11 Feb False Promises
Unfortunately for some of our clients in recent months, they have been left to wait for lengthy Court delays to have their parenting matters heard.
This will, on occasion, mean that the other parent is able to leverage off the delay and punish the other party, either as a result of the commencement of the Court proceeding or for some other, often unknown, reason.
The stars were aligned for about a two week period late last year, where we found ourselves having to challenge our clients about the need to wait for “an offer” or for the other parent to “calm down” where a pattern of behaviour had already occurred, something we see time and time again, where one parent is controlling or seeking to dictate the parenting arrangements.
In all of the 5 cases we saw over that 14-day period, each client needed to commence Court proceedings to seek to have parenting arrangements put in place allowing them to spend regular time with their child/ren.
Given the delays in the Courts, especially when factoring in the recent Christmas/January Court closure period, this meant that an extra-lengthy delay was faced by some in not being able to see their child/ren for an extended period.
In 4 of those 5 cases, the other parent was playing games with our client in seeking to have them believe that either time with their child would be forthcoming, their Solicitor would be sending “an offer” or that the unilaterally imposed time would increase in the future.
Whilst occasionally these promises do eventuate, in most circumstances they do not and Court proceedings become a necessary evil. Most matters do settle once in the Court system; however it takes a Judge or a family report writer to educate the parties on the need for both parents’ right to spend time with the child and have a meaningful relationship with their child/ren.
Mediation is able to assist the vast majority of parents reach agreement about the intricacies of their parenting arrangements, however if you find yourself in a Family Lawyer’s office asking for more time and your co-parent is either not facilitating any time or not facilitating time you are entitled to under the parenting laws, then Court proceedings, whilst a last resort may be required.
Clients of ours who do opt to wait it out, invariably return and have lost several more weeks in waiting time for Court and with young children often involved, this is valuable bonding time not being spent by the parent with their child.