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Is it worth the fight? Updating a parenting plan to reflect actually time in care

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General,Law & Courts,Sex Abuse / CYF — George04 @ 3:54 pm Tue 18th October 2016

Hello All, quick bit of background. I’m the father of a 4.5 y/o girl living in AKL and have been separated from her mother since just after birth. I went through the Family Court back then to get regular visitation as the mother would not allow it. She went as far as accusing me of beating her to try and stop me getting access, fortunately her lies were rather transparent. In the end a judge ruled that i got 1.5 hrs on a Tuesday and Thursday after work and 10-3 on a Sunday. She also has a 9 y/o daughter from a previous relationship whose father isn’t around (she got a protection order on him and he was only allowed supervised visits which didn’t last long).

Fast forward a year and I have my daughter every weekend and a Wednesday night as my ex is either working or wanting to go out ect but always on her terms and a constant threat of going back to the parenting order if i didn’t do what she wanted like having her older daughter for the weekend also…. Over the next 1.5 years she went from hating me to wanting to get back together and everything in between. Has brought 4 new boyfriends into fold for it only to last a couple months then they move out. I learnt not to engage with her and concentrated on raising my daughter the best i could. She has an awesome relationship with me and my family and so does her older daughter (calls by parents Nana and Grandpa and i even get a Dad from time to time). Then earlier this year came the accusations of meth use from her family, a home invasion at her house (thankfully my daughter was with me) and even more hostility towards me than normal.

This time round has been a true test. CYFS won’t act on any of the above, the Police said there is little they can do and her family backed out of intervening and getting her to rehab and removing the kids. She has thrown punches at me but again no one will act on it. Lawyers advised me against lodging a without notice application due to no actual evidence of drug use and the likely hood of a judge sending it back to mediation. So I went the mediation route which i had hoped would at the very least end up with our 2 year plus arrangement becoming the new parenting plan. How wrong was I…..

She went into mediation wanting one thing only and that was for my visitation to be every second weekend. No chance of any compromise, she said from the outset that that was all she would agree to.

So here I am, unsure of my next step. She made a comment about my daughter telling her i kick her which is complete rubbish but obviously a warning of the tactics she will use should i carry on to court.

Has anyone had there visitation cut when trying to get what you have acknowledged?

Is there such a thing as the status quo when dealing with a fathers visitation?

Any ideas or thoughts on my situation would be appreciated.


  1. Dear George,

    Thank you for your questions and moving story of persistence, courage and faith.

    Q1 .Is it worth the fight?
    A1. Yes.
    Every minute you have with your daughter is a victory for your daughter, and you, and every other father and child.

    Q2. Has anyone had there visitation cut when trying to get what you have acknowledged?
    A2. Yes. However it was regained.

    Q3. Is there such a thing as the status quo when dealing with a fathers visitation?
    A3. I don’t know but I hope there is.

    Yours Faithfully,
    Sharing is Caring

    Comment by sharingiscaring — Tue 18th October 2016 @ 8:59 pm

  2. Hillsbro Parents’ Support Group
    Meetings every Thursday at 7.00pm at Hillsboro Bowling Club, 16 Hillsborough Road, off Mt Albert Road. The best car park entrance is at 575 Mt Albert Road, at the intersection of Buckley Road, one block east of the lights at Hillsborough Road.

    Comment by golfa — Tue 18th October 2016 @ 9:52 pm

  3. Hi George
    My situation had strong parallels with your own. You will be taking a knife to a gun fight. Mum will be encouraged to use the gun whilst you will be encouraged not to use the knife in your defence. The injustice you will experience from the State in regards to the denied rights of your child and yourself will eat you up inside.
    Your heading for, if not already in its grip, a vortex that can consume your life. If you have an exceedingly strong network of family and friends to help you then consider taking on the fight of your life other wise let it go. Take the crumbs you are offered and focus on other aspects in life. Depression and suicide are the gifts offered to you by NZ family Law.

    Comment by triassic — Wed 19th October 2016 @ 1:17 pm

  4. Nice piece triassic!

    Fact is that many fathers, if they represent themselves with some background legal advice, reply sensibly to affidavits, and keep their cool, and with a bit of luck regarding the judge, there’s a good chance of a reasonable outcome. But there’s also a good chance of a terrible outcome especially for the children.

    Politically it would be better for fathers to walk away and leave the feminists to it, but most fathers feel strongly bonded to and responsible for their children and find it impossible to walk away until they have been so seriously kicked around, enraged, impoverished and demoralized that they see little choice.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Wed 19th October 2016 @ 5:56 pm

  5. Similar situation.

    The mother had not bonded with the children
    She developed gang associations
    Developed a meth issue
    it is possable that she got caught up in some gang bullshit
    Was monitored, C4c was in league with the police, she got the hard word put on her” cough up the gang, go on some counselling and we won’t take the children off you and place them with the father.
    Now at this point you are not really having an issues with the Family Court but it may be that other issues in the mothers life become a bargenning tool for your time with you children and their time with you.
    How would you feel about that? Something you have little or no knowledge of, that you have had no hand in and no control over may be used as a tool regarding the children. Once people receive such ultimatums then we must realise the folly of going to the Family Court because it wouldn’t make any difference in such circumstances other than to give you and e dry ne else a feeling of juducial process having been exercised.
    Think of Scott Watson, once the deal had been done with the secret witness, so much of what followed was working through the motions.
    What we all want is a well functioning mother for our children but at what cost to you?
    And the children, what of them? Remove them from the mother until she demonstrates that she has got her shit together and help her to do that.
    That is unlikely to happen, so you wear the cost of her lifestyle in terms of compensating for her shortfalls.
    The court will most likely bend over backwards and forwards to try to get her functioning.
    All of this crap will end up with you and you will do your best to protect your children from all of it.
    For that you will get your teeth kicked in from every direction and gender biased agency.
    Mummies new boyfriend will abuse your children which will torment you.

    Go fishing mate, they don’t want you, sorry they do, but can’t have a man to man discussion with you about this so you will be spoofed then dissolousioned then leave. If the children’s relationship with a parent is used as a leaver to achieve outcomes in a juristiction I say
    this may make a mockery of other jusistictions.

    Comment by Simon — Thu 20th October 2016 @ 10:22 am

  6. “Has anyone had there visitation cut when trying to get what you have acknowledged?”
    – This is standard operating procedure in the so called “Family Court” process.

    “Is there such a thing as the status quo when dealing with a fathers visitation?”
    – No.

    What you appear to be wanting is simply that “I have my daughter every weekend and a Wednesday night”.

    You won’t believe the hoops you have to jump through to have about a 15% chance of success.
    However it could be done if you are determined to go through hell.

    1. First you need evidence that the “every weekend and a Wednesday night” has been going on for a decent period of time.
    2. You need evidence that the child is happy with this, doing well in school, etc. (without quizzing her on it).
    Gather that evidence quietly and thoroughly before you make any other move.

    3. If you decide to take it though the court process, then I suggest a kind of passive approach. That is, you are going to have all kinds of muck thrown at you. Denied time with your child and all sorts of problems and expenses. Be mentally prepared for this so it can wash past you.

    So what you do is go through the process asking politely, humbly and very, very simply “every weekend and a Wednesday night as has been the routine for some time”.
    You refuse to answer any question, respond to any allegation, or counter any restriction of your time with the child or anything else. Just be silent and suffer. This will go on for about 2 years in total.
    All yourself to be observed with the child (to show a good bond) but do not answer any other question or respond to any letter from anyone. This includes specialist report writers, C4C or anyone.
    Your answer to all and any question is that you are “asking politely, humbly and very, very simply to care for the child “every weekend and a Wednesday night as has been the routine for some time because it is in her best interests”.
    Don’t discuss any other topic at all. Just repeat that sentence as a mantra to every question.
    You will have to file affidavits. File these as reports of simple facts. Refuse to respond to the many allegations and slander that will come your way from all sides. The only response you make is in an affidavit and to state that you refute these allegations.

    The exception of course is to collaborate with the mother of the child in raising the child as much as possible.

    What you do, ifs you make careful detailed notes and other evidence of everything that occurs. You also keep a detailed list of every single allegation, slight and obstruction from the mother, court, and anyone the court appoints.

    When you finally get to court, at the very last minute or even in the opening submissions at the start of the hearing you submit a list of every single allegation, slight and obstruction dished out to you from the very start of the process.

    By this stage there will be a huge list of criticisms of you. The only thing that they will actually be able to quote from you is your matra that:

    What you do is you you are “asking politely, humbly and very, very simply to care for the child “every weekend and a Wednesday night as has been the routine for some time because it is in her best interests”.
    Then you state the the court process has responded in the following fashion to that very idea as follows:
    Then you submit to them the huge list of false allegations and hurdles thrown at you through the entire process.
    All because you asked the court to allow this child to have her father actively involved in raising her.

    And this is supposed to be in the child’s “best interests”?
    Then ask the judge if the hearing is going to continue on the same vein as the entire process has to date, over what is a very simple and humble request.
    To allow this child to have a loving, father actively involved in raising her.
    Very simple. Nothing complicated about it at all.

    This throws the entire system on the back foot.
    This might put them so off balance that they give you what you first asked for.

    Just a note: Crawling over cut glass is going to be fun compared to this process. Whatever you decide to do there will be pluses and minuses and any decision you make is the right decision. Because they are all extremely poor choices.

    Comment by Vman — Thu 20th October 2016 @ 8:48 pm

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