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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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I am due to attend Family mediation in regards XXXXX XXXXX a

Resolved Question:

I am due to attend Family mediation in regards XXXXX XXXXX a legally binding agreement with my ex partner in relation to our daughter. I would like to know if it is possible to ensure she remains within Queensland in order to maintain regular visits and contact. My ex partner is threatening to relocate to Perth W.A. My daughter is ten years old.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Deborah Awyzio replied 4 years ago.

Deborah Awyzio :

Part of an agreement for parenting arrangements can have a provision that the child not be able to relocate more than (eg. 50 km) from current residence. You can't restrict what the Mother does, she is free to move where she likes.

Deborah Awyzio :

If you are concerned about this, you should ensure that you formalise the agreement about the time you spend with the child as a consent order. You can access a do-it-yourself kit at www.familycourt.gov.au

Deborah Awyzio :

If you have a consent order which provides for the time your child spends with you, then the Mother will be in breach of that order if she moves the child's residence to Perth without your consent.

Deborah Awyzio :

That then allows you to bring contravention proceedings against the Mother seeking that she be penalised for breaching a court order. You will also be able to bring urgent action in court seeking the return of your child to Queensland.

Customer:

There is no consent order in place at this time, that is why we are attending mediation.

Customer:

Up until recently there has been no need for orders but my ex has threatened to withdraw access unless I pay extra money for bus fares for them both to get to airport so my daughter can fly to see me as we live at opposite ends of Queensland. I pay for all flights but have recently had my maintainace fees drastically reduced as I quit full time work to become a stay at home Dad to look after my new 16 month old daughter.

Customer:

Realistically - what will the Family Court do if she is in breach. I have already had dealings with the Family Court in relation to a previous relationship and child. The mother was in breach on several occasions and nothing ever happened.

Deborah Awyzio :

It is up to you to bring a contravention application to seek that she be punished for breaching an order. The court can then impose the following penalties:-

Deborah Awyzio :

1. Fine, community service order

Deborah Awyzio :

2. Order her attendance at a parenting course

Deborah Awyzio :

3. Jail (in serious matters).

Deborah Awyzio :

As you already live far enough apart to not make every day contact a practical reality, there may be no impediment to the child moving to Perth, if it will not effect the amount of time you are able to spend with her. You will need a clear agreement about who pays for the costs of the airfares.

Customer:

My ex is a professional student and I am a stay at home Dad. At the moment I fly her up to see me every school holiday. If she moves to Perth I won't be able to afford to fly her over each school holiday as the fare almost quadruples.. I will struggle to fly her over once a year. Her mother has never had the money to contribute towards any fares.

Deborah Awyzio :

Well that changes things. UNless the Mother can contribute to the fare, the difficulty remains with being able to maintain the current relationship you have with your daugther.

Customer:

She will agree to anything but once she is in Perth I am sure she will state she cannot afford to send her over. I will not have the money to do anything about it legally. This is what happened to my son ten years ago.

Customer:

I have to take my youngest to an appointment. Thanks for your time. :o)

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