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Custody of Children - Any Chance a Father Can Get It?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by 5stars, 4 July 2014.

  1. 5stars

    5stars Active Member

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    Hello,
    Is there any chance that a court will give me full custody of children for my 6 year old daughter after her mother has refused to let me have contact for many years?

    I understand that this would be very dramatic and confusing for my daughter in the short term, but the long term it would be the best for my daughter as it would allow her to have a strong relationship with both myself and her mother, as I would not stop my ex from seeing our child or use our child to hurt my ex.

    This is not to get back at my ex. If I thought that my ex could grow up and stop trying to use our child to hurt me, then I would gladly ask for 50/50, but my ex has shown that nothing is more important to her than hurting me. This is also not an attempt to avoid paying child support. I would hand over all my money if I could see my child.

    While my ex has not physically abused our daughter or have any addictions, she is unstable in her behaviour. I would need to get her properly assessed, but I believe that she maybe a pathological liar or a sociopath. She refuses to believe the horrible things she has said or done towards me. She even denied something to FACS ( human services) even though they had proof of it (FACS/DOCS was investigating a third person that both my ex and I are connected with, but they did not look into my ex as a mum).

    While I can't go into what the FACS/DOCS investigation was about, I will say that a child was hurt and FACS said that my ex was a bad person/influence for that child to be around as all my ex seemed to want to do is try to turn the children against me. She was trying to manipulate children who she knew had been through an abuse.

    My ex has accused me of being a pedophile and then wanted my sympathy when people argued with her about it. I am sure that she will accuse me of this again to keep me from seeing my daughter. I hope that with the above info from FACS that it shows that she just makes up lies.

    My ex has proven that she will not follow any orders and will continue to make life difficult. She will either string me along or just stop contact all together. Not only would that be horrible for me, but it would also be horrible for our daughter and my two younger children with my new partner.

    My 6 year old daughter has never met her young siblings aged 3 and 1.

    How can I show the family law courts that having my daughter live with me full time is the best option to give her a better life?
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi 5stars,
    Custody can be complex (as you may have read in some related question threads) and hopefully other forum members will be able to provide further information.

    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
  3. Strongarms38

    Strongarms38 Well-Known Member

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    Hi 5stars.

    John has provided some good advice. I'm also currently going through issues with both my ex partners who according to the family court are behaving in an illegal manner with no grounds in actual law. My kids receive the family courts description of child abuse on almost a daily basis. It would certainly be in my kids best interests to be with me and little to no contact with my ex's. That however is unlikely. Another source of support is the men's help line. Depending on what state your in your support options will be different. In WA separated Fathers are a brilliant source of information and they provide a councilling service which I've found extremely useful. Sadly I'm stuck in legalities that may take anywhere from months to over a year. Most likely going to cost me well over $50,000 this is money i don't have and I know my ex's can't afford either. I at least have law on my side. It will cost me a lot. But in the end I should receive a positive outcome which will financially cripple my ex. Talk to the family court and take the advice they give you. You always want to attack this situation from the children's point of view. That's all the family court care about. You are irrelevant. Bad mouthing your ex does nothing for you. You only want the children's rights to be observed. Don't get caught up with name calling. Let her do that whilst you stick to only making comments from the kids perspective if your hoping for a favourable outcome. Good luck.
     
    John R likes this.
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    The Family Law Act 1975, which is the legislation effective in your case, places the child's best interests above all else, and the greatest problem with needing a court to make your parenting decisions for you is that what *you* think is in the child's interests may not stand up in court. This is why the court heavily encourages parents to reach agreements outside of court. After all, how can either of you be trusted to put your children first when you are willing to stick them in the middle of litigation for an unknown amount of time and spend an unknown amount of dollars on doing so?

    So, first thing's first, you need to set up a Family Dispute Resolution conference with your ex to try and reach an agreement that enables the children to enjoy *their right* to have a relationship with and be cared for by both parents. Do not, under any circumstances, sign a parenting plan that you don't agree with, but also be reasonable. Ask for some time so you can rebuild your relationship with your kids, on the proviso that it be reviewed in, say, six months to increase that time you spend with you kids. You can't expect kids to go from not seeing their dad to suddenly seeing him 50/50 and say it's in their best interests.

    If your ex is unreasonable, it will be clear to the mediator, and you will be given a certificate which you must have to pursue court intervention.

    On the likelihood of you getting custody, it is not very likely at all at this stage. You haven't seen them for a long time and it will be emotionally traumatic for them to go from living with their mother to hardly seeing her, especially of your grounds are purely due to the emotional impact of how she has treated you, without any evidence of neglect in how she has treated them. If she's not abusing drugs, isn't physically violent toward them, and is not a threat to their safety, then they have no reason to give you primary carership.

    For your kids sake, you must start slow and build to a stronger relationship. This takes time. Begin with a family dispute resolution conference through legal aid, in which you will both have solicitors backing you. No solicitor will tell her she can continue withholding the kids, but you might end up with alternate weekends and half holidays for now. That's a start. Work up from there, I would say.
     
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  5. Strongarms38

    Strongarms38 Well-Known Member

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    This may well be sound advice. It is a requirement of the family court to first attempt mediation. If your ex is as dumb as mine she'll stuff up mediation. That can be used against her in court. I have certificates for both my ex's. One refused mediation and the other requested it then refused to mediate. Both women have nothing on their side. They have both made legal action necessary when it shouldn't have been and hence my lawyer will be seeking costs. It will eventually work in my favour as I have a heap of evidence and they have nothing but emotional issues. I am aware that most judges believe men don't ask for enough in a court setting so ask for more than you would settle for and you will show how strong you'd desire is to have the children spend time with you. Good luck.
     
  6. 5stars

    5stars Active Member

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    Hello all
    I know this post is old but I thought I would update you on what has happened so far and maybe get some more advice.

    Last year I tried to do mediation with my ex. She did not attend. I was then given a certificate to go to court.

    I decided to ask for weekends and holidays as I thought that once in court my ex would be made to follow orders.

    We tried to have the court documents served on my ex but found out that she had moved address. Myself and my solicitor tried to call and text my ex to ask her what he new address is but she would not respond.

    We were due in court in December last year so I sent my ex a text informing her of the details and once again asked for her address. She did not respond. I have a screen shot of this text.

    My ex runs her own business from home so her mobile and email are correct as they are on her business website and Facebook page.

    The judge said that because we did not know where my ex lived we could send her everything via her business email. So my solicitor sent her my affidavit and everything else in mid December. My ex was given 30 days to respond. We are now in April 2015 and no response from my ex.

    We are due back in court next week and the judge has ordered that both my ex and my daughter need to be there as he wants everyone to speak with a family consultant.

    I have no proof but it looks like my ex will not attend court and may be trying to hide from me. I was able to contact her cousin and asked him to find her address for me. He told me that he asked her but when she found out it was for me she abused him and now will not speak to him.

    I did a Google search on my daughter's name and found a schools newsletter mentioning her (she won an award). My partner then mentioned my daughter on a public post on Facebook (just saying how proud we are) shortly after the post went up my ex blocked my partner on Facebook and the school took the newsletter off their website.

    I contacted the school and asked for a copy (I thought I would need it for court) and all they could tell me was that it was taken down because a parent requested it. They said they would send me a copy but that was 2 weeks ago.

    My ex has also made several statements of her business Facebook page about how she will be out on holiday during the day we have court. She says she will not respond to emails which is the way we need to contact her.

    Seeing as how my ex seems to be trying to avoid court I have been re thinking asking for full custody or majority custody. My youngest children (now aged 4 and 2) still have not met their sister. If my ex does not turn up what is the likely hood that I could be given majority care of my daughter even though I have not seen her in years?
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    This is one of those cases where it's really quite impossible to predict an outcome in court. The matter might proceed undefended, which means you have some advantage because any evidence you have may end up untested.

    But it would be hard for a court to make a ruling that gives you sole parental responsibility when the children haven't seen you in a long time because that's not unlike placing them in the care of a stranger (an unfortunate situation, to say the very least). Pursuing sole parental responsibility when you haven't seen the kids might also seem to the court like you're not placing the kids best interests above your discontent toward the mother's actions (and I assure you that discontent is entirely understandable). Realistically, the kids probably aren't in a situation of genuine harm right now, but they could be deeply impacted by being removed from their mother's care all of a sudden, and asking the court to do that shows the court that you're not considering that impact.

    I know this might seem bleak, but it's important you have faith that the court will uphold your children's right to have a relationship with both parents. If the mother doesn't make an appearance when the father of her kids is being reasonable and only seeking to be a part of his kids lives, the court will be left questioning I what the mother's motives are and if she is at all supportive and encouraging of their relationship with their dad.

    Suspending time and pretending the other parent doesn't exist or acting like the kids will be fine without the other parent is a huge no-no in the eyes of the court. Put simply, let her hang herself in court. Her actions will speak for themselves if she doesn't show up, and it will strengthen your case long term if the mother remains unreasonable.
     
  8. 5stars

    5stars Active Member

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    I know it may seem like I am not considering the impact on my daughter if she is taken from her mother and placed with me but I am. I know it may sound like I just want to get back at my ex but this is not the case.

    Not only am I thinking of what's best for my daughter with my ex but also my youngest children. As it is they have no relationship with their sister. I fear that if my ex doesn't show for court it means that she will never encourage a relationship between my daughter and myself and with my daughter and her siblings. It would not be fair on the kids to have the sister in and out of their lives because of my ex. my kids don't deserve that. None of my kids.

    I believe that the best chance my daughter has to have a relationship with both myself and my ex (as well as all our families) would be of she lived with me.

    I would of course want to do this in a way that would be less stressful to my daughter. And would do whatever the court suggested.

    In saying this IF my ex does turn up then I will still ask for weekends and half holidays.

    (By the way I am asking for my time with my daughter to start with a few hours a week with my ex and then slowing leading to one night sleep after 3 months of day visits so I am already thinking on how to rebuild our relationship)

    I guess I am just worried that if my ex remains the main career that she will continue to mess with my relationship with my daughter. I have heard many stories of parents not following orders and nothing gets done.

    I truly want what's best for my daughter and not just in the next few months but for the next 12 years.

    p.s Sorry if it seems I am attacking your reply. I am not. I appreciate your reply and how honest and helpful it was. Thank you.
     
  9. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You are probably correct that your kids would have the best chance with you, it's just that court is all about perceptions. If you are seen to do everything right, it will empower your case, and that's when you'll be giving yourself the best possible chance of gaining residency with your kids. If you show you're willing to work with the mother by giving her every chance to step up to the plate, and it's the mother that shows she's unwilling to work with you by failing to do so, the court is more likely to rule in your favour.

    So don't jump the gun just yet. Give her every opportunity to get on board with co-parenting. If she fails to do so, it won't go unnoticed by the judge.
     
  10. 5stars

    5stars Active Member

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    Thank you. I think the best thing to do is wait a year or two as my relationship with my daughter re builds (if my ex doesn't try to stop it of course) and then if my ex is still being difficult I will look into majority custody.

    I just hope it won't be too hard on my youngest Kids during this time. I know my ex will never change but you are right I should allow her to bury herself. she is only making things worse for herself.

    Back when I was still seeing my daughter and my partner was pregnant with our first child, my ex would only allow me to see my daughter at her house and so my partner and other family missed out on seeing my daughter. I asked my ex if I could take my daughter home so that she could get used to my partner before the baby was born. My ex said no and told me I had to choose between my daughter and new baby. I told her I would not choose as all my kids are my family and our daughter should be able to spend time with her baby sibling at my house. My ex then told me to leave and I did not see my daughter for over a year. So I think my ex will always try to stop myself and my kids from being with my daughter. Keeping a child from a parent is a former of abuse but also keeping a child from their loving siblings is also abuse.

    I will be back after my court date next week and I will let you know what happens and if my ex turns up.

    Thank you for the replies.
     

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