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NSW Child Protection Post Family Law Mediation?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Concern mother, 11 April 2015.

  1. Concern mother

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    Hi, my husband and I had met with a family law mediator at a Family Relationship Centre. We were advised that mediation will not be suitable hence 60I certificate will be issued. He has mental health issues and had attempted to take his own life on a number of occasions. I had been verbally and emotionally abused by him throughout the marriage. His mother had verbally abused our 6 month old son and I but he refused to acknowledge that as he always put his mother first. I did not deter our son's contact him.

    I just want safe place for his weekly access such as Child Contact Services or my place of residence, but he refuse. He wanted to take our son to his parents' place but I refuse as I don't want my son to be verbally abused by his mother again.

    What steps can I take for his child protection?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    If you haven't reached agreement via family dispute resolution, you may need to make an initiating application to the court for parenting orders.

    The court would make orders in the best interests of the child. The court decides what's in the best interests of the child based on section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975. Primary considerations are the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents and the need to protect the child from harm.

    To give you some perspective, the court isn't going to order that time between the father and his child be carried under your supervision if you've claimed there is a lot of conflict between you and the father. Doing so would be placing the child as self-professed risk of exposure to more family violence, which is contrary to s60cc.

    Orders for time at a contact centre may be within reach, but it's impossible to predict an outcome, really. The attempted suicides may be an issue, but if it was a long time ago and the father has since received treatment, it may not hold a lot of weight in constituting an unacceptable risk of harm to the child.

    I'm not sure what's happening in terms of contact at the moment, but the court very heavily frowns upon parents who suspend time between a child and their other parent for long periods of time and for reasons that are otherwise somewhat subjective. Emotional abuse in a relationship can be at times confused with simply not being compatible, and while I'm not saying that's the case here, it tends to be the view of the court that even if a parent is a controlling jerk, it's still the child's right to have a relationship with them and form that opinion for themselves.

    You might like to get legal advice before acting so they can discuss the specific behaviours with you and give you some insight about what to expect.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Concern mother

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    Thanks. The last time he attempted to tale his own life was on the afternoon of our separation. I'm not trying to hinder his contact with our baby. I need to know that our baby and I are in a safe environment and that during the visit, our baby is comfortable. I offered for him to come to where we reside but he refused. I sent him information on children contact services bit received no reply. He wants to take our baby to his parents' home but I don't want that as his mother had verbally abused both our baby and I and I will not allow our baby to be subjected to her verbal abuse. He is oblivious to his mother's manipulation.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Unless there is an unacceptable risk of harm, kids have a right to also spend time with grandparents, again even if they are jerks, and the court would likely rule in favour of the child spending time with the grandparent. It may make you feel uncomfortable, but the same rule applies - a child has a right to that time with their grandparent so make that opinion for themselves, so there isn't much point interfering with that relationship as doing so also may come across as you being unsupportive if the child's relationship with his grandparents or father, which has quite often cost parents residency with their children in the past.

    I don't mean to be bleak, but rather than saying what a person wants to hear, I try to give a more realistic perspective about the legal system. It's fairly common for parents to go into court thinking they are doing the right thing, when in reality, the court believes otherwise.
     
  5. Concern mother

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    Thanks. I'm very afraid her insults towards our baby when he's not at ear shot and I'm not there to protect him. His mother is very manipulative. She won't say anything offensive in front of her children but wait for an opportunity to do so as she did to our baby and I. Our baby is only 6 months old and needs me with him. Only my mother and I can calm him when he's upset. I'm just want to protect my baby.
    Whats concerning me most is that after married, my husband revealed that he had been taking medication to help with his depression since his high school days. However, he was not diagnosed and the medication was obtained by his mother through a family doctor. He said its cheaper she gets them as she has the pension card. During our marriage he did get treatment after a suicide attempt but then stopped taking medication. His last attempt on his own life was our separation. Do these events have any weight in court?
     

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