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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22763
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I am going to Italy with my daughter this Sept. 2 week

Customer Question

I am going to Italy with my daughter this Sept. for a 2 week holiday. I have provided copies of return airline tickets to her father. But we are currently being blackmailed by a barrister in Auckland threatening us with a court to block her removal from NZ because he fears that my partner and I wont return with her from Italy.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason for the blackmail is because I won't immediately agree to NZ citizenship for my daughter, which her Dad says will allow her access to susbidised NZ Golf Federation funding to further her junior golf career. In actual fact, I fear that her father is using this as an excuse and that the real reason to get NZ citizenship is so that he can take her out of NZ himself which he has threatened to do many times. He is unemployed and is looking for a job in Australia and says he intends to take my daughter to a golfing school in Aus or USA. I have her passport as a safeguard.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The letter today from his barrister reads:
"My client is concerned that you wish to wait until after the planned trip to Italy (to discuss citizenship and the reasons for it), because you do not intend to return with Silvia (daughter). If this is the case then my client's only recourse would be to apply to the Court for an order preventing removal of Silvia from the country...
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Under the Care of Children Act you must have consent of both parents to take a child from New Zealand, as I expect you know. If the father will not consent you may need to make an urgent application to the Family Court for permission. In the circumstances you describe, with a return air ticket, I expect you would get this, and quite possibly get costs if the father is shown to be unreasonable. Of course this law applies equally to him, and he cannot remove her from New Zealand either.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

How old is your daughter? Have you been through FDR mediation as yet?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The original letter from the lawyer explained that "My client has conditionally agreed on SIlvia travelling to Italy for a holiday with yourself to visit relatives....agreed to on the basis that you provide confirmation of return tickets for Silvia".
We have done this and he has acknowledged receipt. Yet now he is saying that he will apply for a court order, because we dont accept to discuss citizenship for her immediately... She is 11 and I have full custody through a private agreement from 2010. I have agreed in writing to mediation after return from holiday and seeing my sick Mum (Silvia's Grandmother).
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

If you apply to court with that further information, he will be made to look unreasonable, and pay costs. So perhaps the next step is to tell him, you have complied with the conditions and that if he doesn't immediately consent, then you will apply for permission and seek full legal costs from him.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

He cannot use the citizenship issue to stop the travel as it is irrelevant to the issue of whether you will return with the child.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

have you instructed a family lawyer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry don't understand the "you will apply for permission and seek full legal costs from him."
Do you mean if I apply for premission to take Silvia out of the country temporarily (with agreed return travel dates) ?
No, but I intend to go to the Family Court tomorrow. I am not prepared to rack up a massive lawyer bill....
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

I mean if he won't consent then you can apply to the court for the courts permission. I suggested getting a lawyer because you would have good grounds for claiming the costs of the lawyer from him, as he is unreasonable. This sort of application is not simple, and I wouldn't recommend you do this yourself.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is now threatening to take me to court and telling my daughter her mum might go to prison, what should I do ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Although I have full custody through our Parenting Agreement signed by barristers in 2010, he now says he will take me to court to get 50% shared care, but at the same time he is paying no child support to me, how can you advise me please ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is anyone there please ?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

I am online. If you have a negotiated parenting agreement, he is entitled to reopen this. The first step would be another round of FDR mediation. If it was inappropriate to have further mediation, and the mediator agreed that mediation should not take place, then he could apply to court.

However a threat to your daughter that you would go to prison is completely wrong. He has no power to go to court to make you go to jail. The very threat is itself a good example of why he should not be permitted any further contact other than what already exists. It may even indicate that his existing contact should be supervised. Using the child to make threats against a parent is wrong.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

He could apply for equal parenting. I would suspect that if he is not paying child support, then he is not really committed to the idea but is saying he wants equal parenting because he wants to avoid paying his share of child support. But his behaviour and the threats indicate that he is not suitable.

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