Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Zangari

Member
26 August 2020
3
0
1
Hi, hope someone can help me out so I can gain some sort of clarity on what to do next?

I removed my 3 year old child from the mother last year due to neglect. A police report was done immediately and FACS was contacted, however FACS did not get involved as there was 1 fit parent. No parenting agreements have ever been in place. I went for legal advice and was advised to start mediation. She did not comply and I was issued a section 60i. After being issued the section 60i, I was advised to wait as the longer my child is with me the better it would be for me.

Many months have passed, during this time she has hardly called our daughter and has asked on certain occasion to see her but I was advised by solicitor since I removed my daughter due to neglect it would be best not to give her access because of my concerns of neglect what would that say about my character. Mother has called her once a month the past few months, prior to that every couple of weeks. Lawyer advised that it was now up to the mother to get our daughter back either through mediation or a recovery order at the time (too much time has passed now for her to do a recovery order).

My ex has now contacted mediation and I am lost at what to do next. My daughter has 3 other siblings from my ex's previous relationship. Besides the neglect, which continued to happen after I removed my daughter with the other children, my daughter was exposed to family violence. Shouting, screaming and witness to physical violence from brother to sister, and exposure to psychological abuse. I have a lot of concern in relation to things my family and I have known in the past. My ex has a new partner and that's ok but it's the affiliations and the lifestyle that extremely worries me about my daughter spending time with her mother. My ex has also put her other children against their father where its come to the point where they don't want to see him as they have been brainwashed.

I want the best interest for my daughter but how can I give the mother access when I'm so scared that my daughter will be exposed to all this, more neglect and witness to violence and be told lies and manipulated as she grows up and not be given the best chance at life?

I don't understand why I wasn't advised at the time do to do an urgent application to the court? Everything I have read suggest sole parental responsibility is extremely hard to get. I also want to relocate interstate as I find we around a lot of toxicity and it would be in my daughter's best interest, however the relocation is not the most pressing matter.

Another important point is I've had a very colourful past which I've turned my life around for the better, however I was advised by lawyer is we go to court all this will come out which is fine by me as I've paid my dues and have turned my life around. I got me thinking if this was a scare tactic as I didn't understand if we're going to go to court is it my child's wellbeing that's being considered or my past?
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
4,929
702
2,894
ok so do the mediation, offer the ex reasonable time - Offer her an incremental increase in time over 2 years from night a fortnight working up to 4 nights. See how you go. Mate you wanna avoid court. But given you've been the primary carer for 3 years I reckon you don't have much to worry about from court. But you gotta play nice. Sure you have a colorful history but if none of it relates to children then stress less.

It was good strategy to do nothing and see what she does. 3 years of nothing from her is good. If you applied to court 3 years ago you would have invited her into the equation.

As far as relocating. Look, it's complex but it would be a bad idea to move now that the ex has applied for mediation, it would make you look like you're doing all you can to keep mum out of the kids life. Not a good look
 

Zangari

Member
26 August 2020
3
0
1
Thank you for taking the time to respond. Just clarifying daughter has been in my care nearly a year, prior to that my ex was the primary carer.

Sounds like a good plan and have gained some clarification from your response. Do you think it's worth contacting the mother at all to speed things up and see if an agreement can be reached or just let it role through mediation.

Thanks in advance.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
4,929
702
2,894
I'm going to give my biased opinion first. It suxs to use the system to deprive a child the right to have a meaningful relationship with the other parent. So contact mum and see if you can come to an agreement. That would be the fair and reasonable thing to do...
BUT...
You have concerns for the safety of the child if with mum?
and
What if hand over the child and the ex does the bolt? Then it is you applying to court.
So my advice is caution. If you have real concerns about mum then let the court thing play out.