Q: IF I TAKE OUR CHILD TO THE DOCTORS, DO I HAVE TO ALERT MY EX?
According to Mr Binnie, the best advice (in keeping with the Family Law Act) is to keep the other parent informed about any medical appointments. “However, it is a matter of common sense that the more serious the issue, the more important it would be for parents to keep each other informed,” he says. “A trip to the doctor for a common cold would not be as important as for treatment for an injury or serious medical condition.”
Q: I’VE BEEN CALLED INTO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE. DOES MY EX NEED TO COME, TOO?
Most orders and parenting plans, says Mr Binnie, have standard clauses authorising both parents to receive information from schools. It is a matter for each parent to make those arrangements themselves and receive the information directly from the school. Call him to let him know and he can decide whether he needs to be there.
Q: CAN I RAISE MY CHILD ACCORDING TO MY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS WITHOUT SEEKING THE PERMISSION OF THE OTHER PARENT?
If a parent objects, an application can be made for determination of the issue, says Mr Binnie.
Q: DO I HAVE TO SEEK MY EX-PARTNER’S PERMISSION BEFORE TRAVELLING OVERSEAS WITH OUR CHILD?
In the case of a minor, both parents usually have to sign a passport application. If one party refuses, the issue can require determination by the courts. “In some limited circumstances, the Passport Office will issue a passport to a parent without the other’s signature,” says Mr Binnie. “A court can order that a passport be issued and the Passport Office then must comply with the order.”