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Family Report attendance
#1
My ex has just been interviewed by the family report writer, but I have not yet been contacted.

Does the report writer always interview both parents, or do they sometimes rely on only what one parent says?
 
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#2
Hi, Clark,The object of the family report is to get a balanced view of all sides, and so both parents as well as the children (to the extent possible) would normally be interviewed. 

That's not to say that all will *rely* on both parents.
 
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#3
(25-Jul-2015, 03:46 PM)Dr Travis Gee Wrote: Hi, Clark,The object of the family report is to get a balanced view of all sides, and so both parents as well as the children (to the extent possible) would normally be interviewed. 

That's not to say that all will *rely* on both parents.

Hi Dr Gee.


Well, as an update, I was never contacted by the family report writer. Our hearing is set for this November, and I still have no idea whether a family report was written, and if it was, whether I will get a copy of it.

I am a self-represented litigant, and as such, I contacted the ICL who has been appointed to our case, first by email and then 2 weeks later by phone.

She did not respond to my email, but over the phone she said: "It is inappropriate of you to contact me directly."

When I said that I have no other option as I am an SRL, she told me that I should get a lawyer and then she will talk to the lawyer.

I do not have the money to get a lawyer, but is this the only way that I can get a copy of the family report before our hearing? I just want to ensure that I can prepare to address any claims that it makes that I think are not accurate, and as such I do not want to read it for the first time on the morning of our hearing. 
 
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#4
(29-Sep-2016, 06:55 AM)Clark Wrote: Well, as an update, I was never contacted by the family report writer. Our hearing is set for this November, and I still have no idea whether a family report was written, and if it was, whether I will get a copy of it.

I am a self-represented litigant, and as such, I contacted the ICL who has been appointed to our case, first by email and then 2 weeks later by phone.

She did not respond to my email, but over the phone she said: "It is inappropriate of you to contact me directly."

When I said that I have no other option as I am an SRL, she told me that I should get a lawyer and then she will talk to the lawyer.

I do not have the money to get a lawyer, but is this the only way that I can get a copy of the family report before our hearing? I just want to ensure that I can prepare to address any claims that it makes that I think are not accurate, and as such I do not want to read it for the first time on the morning of our hearing. 
Hi, Clark,

As a SRL correspondence to other parties should follow the same lines as if you had a solicitor acting for you. However, ICL's often have to deal with people who don't know the formalities, and who may be seen to be asking for legal advice from them. As long as you stick to the point and avoid that particular method of getting up her nose, there should be no excuse for failing to reply to simple correspondence asking for documentation. But rule #1 is ALWAYS put EVERYTHING in writing.

Chances are the appointments for the report have not been set yet, although don't rule out not being invited. Also don't rule out the report being done a couple of weeks before the hearing and tendered a couple of days in advance.  
Normally the documents are filed online as soon as they are filed in the Registry, so make sure you have your online access set up as of yesterday, if you don't already. That way you *should* have it by the filing deadline, which is usually a couple of weeks before a hearing. That deadline is meant to give you time to prepare to respond to any documents filed. However, you may find they are filed a day or two before, giving you no time to prepare.

That is why in your correspondence you may want to consider putting in a phrase pointing out that if you are not provided with documents in timely fashion, you will seek an adjournment at the next appearance to give you time, and that you hate to waste the court's time like that because of unresponsiveness of one of the parties. The ICL will not want the judge noting pre-trial correspondence that evinces bias (here, an attempt to railroad you by not allowing time to prepare) on her part. Be sure to copy the ex's lawyer as well on any correspondence.

And consider an interesting side question - is the ex represented or SRL as well? And if SRL, is she receiving the same treatment, or being treated more respectfully than you in correspondence? And do you need to subpoena ALL correspondence (and telephone diary notes) between the ex and the ICL to demonstrate this?

If the report has been done without your input and you eventually get a copy, you can make the case that you should get an independent opinion in the interest of natural justice for the children, who face being denied significant involvement of their father in their lives by a court that is essentially rubber-stamping an ICL's uninformed opinion without consideration of the full range of facts. A half-hour consultation with a specialist lawyer may be money well spent to cover these points and make sure you've got the right language.

Let us know how you go.

Best of luck,

Dr. Travis Gee
Psychologist
 
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#5
Sounds like an oversight to me.
We Put Your Interests First. Regular communication & accredited specialists at knoxfamilylaw.com.au  Exclamation
 
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