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How to get a 50/50 child arrangement

Forum Scandalum Magnatum Forums Family Court Topics How to get a 50/50 child arrangement

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    • #182
      Travis Blaxhall
      Participant

      I’m currently in the Sydney federal circuit court trying to get them to provide a 50/50 parenting arrangement with our kids. My ex partner wants me only to have the kids every second weekend from Friday afternoon to Monday morning which I don’t want to do.

      Problem is, as soon as she filed her federal court application she also filed for a protection order at a magistrates court so when we had our 1st hearing at the federal court the judge just made interim orders that specify I only see the kids precisely the same amount that the mother is seeking.

      I thought the starting point for all parents was meant to be 50/50.

      What is the best way to ensure that I end up seeing my kids more than every second weekend as is the case now, and when does a real decision actually happen about that?

    • #191
      David Saint
      Participant

      Hey Travis
      I don’t know a lot about how the courts work and I’m not a lawyer but the presumption that both parents start off with 50/50 is, in my opinion, a joke and one of the main reasons why your X filed for a protection order.

      Once she has a temporary protection order in place its interim orders effectively destroy any start at 50/50 for both parents.

      Good luck.

      Dave.

      • #207
        Travis Blaxhall
        Participant

        Hi David,

        Thanks for your response. Your comments are welcome and align with Felix’s.

        Regards,

        Travis.

    • #204
      Felix Spencher
      Keymaster

      Hi Travis,

      There is no hard/fast rule that states children must spend equal or 50/50 time with each parent but there is something called equal shared care.

      After rigorous lobbying by fathers’ groups in 2006 when John Howard was in government Howard changed the law to make equal shared care the first preference in family matters pertaining to parenting orders.

      That meant a judge had to pass up the 50/50 shared parenting option before they looked at any other care option.

      Since 2006 there has been a significant rise in the number of children in equal shared care arrangements.

      The aforementioned change in the law brought about by the Howard government meant that the 1975 family law act was effectively amended so that it “emphasized” 50/50 parenting arrangements and referred to them as “equal shared care”.

      So, for a Judge – and here lies the real kicker – this meant that they must give equal shared care serious thought provided there was no evidence of family violence or abuse to a child.

      And now we see why false domestic abuse claims and/or questionable protection order applications that bolster Federal Circuit Court applications for parenting orders, are so popular.

      False domestic abuse claims and/or questionable protection order applications that bolster Federal Circuit Court applications for parenting orders are all about ensuring the Judge rejects the concept of equal shared care; which can facilitate alienation.

      So, as I alluded to at the start of this post, just because the legislation promotes equal shared and/or 50/50 parenting that by no means, means that equal shared care and/or 50/50 parenting is an automatic right for any parent.

      Usually when the Judge hands down their decision, irrespective of what each parent or even the child wants, above all else, the Judge must consider what is in the child’s best interests and he does that by looking at the relevant factors of section 60CC of the family law act.

      Hope that helps.

      Regards,

      Felix.

      • #206
        Travis Blaxhall
        Participant

        Hi Felix,

        Thanks for your response. Sounds like the only way to get 50/50 in my case is to defend against her protection order so she can’t use that as a means to stop a 50/50 arrangement.

        Also, how do you get a good lawyer. I mean how can you tell if you have a good one as opposed to someone that doesn’t really care.

        Regards

        Travis.

        • #232
          Jake Peterson
          Participant

          Travis,

          Unless you know/trust someone that knows a good lawyer they can recommend, the only way to know if you have a good lawyer is to interview them and then make a decision.

          But that takes time, effort, and sometimes money.

      • #235
        Jake Peterson
        Participant

        Didn’t Julia Gillard, when she was in power and/or Prime Minister, introduce some new legislation/law that made it easier for women to screw of men in D.V./relationship matters?

        • #243
          Felix Spencher
          Keymaster

          Jake,

          Around 2010 the Gillard government introduced some far-reaching changes to the family law act.

          In broad terms, aside from placing greater emphasis upon child safety whilst weakening the previous Howard government’s shared parenting laws (that many people wrongly believed meant separated fathers were automatically entitled to equal custody of their children) the changes the Gillard government brought in redefined what domestic violence is.

          The changes meant that the rights of children to have a relationship with both parents would not always be realized/prioritized. Particularly in cases where one or more parents were said to be abusive.

          These changes were said to elevate the safety of children so that they were the top priority in family law custody disputes.

          The way that it was said to work was whenever the court considered that the goal of equal shared parenting and/or the right of a child to have a relationship with both parents was in conflict with the safety needs of a child brought about by domestic abuse, the court was required to always give greater weight to child safety; which usually meant any goal of equal shared parenting and/or right of a child to have an equal relationship with both parents went out the window as soon as domestic abuse and/or family violence was alleged.

          These changes to the family law act came about after raised concerns – from Labor MPs and particularly women – that suggested the Howard government’s laws had previously been too extreme and were hurting vulnerable children.

          Personally, I don’t think the Howard government’s previous laws had been too extreme but that’s another story altogether.

          In 2006 the Howard government (before Julia Gillard’s arrival) introduced changes that placed greater importance on shared parenting when couples separated/divorced.

          It was these Howard government changes that I above refer to when I said that the previous Howard government’s shared parenting laws were mistaken by some people that wrongly believed the shared parenting laws meant that separated fathers were automatically entitled to equal custody of their children.

          Here’s the kicker though.

          Gillard’s changes to the family law act were said to be designed to ease the “evidentiary burden” on those people – including parents – that were seeking to establish within family law matters that a child faced a risk of violence and/or was exposed to domestic abuse.

          And the way the Gillard government did this was to redefine family violence so that it took on many forms including the form of, harassment, physical assaults, emotional manipulation, threatening behavior, and financial abuse.

          The net effect was that almost anything could be considered to be domestic abuse and/or family violence and therefore there were now a myriad of reasons why equal shared parenting could be considered to be in conflict with the child’s safety needs.

          The changes the Gillard government swept in expanded the definition of family violence way beyond it being one person‘s actual/threatened conduct that allegedly caused a member of a person’s family to reasonably fear or be apprehensive about their well being or safety.

          The new definition(s) included a long list of circumstances/matters, including behavior that intimidates, torments, or harasses a family member and this could be caused by repeated derogatory taunts or racial taunts, or intentionally causing death or injury to an animal or damaging property.

          Family violence also included unreasonably controlling, deceiving/dominating a family member and it could be brought about by denying a family member financial autonomy or preventing a family member from making or keeping connections with family, friends or culture.

          Family violence would also include threatening to commit suicide with the intention of tormenting or intimidating a family member.

          Whilst, on the surface it all sounded nice/fair and as if the child’s best interests were paramount, another interpretation of the new changes the Gillard government brought in was that a spouse only had to “feel” scared/concerned, for the definition of family violence to be met. And once that definition is met then s/he is considered to be the aggrieved and then, of course, equal shared parenting goes out the window.

          Furthermore, how could one parent possibly ever prove that the other parent didn’t “feel” scared?

          Or, even if it was proven/accepted that she was genuinely scared/apprehensive, how could you ever prove they were not simply scared because of the uncertainty pertaining to the relationship breakdown.

          Gillard’s changes to the family law act don’t seem to care about those conundrums; as the parent/claimant only has to “feel” apprehensive/scared about their well being or safety.

          As such, in the rush to supposedly “ease the evidentiary burden” on those seeking to establish that a child faced the risk of violence and/or might be exposed to domestic abuse, the Gillard government introduced a wide set of new definitions for family violence and/or domestic abuse that, not only means almost anything can constitute family violence and/or domestic abuse – but also that some forms of alleged domestic abuse can’t be disproven.

          Hope that helps.

          Felix.

    • #211
      Dasya Singh
      Participant

      Hi Travis,

      Sorry to hear about what has happened to you.

      I had a similar thing happen to me recently.

      I wish you all the best

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