.
a couple of others were a log book to be in child bag each time and maintained (i guess this is common)
I did ask her a non-communication clause but it says minimal communication between parties adt drop offs.
and there was suppose to be a distance clause between the 2 cars which there isnt...
thanks for help
yep look consent orders are not gonna make her stop being a twit...
So when it comes to change overs just remember to stay calm.... Best thing I ever did was take control... So I used to even practice.... I'd practice saying 'thanks for the information" OR 'thanks for the update' JUST repeat ad-nausiu. Just don't get caught up in crazy world...
The log book is a bit of a worry... But I doubt you've gone thru all this crap only to leave the kids with aunty, or the neighbour or what ever... But it is definitely crazy behaviour.
This comment from an ICL was reproduced in a recent judgement by a Chief Justice and does sum up the fact there's not a great penalty for being difficult in parenting matters in court. The failing, if any, lies in not dealing more firmly with obstructive parents - not in opting out of the system with a consent order.
"However, the Family Court is sadly, littered with judicial findings that parties have lied, been deceitful or been â€œless than candid.â€ Further, it is submitted that the usual penalty or consequence for a lie, is a loss of some kind or, having a cost order made against them. The penalty of a prosecution referral appears, to the Independent Childrenâ€™s Lawyer, to be something that happens in rare circumstances."
Hamilton, if for any reason the court didn't approve the orders, I'd ask the lawyer what there is to stop you and your ex simply using the orders you've drawn up as a code of conduct, which you both abide by. It's not legally binding but it's something you've agreed.
I know the consent orders are so far in the ex's favour and yes it is because she has been obstructive.
Lies to get intervention orders etc.
withholding child. etc.
we are simply doing consent orders so at least we can see child.
advice i got was because i live 3 hours away and this has gone on for ages, the ex will find a way in court o make the process go on and on and will cost me thousands.
anyway- i will sign this afternoon.
How did it go? Did you sign the orders and all the other paperwork that goes with consent orders? Were they lodged the same day with the Family Court? And do you have your own stamped copy yet or will you be waiting for that in the post?
But more importantly, when will you be seeing your child?
remind me again - how old are the kid(s)?
Yep that sounds like a crap deal. Maybe it suits you with work etc.... OR maybe when the dust settles in a year or so, you could ask for more time...
Short version - there are other options available down the track. Hope 13th aint a bad omen... But I reckon you've had enough bad luck just by meeting this twit... Let alone having a kid with her...
Sad it has taken this long...
emca01 2016-05-02 20:16:54
Unfortunately some women get like this.
For the first year after amicable separation co-parenting was fine 50/50.
Then i met another girl and ever since that day she has made it a living hell.
Looking back obviously three years ago i should have applied for interim orders after first mediation but always felt after i had been with my new partner (now fiance) she would settle.
How wrong was I.
Moving forward, hopefully she signs this week and orders are stamped and every third weekend goes well, and yes hopefully can up it in a few years.
Just got correspondence...I left the date out on one of the pages.
Signed all pages and dated, but one page had no date.
So just re-sent paperwork express post to lawyer again.
Time Spent is meant to start next Fri...surely once his client signs on Friday, they wont change starting date because not stamped will they?
There isn't a 'they'.... There is just you and the ex.... IF she decides not to let you see the kid until the orders are stamped by the court, there is nothing you can do about it.... So she has no legal obligation to provide you access until the orders are stamped by the court. So I reckon don't expect to see the kid next Friday... I hope I'm wrong.
Of course it makes sense given that it all seems to be in agreement, but the orders are not legally binding until they have been approved by the court...
stay calm and don't argue. If she doesn't agree for you to have the kid, well suck it up as another reason not to ever send her a mother's day card.
Mate I'd see it as a bit of a litmus test - IF she screws you over on that one, then expect her to screw you over when your kid gets invited to a party and your ex wants to attend with the kid, or some other BS. That way you can start planning for what to do when the madness continues.... I really hope it doesn't. BUT....
emca01 2016-05-03 19:29:10
well that is a big win.... My ex refused until the paperwork got returned from the court... Another month of delays.... .. Bloody tempting to keep the kid for the duration until the orders get returned just so you can say to her SHE cant see the kid until there are court orders.... (oh I am evil) - but don't do it...
I thought i would check in.
I saw my child (7) for only the fourth time in 18 months (first night/weekend).
Was a great weekend.
Thanks to all help on here especially Emca and Calmar.
I know the orders favour the mother heaps (i have every third weekend and 1/2 summer hols only) but some meaningful time is better than none.
Been told orders getting stamped this week.