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Telephone contact

Filed under: General — Eric @ 1:02 pm Mon 2nd March 2009

I have had no contact with my children for one and a half years on account of a super toxic ex. Last month I lodged a parenting order application asking for telephone contact. I have just received a notification from her lawyer opposing the application.

I don’t think they have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, particularly after I successfully overturned my protection order last year. However I have not been able to find any reported cases involving a request for just telephone contact, they all involve face-to-face contact.

Does anybody know of such a case and what the outcome was?


  1. The difficulty will be enforcement.
    They won’t ring you, when you ring they will be out, busy, having a meal, glued to tel;evision, with friends. For a start she will hang up on you, if you do get a word from the kids she will then tell them to hang-up etc etc.
    Personally I think you are just wasting everyones time and sowing the seeds of further disharmony and troble for the kids.
    If you seek a warrant to enforce how would it be done? It is her phone you wish to use and iuf she wants to make it impossible she can. In Court it is her word against yours and your recordings against her recordings and blah blah blah it is all too difficult.
    Why can’t you have face-to-face contact?
    I have some experience witha cse a bit like this but we also asked for face-to-face as well.
    Drop me a line if you want more comments. [email protected]

    Comment by allan Harvey — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  2. Hi, Early on, when the lawyer for the child asked me to postpone the hearing, making me believe
    that an agreement was possible with the ex ( this was a deceitful tactic to prolong the process
    ad infinitum, L4C even said the judge was in a bad mood better postpone)
    I negotiated the child contact by email (supervised though)

    I believe you need to ask the court for the phone contact and i do not see a reason why they would not oblige.
    As for the ex lawyer, opposing the application is the name of the game as your ex is her source of income

    The problem is the ex going to allow it?

    Can you share your experience in overturning the protection order?
    What are the conditions for overturning an application order.
    Curious. Are you represented?

    The DVA and is truly evil.

    Comment by tren Christchurch — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 6:16 pm

  3. Your problem will be enforcement.
    You may get your order (it isn’t in the bag) BUT,
    Kids are out, busy, having tea, playing sport, don’t want to talk to you, think you aere a shit head …..
    The phone may (will) be hung up on you, the kids will tell you mum says they need to do their homework, they have been naughty and can’t speak to you …..
    You can record the turn downs if you want and prove to the court what a controlling B you are.
    She can record your inappropriate comments, she can ask for a stay on any order you get, you can seek enforcement ……
    Basically it doesn’t work and won’t work unless you also go for physical contact as well.
    That at least is enforeable (by the boys and girklies in blue if need be).
    I have dealt with several of these types of cases.
    You can write to me at [email protected]

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 7:08 pm

  4. sorry to post twice with similar comments,
    I see I haven’t posted for so long my comments are now being moderated 🙂
    What a subversive devil I must be.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 8:04 pm

  5. I’m not deliberately moderating your comments, Alan.

    If you make sure you are logged in when you make comments they should bypass moderation.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 10:07 pm

  6. Hi John,
    I thought it was strange. Probably because I deleted the cookies a few weeks back.
    I’m hoping to come up to the DV symposium in early April and hope we can chat more then.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 10:21 pm

  7. Agree with Allan on this – whilst the courts may make an order for phone contact, it’s not enforcable and can so easily be manipulated.
    We had a case here where the calls did start to get through but in Mum just yelled in the background ‘You’re a F***ing B*****D.
    The Dad stopped the calls because of the level of distress it caused his daughter.
    Go for face to face contact in the order.

    Comment by Ken — Tue 3rd March 2009 @ 5:06 am

  8. mate, its hard but they are right about alienation, ot never win one and whammo something else crops up. i use to think that the people on here are just bitter, but now i realise the are right.i am over in aus now and man no more stress. my 5 other kids who are over here see me when ever. just relax bro. my child that i fought over in the family court came from a rebound relationship. cheers bondirat

    Comment by bondirat — Thu 5th March 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  9. I am sorry for you Eric. It has been 8 months for me with no contact while I wade through the Family Court. I thought that was bad enough, hang in there bro 🙂

    Comment by Gerry — Sun 8th March 2009 @ 10:05 pm

  10. You will get the order for telephone contact as long as the mother doesn’t take out a DV application. A telephone order will be harder to get than you expect but you should get it. If that’s all you want at this stage you don’t need a lawyer. Get one of the Fathers groups to help you or use this web site.

    It is not a bad strategy under the current regime to go for small requests and keep going back asking for a bit more and a bit more.

    The mother will of course find an endless series of reasons to undermine this telephone contact. You will have to take detailed records of everything that happens. I know a guy who eventually had success by recording EVERYTHING (including the phone calls). Over a few years his detailed records and his modest requests for contact demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the mother was basically crazy. Unfortunately this is the exception. The NZ Family Court will do everything in it’s power to avoid acknowledging the mother is obstructive.

    However if you a super patient you could use this to your eventual advantage. I’ll explain below:

    Comment by Dave — Tue 10th March 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  11. 1. Apply for telephone contact orders.

    2. Record the mother’s obstructions. Show a pattern of it not working out as ordered.

    3. (optionally) apply for a warrant to enforce the telephone orders. (Although an entirely proper procedure,this is a bit cheeky – you are just rubbing it in that the court doesn’t enforce it’s own orders. Not a bad idea to re-enforce the issue but it will use up several weeks if not months. The advantage is that it helps to set the scene which makes it harder for the court to pretend the mother is not obstructive).
    Another advantage is that the court will hold a conference to pretend to consider the application for a warrant. I say ‘pretend’ because they will instead try to come up with some other solution given that they feel they can’t issue a warrant for phone calls. {In fact they could they just lack the will.} They might suggest you come to the court or a lawyers office to make the phone calls. Refuse to do this on (a) work grounds (b) for the fact it is not an environment conducive to establishing a loving bond between child and father and (c) it does not address the issue of the mother’s obstructive behaviour it simply rewards her behaviour by making things awkward for the child and life difficult and stressful for the father.
    If they ask you for a solution you should say:
    ” that (a) there is nothing you can do to prevent the mother being obstructive, if there was you would have done it already and (b) it is not your job to enforce the courts orders. It is up to the court to decide if and how it will enforce it’s own orders. You have made an extremely modest and simple child focused request of the court for telephone contact. A more modest request could hardly be devised. A court order is in place. It is up to the court to determine if it’s own orders carry any weight or not. If not, the court needs to acknowledge the impact it’s decision not to enforce it’s own orders, will have on the child’s chances of having any relationship with the father. The court should also explain how a decision not to enforce this order complies with the letter and the spirit of the Act.”

    Don’t worry if the court does nothing and tries to blame the parents. The point will be fully driven home that the court couldn’t make telephone contact happen. This then sets the scene that physical contact is the only remaining option.

    NOTE: while this long approach is an option don’t feel you have to take that path. You can simply go straight to a 1st step of requesting face to face contact which is what 99.99% of people would do. No one will seriously consider phone only contact an adequate arrangement for a child.

    3. Later apply for modest face to face contact orders. Back it up by showing that telephone orders are not working due to obstructive mother. Refuse any suggestion of supervised contact unless you have a protection order against you. The child needs a relaxed and natural setting to establish some loving bonds with Dad. A supervised environment is totally inappropriate for such goals and in fact is likely to create a negative response from the child. (You can quote that).
    4. As mother continues to be obstructive, record it all in detail and go back to court asking for a bit more contact. Justify this partly by saying it is necessary to help counter the obstructive tendencies of the mother.

    Note this whole process will take years. However I do know that it worked for one father. He went back to court each year requesting a bit more. He was always respectful and kept is requests to a modest increase each time. He had so much detailed recording of all the facts he could counter all the wild allegations from the mother each time. After many years the judge was forced to come to the conclusion that the mother was a nut case and would give the father what he asked for each time.

    Comment by Dave — Tue 10th March 2009 @ 3:16 pm

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