LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

SA Chances of Father Getting Custody of Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by lillypilly, 11 September 2016.

  1. lillypilly

    lillypilly Active Member

    Joined:
    11 September 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone,

    I am curious to know if the conduct of my children's father would appear as badly in court, as it does to me but being that he is my ex I'm not exactly bias on this...

    Long story short:

    We have been separated for just over three years. In that time he has "come and gone" in the children's lives. I have always allowed him access to the children as regardless of "me and him"; he is their dad and they need him.

    There have been some major safety concerns and the children have not spent over night with their dad for a number of months ( police, etc., investigations continuing). I had received his court application to live with/ spend time, and we have had our first interim family court appearance (he is seeking the children live with him and spend time with me).

    On the first court date, he let rip... He was handed an unsealed copy of my affidavit and lost it...(this is normal behaviour). He was swearing and yelling at his lawyer to the point that security had to come and his lawyer was telling him to be quite and put him in a room away from everyone else to calm himself. When we went before the Judge, he was slammed down in a chair huffing and puffing. The Judge ordered for the interim that I and he have to organise a contact centre.

    I have done this, he has not. The Judge also said he is not to see the children until the contact centre is sorted. This was all in August and we are going back to court in Oct.

    Since that date he has gone to the children's school to see the children and had to be escorted off the school grounds due to his "aggressiveness". He has phoned and abused the receptionist demanding to speak to my worker at my support centre.

    He has now moved an hour and a half away from where he was living (he was living 10 min from the children before). He told our young son that he was moving and when our son asked "how will you see us?" he said "the court will make your mother bring you , no one can stop me moving". (our case in partly a relocation case too)

    I have been extremely careful that the children know nothing about what is going on, so I was shocked when our son told me that. He is sharing a one bedroom unit with a friend in a block of units that contain 780 flats and lost his job as he abused the boss's wife :/.

    He sleeps on the couch. I only know where he is as a friend of mine lives near there. He has refused to tell me his address. I encourage the children to phone him at least three times per week, but 9 times out of ten he dose not answer and has never once phoned them back.\

    I guess, I'm just looking for some opinions on what his chances are of having custody of children?

    Sorry for the long winded post and thank you for reading this far :)
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 September 2015
    Messages:
    1,065
    Likes Received:
    126
    Look I understand you're anxiety - but if what you've written is the whole truth and you have not omitted anything...you're not an ice addict, are you? Good.

    You've got nothing to worry about. And the father is doing so much to damage your case, you should pay him more than you're paying a solicitor because your ex is doing so much to help your cause.
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    If everything you've said is true, then of course the case against a change of residency could be made out, but it's important to remember that his version of events is likely going to be very different to yours, so predicting an outcome is truly a speculative and often pointless exercise. I've lost count of how many times my husband and his ex have been to Court for various matters, but not once has a ruling ever gone exactly as predicted.

    In my experience, it's fairly common for 'warring' parents to have blinkers on when they're in a Court battle, such that they usually either a) ignore their own role in escalating conflict, or b) find issues with the other parent where none really exist. I'm not, by any measure, suggesting that's what's happening here, but more just playing devil's advocate for the sake of discussion.

    For example, his behaviour in the Courthouse could be related to anything. Maybe it was his lawyer who lost your affidavit, or maybe he was expecting his regular representative to appear at Court, only to find himself about to represented by Joe Bloggs the New Guy who has no prior dealings with his case. People tend to get more touchy when they're paying for a service (particularly one that costs thousands of dollars), and that service isn't up to standard, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad parent or pose a risk of harm to their kids, so it probably won't be terribly relevant to the parenting matter.

    Similar could be said of the dispute with the former boss's wife. Maybe she tried to blackmail him in exchange for sexual favours and he refused, so she commenced a hate campaign against him. Who knows? Again, though, doesn't necessarily imply a bad parent and probably isn't relevant to the parenting matter.

    Unfortunately, a lot of parents attend on their child's school to see their kids when they've been practically ousted from doing so by the Court. It's not a wise move, but it's not overly damning, either, and there's no real way of knowing what the school would describe as 'aggressive'. My conflict-avoidant husband could probably have been described as 'aggressive' the day he went to collect his daughter from day care, only to find himself face to face with a day care worker who decided she had some jurisdiction over their family law matter and the associated Court orders. When considered before the Court, it was the mother who was considered the perpetrator, because she'd falsely told the day care worker that my husband was not allowed to collect his daughter from day care.

    The issue with his housing choice isn't ideal, but objectively, I can see how it might be explained in the first instance. He's recently unemployed, divorced, paying a lawyer to help him see his kid and facing a police investigation, so it's kind of understandable that his financial situation is in a trough, such that shared accommodation in a high-density residential zone is necessary for him to make ends meet. If he turns that situation around before final hearing, it might still be workable in terms of residency with the kids.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that nearly every parent has a persuasive story to tell when their audience only gets to hear one side of it, so it's easy enough to make sweeping predictions about what the Court might decide based just on that information, but try not to rest too much weight on such predictions when they haven't been privy to the other side of the story. Of course, there are definite and obvious ways that dad could behave better, like participating in the supervised contact arrangements to show the Court it isn't actual necessary, but on the whole, it really is hard to say exactly what could happen here.
     
  4. lillypilly

    lillypilly Active Member

    Joined:
    11 September 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you a ton for your responses :)

    Yes, I fully understand what you mean by "I am telling what I see but he could see it differently". It's just so full on at the moment. He has Legal Aid, and I'm unsure as to how he got it as I was refused because it is classed as a "relocation case". So frustrated that I have to try and find the funds for it all because it has been classed as that but he got Legal Aid to start it. But that's life, I guess.

    From what I had overheard him saying to the children during a phone call (our youngest is almost 4 so I have it on speaker sitting on the kitchen bench as she likes to press the buttons and has hung up on him before :/ ), he has stated words to the effect of "when I get you all living with me, I'll get a big house cause I'll be on Centrelink".

    Obviously, I don't like that he talks to the children about "adult" things, but that's his choice. From what I can find on the internet, it seams to be that he would need them to have their own beds/ rooms before they can live with him or sleep over on a regular basis, not sleeping on the floor or on a mattress on the floor with him, is that correct?

    Also, by any chance, does anyone know if you can search the AUSTLII website for orders made by a particular Judge?

    I have spent so many hours on there researching cases that are as close to ours as possible.

    Thanks :)
     
  5. lillypilly

    lillypilly Active Member

    Joined:
    11 September 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    @sammy01 lmho, no most def not a druggie lol
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    Well, I know of one case where dad was living in a caravan at the back of his parents' place and won residency of the kids, and many judges are fine to make interim orders for overnight time even if the kids are sleeping on the couch. It really depends on the judge, the circumstances and how well the case is pitched in either direction.

    Is your case filed in the Federal Circuit Court?

    If so, go here:AustLII - AustLII: Advanced Search for the FCCA database, then select 'Find this phrase' in the dropdown menu at the top, and then enter 'Judge [your judge's surname] in the search box, which will give you the most accurate list of cases determined by your judge. The family law cases can be identified because their titles are in the following format: [Applicant surname] & [Respondent surname] [Year] FCCA [Number] (Date of judgement).

    For example: Farrell & Chambers [2016] FCCA 10 (8 January 2016). Some will be property, most are parenting - you can tell based on the keywords at the top of the decision when you click the case title.

    You might consider writing to his lawyer and suggesting that both parents enroll with one of Relationships Australia's post-separation parenting courses to try and fix focus on the best interests of the kids, rather than on the conflict between the parents. It might compel dad to stop talking to the kids about the Court proceedings.
     
  7. lillypilly

    lillypilly Active Member

    Joined:
    11 September 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you @AllForHer I will give that a go with the site.

    Yes it's with the FCC.

    I actually asked my lawyer to ask him if he would do a course (either a post sep or anger man). The next phone call with the children, he told them to tell me "he is effing fine and I'm a drama queen and that he doesn't need some fag in a suit telling him about kids" :/

    He will not speak to me about anything at all, so I try to and avoid "stirring him up" and only contact him when it's a need to know now; like if the children have a specialist app, etc, and I do it via text message.

    I actually did a post sep course a few month ago, and found it very interesting.
     

Share This Page

Loading...