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WA Custody of Children - Child's Mother's in Prison - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Ashlee, 21 June 2015.

  1. Ashlee

    Ashlee Member

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    Hi, I am needing some information for my parner. His ex girlfriend has recently been sentenced to 3 years in prison for trafficking drugs! He has 2 young daughters to her who are now staying with her family. We are wanting to go for full custody and wanting to know if we will have much luck! We live in Perth and they live 10 hour drive away! My partner sees them every so often as it's a 10 hour drive and speaks with them often.

    We are wondering would we be able to move the children to perth with us? The mother is in a prison in perth! What do we need to show or have in court to get them on our side and give the children over for full custody of children.

    Any help or advice is appreciated!

    And does he need to do mediation with her if she is in a prison still?
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ashlee,

    Sorry to hear about this situation. As for your question:
    • Does your partner and the children's mother have a custody arrangement (or parenting order) in place? If so, is it court sanctioned or just agreed between the parents?
    It sounds like your partner is seeking to (i) relocate the children, and (ii) have full custody of the children. To do this, he should apply for a custody order with court. Without a court ordered custody arrangement, he can also unilaterally move the children with him to Perth, however, the mother's parents may apply for a recovery order, which would mean the children would need to be returned. Therefore, it is best to get the court's approval first. Given the mother is in prison, and will be for the next three years, for a serious criminal offence, it should be fairly easy for your partner to argue for full custody, at least temporarily while the mother is in prison.

    It may be worthwhile speaking with the grandparents about some kind of visitation/contact arrangement. It may be in the children's best interests to keep in frequent contact with their grandparents, and your partner may get some resistance from the grandparents about taking away the children without speaking to them about it first.
     
  3. Ashlee

    Ashlee Member

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    Hi, Thankyou for getting back to me, they both never had any arrangements in place whatsoever there living with grandparents now it's been not even a week since she got put away.. He never had contact with any of them, so unfortunately don't have any of there numbers other then the ex so we can't speak with them! We know they will not Just hand them over so we will have to go through courts but will we have a good chance! The ex lived with her mum,dad and sisters so girls have been around them a lot will they look at that and does that mean we have no chance because they see us less and them more so it's best for them to stay there or will they still give us a fair chance!
    Thankyou for
     
  4. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ashlee,

    The only question the court considers is: what is in the best interests of the children?

    Therefore, the court will consider all circumstances, including:
    • That a child should be in contact with its father;
    • The age of the children;
    • The children's existing support network (e.g. grandparents and carers, school, friends, doctors etc.); and
    • Your reasons for moving the children to Perth.
    The Family Court is quite relaxed in that the judge has more discretion about what they consider because ultimately, family disputes are complex and can be messy.
     

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