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  Unexplained Family Report and PA
Posted by: Preption - 07-Sep-2018, 10:10 PM - Forum: Disputing Family Reports - Replies (1)

I would like advice on the best way forward with my case.

My older kid (now adult) is totally alienated. While it was developing I wanted my older kid to see a psychologist about it but the ex refused, I took it to Court and the Family Report Writer (FRW) said there was no alienation and recommended against it, so it didn't happen and later the older kid became totally alienated.

Now the FRW is recommending that I be prevented from taking my younger kid to a psychologist if I see alienation developing with my younger kid - no explanation given.
The FRW acknowledges that my relationship with the older kid is destroyed but doesn't comment how, or how to protect the younger kid from the same thing, in fact seems to be recommending the same recipe that allowed the older kid to become alienated.

I think I need an alienation expert to advise the Court (the FRW is a social worker).
What is the best way to do this?
- ask for a second family report (I hear this can be hard to get ordered, and time may be a problem)
- have an expert (who hasn't interviewed anyone) appear as a witness at the trial to answer questions from both sides?
- have an expert look over affidavits and write a report?
- any other ideas?


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Posted by: travis-gee - 01-Oct-2016, 06:17 PM - Forum: Prepare/Find Evidence - Replies (2)

One thing that I always recommend to clients preparing for a court battle is to prepare a timeline. Eventually a shortened version of it will be needed prior to final hearing, but you can save a lot of time and money by getting one going as soon as your matter is filed - if not sooner. The less time your solicitor has to spend sorting evidence to make a coherent story the less it will cost.

The more organized your information is the less time you need to waste hunting it out time and again when you're thinking through the million and one things you need to work out to make your case. It also lessens your stress, because you have a sense of being more in control of your case, and the long-term effects of stress can leave you in a distressed state of mind that could be used against you by your ex (or Child Safety, if that's the reason you're on this site).

If you are reading this you must have at least some access to a computer. It is worth learning how to use a simple spreadsheet. If you don't have Excel, Openoffice does the same thing, just for free. In the first row of column A type in 'Date.' Beside that in Column B type 'event.' Then in Column C type 'Witnesses.' Column D is 'Evidence.'

Right-click the 'A' at the top of the first column, to highlight the entire column. The left-click to get a menu of formatting options, and 'format cells' date, selecting dd/mm/yy as the format.

Now go back to the beginning - when did you meet your ex? 1/1/1995? Put in the data:
Date Event Witness Evidence
1/1/95 Met ex. Her sister. SMS next day.

You're good to go. As you think of and locate evidence you can add it in. You can also learn to sort by date so that things added later get to the right row. If there are physical pieces of evidence you can put them in a manila folder in a box, in date order, and then your spreadsheet is an index to whatever you have to work with. If you want to get fancy, if you have events on two rows, and think of something that happened between those two dates, a right click on the automatically-generated row number will get a menu where you can 'insert row,' and then a blank row will appear that you can use, in the correct spot.

Of course, if there are more pieces of evidence, you can add them to column E, F, G, etc. If there are pieces of evidence that you know exist but need to find, it's a good idea to right-click the cell, 'format cells' and go to 'Background.' Change the background to red or green or some colour that will remind you when you look at the sheet to hunt for that vital piece of evidence!

There is a huge range of things that could be evidence. Receipts and SMS's of course, possible voice recordings, CCTV (always worth checking out!) or other things.

You might think more things are important that your solicitor does, but I always suggest that you err on the side of including things if you think that Evidence X proves Point Y. The final version that can be printed out (Columns A and B only) for the Court will always be shorter than what you've created. But better to have your fingers on things that might prove useful than simply leave them out then have to chase things at the last minute!

Weeding through evidence you will find that a few SMS messages are very important, and most are not. But sometimes a receipt showing you were at Canberra McDonalds on the morning of 25/9/12, when you are accused of being in Melbourne at about that time 'stalking' your ex, might just be lifesaving. Keeping it safe could make a huge difference to your matter. Documents that are obviously very important should be scanned and stored in a safe online account with a secure password that your ex won't be able to guess. Ideally, though for Court purposes, a JP-certified true copy will carry more weight on the day if required. A fireproof document safe is a good idea generally even if you're not involved in these proceedings, so if the importance of this point is clear, let this motivate you to get one!

JP-certified copies of things can include screenshots of facebook exchanges. A screenshot is one thing, a screenshot printed out and certified by a JP who has sighted the original page is conclusive. Once again, fireproof document safe! Once your ex realises you have social media evidence, expect to be blocked and the page taken down. This realisation may occur well before you file your affidavit with the screenshot.

If you are really not computer literate, I have seen people manage their cases equally successfully with a simple box of recipe cards, which you can still buy. All that is needed is to keep it chronological, so it corresponds with the manila folders in your box!

So start the process yesterday, and start clearning more space in your brain for the clear thinking you need to do without the clutter of worrying about whether you've got everything and where it is!

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  Disputing and/Nominating your own Family Report Writer
Posted by: Brandon - 26-Sep-2016, 09:20 AM - Forum: Preparing for a Family Report - Replies (1)

At my recent pre-trial hearing, I got to meet the independent children’s lawyer that had been appointed to our case.

As I understand it, she was appointed by the Court, and it was done in a random manner as she was next in the list.

It was the first time I had met or seen her however, and as a Self-represented Litigant, I thought it proper to introduce myself but she declined my attempt.

She said that anything she had to say to me would be dome via the court room, which I found both unnecessarily aggressive and started me thinking whether she was biased against me

Through-out the day, I found out that she had interviewed my wife in a personal face to face meeting, and also interviewed my child.

She however never contacted me, nor did she even inform me that she intended to interview my wife, nor was she evidently interested in interviewing me.

That pre-trial hearing achieved very little, but for the Court suggesting that a Family Report writer write a report on our family dynamic.

I had no issue with this, but as soon as the Judge mentioned it, the ICL made a recommendation that a certain report writer be assigned this task.

I had no idea who this report writer was, or whether she would be objective, but I was suspicious based on the enthusiasm of the ICL.

The Judge did ask me whether I objected to this report writer, to which I said ‘No’, but now I regret agreeing to it.

Given the ICL’s behaviour, I am very worried that the Report Writer was chosen because of her reputation, but I have not been able to find out much information on her one way or the other so far.

Can I get the selection of report writer reviewed, given my concerns? Can I nominate another report writer, who I believe would be more objective?

I am now very anxious that I have been set up by an ICL who has clearly demonstrated who she sympathises with in our child custody dispute.

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  Changes to the Aged Pension for 2017
Posted by: Rlloyd - 23-Sep-2016, 12:41 PM - Forum: Pension - Replies (1)

Since my divorce I have been living with my widowed mother, who has been increasingly relying on my management of all her household expenses.

I basically pay for all household expenses such as groceries and bills from my own income, but when it comes to my mother’s healthcare, I have been relying on her pension.

My mother suffers from a large number of chronic conditions, requiring a special diet, daily medications, monitoring equipment, frequent doctor visits and periodic nurse care, which adds up to be a significant cost over time.

So I am in a position where I really rely on my mother’s pension for her healthcare.

I have recently heard that the government has introduced significant changes that will apply to the age pension from the beginning of 2017, and I am concerned that this will impact the most vulnerable like my mother and I.

Can anyone explain whether these changes will reduce or remove the pension from elderly widows like my mother who owns her house outright, and has funds left over to her from my deceased father, but other than that she is very old and frail and needs ongoing healthcare support?

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  Apprehended bias
Posted by: Meridian - 30-May-2016, 06:14 PM - Forum: Disputing Family Reports - Replies (1)

Can apprehended bias (or something else) be used in order to change family reporter in circumstances where the family reporters first report was grossly and patently wrong, fooled by the acting of one parent and child deliberately attempting to deceive the court, missing the nasty psychological dynamics altogether (although clear and obvious evidence of the dynamics was not available at the time of the report, but is available now)?
A fully ethical reporter would admit they were totally wrong, but in circumstances where the reporters reputation is that they don't change their mind under cross-examination (ever?), it would be a risk to use the same reporter again.
At a minimum they may be tempted to water down their assessment, as to make a full and proper assessment would be pointing out just how dangerously wrong (perhaps incompetent) they were in the first instance.
Could this count for apprehended bias, or is there something else that can be used here to effect change of a family reporter?

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  Conflict and Sole Parental Responsibility
Posted by: TimWalters - 30-Aug-2015, 05:37 PM - Forum: Preparing for a Family Report - Replies (1)

Hi Dr Gee,

I am about to meet the family report writer next week, and I will be seeing him with my soon-to-be ex-wife and our child, apparently together in the same room.

Is this normal practice?

I am really paranoid that my ex will try and 'game' the session and try to get into an argument with me, to try and prove that we cannot negotiate on important matters relating to our kids.

She is asking for sole custody, and her argument is that we cannot stand being in the same room with each other.

And she is right to a degree, because she always blames me for everything, like a few weeks ago our eldest boy got a runny nose, and she went to great pains to calculate that he caught the bug while he was with me.

It is these relentlessly malicious comments that eventually get under my skin, and I would like to know that whether the Report Writer cares about right or wrong, or does he simply think "well, they can't get along so its best for the kids that the mother has sole parental responsibility".

if it is important that I just get along, then I will do that, because the last thing my kids need is for me to lose the little contact I do have, but I just need to know whether it is the existence of conflict on its that determine whether sole responsibility is given, or whether family report writers judge who is being malicious and for what reasons?

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  Child Contact Centre Evidence
Posted by: Rlloyd - 28-Aug-2015, 02:58 PM - Forum: Prepare/Find Evidence - Replies (1)

Can I use no shows to child contact centres as evidence against my ex, or is this privileged information, like the information that is client/solicitor privileged?

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  What can i do to speed things along & get my girl home
Posted by: sue40 - 06-Aug-2015, 09:20 PM - Forum: Prepare/Find Evidence - Replies (6)

I had an appeal hearing yesterday & I am told it will take anything upto 6 months at the moment to get the judgement back.

I had an incompetent lawyer who didn't prepare for trial. I fired them after the initial 3 days of the original trial proceedings. Unfortunately it has left me in a position where alot of the arguments can now not be put forward. 

The children and I put up with arson attacks, i was publicly assaulted twice, cars vandalised, harrassment. theft, the children were abducted at one point and my oldest alienated (although she has since recovered). 

Beth, my 5 yr old, ended up in a residency reversal in october last year - to the people responsible for what ive just listed - although they have never been charged with anything.. 

She is now frequently ill, persistently suffering from bruising, has her communication with me constantly sabotaged, and is desperately missing all her family members who she has been with all her life until these current orders under appeal & often demonstrates violent refusals to return to her fathers (we have changeovers through a contact centre). 

I have tried a new application & it was dismissed. I have filed 2 contravention applications - one for the school holidays with me that she didn't get - & the same bias judge dismissed it - & it had been her own order & his blatant contravention. 

The 2nd contravention had some 18 counts - the judge dismissed all but 4 because she said they weren't worded well enough (& ordered i pay $7k of his costs for the priviledge of that little gem). 

There are 4 counts left to be heard next month, none of which are major enough to bring the residency into question..

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  Second Opinion Report
Posted by: Meridian - 05-Aug-2015, 08:35 PM - Forum: Disputing Family Reports - Replies (5)

Is there any way to get a second opinion before the courts when the family report seems to have bias?

For any serious medical condition I wouldn't think twice about getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion, but are you limited to 1 with the family report?

Any other options other than just critisizing it at the trial?

It would seem to make sense to get another experts opinion before the Judge.


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  Documenting Undermine Behaviour
Posted by: Germani - 31-Jul-2015, 11:44 AM - Forum: Prepare/Find Evidence - Replies (2)

How do I best document behaviour from my ex that is designed to interfere with my contact with our girls.

I mean things like the kids not being home on the night that I am to pick them up (she arranged for them to have a sleep-over with friends that night).

Or not allowing the girls to answer the phone when I call, or hurrying the girls to finish talking to me on the phone (in less than 30 seconds) because they are always allegedly in a hurry for one thing or another.

Or when the girls are with me, the mother gives the girls all this apparent home work (not real home work, but reading certain books), which stresses the girls out and they refuse to even go to the shops with me for fear that they will not finish the book reading.

It is not a matter of one big thing, but numerous little things that undermine my relationship with my kids. I basically have no say with my girls, regardless of whether they are will me or with their mother.

However I find it difficult to document these issues. Should I try and take photos or record audio?

Should I simply write it down like diary entries?

Which way would a court prefer such issues to be documented for the purposes of being used as evidence?

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