I have relocated to Whangarei, and after getting a protection order on my ex husband, the court is still ordering me to

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Customer: I have relocated to Whangarei, and after getting a protection order on my ex husband, the court is still ordering me to return to Hamilton with the children and to not leave. We (myself, my husband and children) had only been in Hamilton for 4 years. We moved because we could no longer afford to live in Auckland, so he looked for work in Hamilton. I was pregnant with our 3rd, and 2 yrs later had our twins. I have a lawyer representing me but I believe she has not represented me that well. She may have not filed the correct things. She tried to file for day to day care after my ex had tried and declined but the court did accept the preventing of removing children, we were already in Whangarei. I believe her approach was to try get the order discharged/dropped. But also recall the judge stating things she had filed were to late. She said at one point about taking the opposing lawyer to the high court for filing the returning the children order without understanding the full situation of our case, ie...my ex husband had a lawyer in a firm but ordered to have her changed to the more senior lawyer the partner/owner. My lawyer has her office in the same building and my ex's so chit chats can happen in the hallway.. my children are so safe and happy in Whangarei, we have all my family support as this is my hometown, My ex has No support in Hamilton and will have limited unsupervised time but not long periods of time with the children. We have been here in Whangarei since 1st March 2020. I have all the wrap around services to support myself and the children and do no wish or want to be again isolated in Hamilton. Please help
JA: How much advance notice has been given?
Customer: I have a 15min Directions conference without notice on the 15th June. I will be attending by phone
JA: Has there been any mediation on this issue?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just that the judge states in his oral judgement that my lawyer did not file an application for a rehearing, there is no application for judicial review and no appeal. And in the absence of those steps the children should be urgently and immediately returned to the Waikato. The one difficulty is finding accommodation if forced to go back...that is why the judge suggested my ex ask his parents about us returning to their rental home for us pending determination of the proceedings. I only just received the judge's oral judgement in written format yesterday
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 5 hours 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read your question
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Relocation can be a very difficult issue. Now you have been through the process you will have some idea of the legal position for this. It may come down to either moving back or losing custody so you are in a difficult position. It is possible to appeal decisions but I suspect this is complicated for reasons you mention, as the judge may have considered that
Customer
Appeal the decision? Can I do that on the day of the direction hearing or must I do that earlier.. Did my lawyer do anything wrong in the process or is it just what the law was going to enforce..i feel she hasn't been filing thing in time and that's what's caused the problems....am I wrong? .this seems really unfair that I have to live where I don't want to and where I will feel unsafe at. Once, if I had to go back, can I then apply to relocate or would that just never happen...
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The law on relocation is very clear. In general the courts require that you have permission of the other parent if you want to move more than about an hours drive. It is of course around about four hours drive between Hamilton and Whangarei. So the advice you should have received at the beginning was that there would have to be a very strong case to move that far away from him. The protection order might be part of that, but it is difficult for me to assess whether your lawyer argued the best case for you. It can be difficult to justify relocation. You can only appeal the final decision of the judge about this. I wasn't sure from your questions whether this has had a final decision.

Customer
I also have supporting letters from the girls school,my son's kindy, women's refuge, emerge housing trust, family start and many family members...the attach photos are the results from last hearing...
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The problem you face is that the judge made an order preventing relocation from Hamilton to Whangarei. You chose to ignore that order and that has obviously put the judge offside with you. It is risky to ignore court orders because the consequences can be very serious. What you should have appealed as the order preventing removal, but it may be too late to do that now. From reading the judge's minute, if you don't return with the children, there will be a warrant issued to return the children

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