NSW Custody of Children - How to Recover Daughter from Ex?

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4 August 2014
I was married for twelve years. Divorce was in 2011. I have a 14 year old daughter from this marriage.

Since the separation and divorce, my ex wife has totally denied my daughter and I any form of contact at all. I have tried to arrange an agreement with my ex wife to enable my daughter and I to spend time together but my ex wife flatly refuses to discuss anything with me all.

My daughter has been able to be in contact with me via Facebook when she is staying at her friend's house for the evening. During this communication my daughter has told me that she can't stand living at her mum's as her needs are often neglected and she wished to be able to live with me but her mother won't let her.

There are no parenting orders or orders of any kind (such as custody of children) in place.

I need to find a way to enable my daughter to be able to live with me as this is what she wants. I have invited my ex wife to participate in family dispute resolution but she refuses to reply to the requests in any way.

How can I do this? And what can I do? Is buying her a ticket to my place against family law?


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
While there are no parenting or consent orders in place, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from seeing your daughter or having your daughter live with you.

Now, if the situation escalates, here are few things to consider.

First, you must have at lest one Family Dispute Resolution conference to try and reach an outcome for the child's care before you can approach the court for parenting orders. The best avenue is to organise it through Legal Aid. If the mother refuses to attend, you will receive the certificate you need to pursue orders through court.

Second, your daughter's age will have an immense influence on how your situation will pan out. At 14 years of age, the court will place significant weight on her opinion about her living situation and about what she wants. This is a positive for you, if your daughter wants to live with you. Even false allegations of violence and the like are unlikely to outweigh the input of a 14-year-old teen.

Third, always take the high road with the mother. Be polite, respectful, always be the better parent. You never know what she might bring up if it does end up before a judge.
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