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VIC Ex in Prison - IVO and Domestic Violence Related

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by mickeymouse, 7 April 2015.

  1. mickeymouse

    mickeymouse Member

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    Hi All, I have a rather complicated scenario. Me (32 f), ex (27 m), and child (3 yrs f).

    So back in 2013 me and my ex attended a party. He was heavily intoxicated (heavy drinker), got into an altercation with the man whose 40th it was. Window was broken. He got thrown out I decided to stay, was sick of his behaviour which was ongoing. Bad fights weekly. Heavy drinking all the time. Not daily but often enough. Not going to work etc. I was trying to cope with working full-time and 1 year old. All from when daughter was 4 months. We also lost daughter from still birth In 2010.

    As I chose not to leave party we attended he then came back 4 hours later and pulled me out of my car threw me a across the road. I wet my pants from the physical shock. I left him. Things turned sour quickly. Resulting in an intervention order ( domestic violence). Then breaches. Then at the end of that year he assaulted me whilst I was exchanging our daughter at his mother's. I was sitting in car, daughter asleep. Woke up to me receiving multiple hits to the head. Punches with a close fist. My daughter was just in shock. Police attended. I called 000. No one else did. His dad did give his details to police as witness. His mother was inside. I pressed charges. Enough was enough. For his sake also. He was 10days later arrested and charged. Released on bail. 6hours later

    6 weeks later, his dad dies in front of him and his mother sudden heart attack in a public car park front of doctor surgery. We talk despite IVO. Then things got out of hand because of information about my personal affairs had been told to him which made him further angry. On top of emotion, I then filed a further breach. And left things. His last few messages were "please let me see .. our daughter. I have presents for her etc." But I filed a breach because previous when we tried being civil it turned pear shaped. Also given I have myself and daughter on ivo and there is no contact I had to file it.

    That was March. Come June last year or July, he was remanded for breaching his bail. For incidents not involviving me. He was then imprisoned for all the breaches. The charges from when I was assaulted. There were also threats to kill. He was convicted 24 charges in total, listed as serious violent offender.

    I had no idea only receiving a phone call from a friend. Now he has spent 9 months in prison. Still will possible another 9 months. But likely less. 9 months non parole. His family stopped seeing my daughter when the dad died. They blamed me for the dad not seeing her when he died. My ex was very upset with his family as he knew this was wrong. His family have not seen my daughter for a year now. She doesn't remember them. She knows her dad from the photos. But this is all.

    I've had no contact or anything from my ex. Being the ivo prevents mail, phone sms, etc.

    Should I add also there is no parenting plans or consent orders.

    My questions are;
    - if I amended the ivo so that were able to write, sms, phone. What would the ramifications be on me?
    -if I wrote him a letter what would the ramifications be?
    -I believe that he has had some time to rehabilitarlte. I want to be able to support this.
    -would myself contacting him have issues.

    I need closure, as I am sure he does. I believe we need to be able to communicate about our daughter. He has had no photos in a year.

    Please help.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you've worked out by now that in regards to parenting orders, intervention orders operate only insofar as the children's best interests are met. This means that if you get a parenting plan or parenting order in place, communication about the child will be permitted and not considered in breach of the IVO, provided that's what the court decides.

    In terms of contacting him without first amending the IVO, you may face difficulties if things turn sour and you wish to pursue a contravention order. You will likely find the police reluctant to act because identifying who has contacted who first will create problems for their case in court.

    Amending the IVO to permit communication about the child will not likely have any ramifications for you, but be sure to stipulate that you want communication to be only about the child. Regardless of how you may feel about this person, it's perhaps best for him that you try and maintain a business-like relationship, extending only to communication about the child, so as not to ignite any of those old feelings of anger. This is not in any way to suggest that any of his behaviour is your fault - by and large, it is not. People are responsible for their own actions, plain and simple. But you are right in that the child will benefit most if her parents can get along. You might also wish to request that he continue attendance on a counsellor or perhaps enrol in a post-separation parenting course to improve communication between you and consider the impact of conflict on your child.

    I urge you to be careful about facilitating unsupervised time between child and father until you have some kind of agreement in place. Father or not, a violent offender is still a violent offender, and the child's safety must be preserved at all costs.
     
    mickeymouse and Rod like this.
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    If past violence was all alcohol related, see if you can determine if he has undertaken a program to stop his drinking. Possibly make no alcohol a condition of a parenting plan.

    If you have a choice of violent father or no father, take the no father path. Kids should not be subjected to a violent person, even if it is their father.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with the 'violent father or no father' statement. It's a child's right to know both parents, and there are dozens of options that can address poor adult behaviour and should be tried long before a child is forced to grow up without a dad.

    Parents aren't optional, and nor should they be treated as such. Comments like that only encourage people to falsify claims so they can get more child support or punish a parent they don't like. The moment you have a child with another person, whatever 'choice' you think you have about their role in a child's life is null and void. They're a parent, equal in measure and importance, like it or not.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    It is an dilemma. Which option causes the least harm to the child. I'd suggest that individual circumstances end up determining which is the better result.

    And I agree all options should be explored before a father, or mother, is no longer allowed contact with their child.

    The '.... or not' is where the law struggles. Trying to determine true from part truth from lie is not always easy and I am pleased with the way family law has evolved to put the interest of children first and foremost.
     
  6. mickeymouse

    mickeymouse Member

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    Thankyou for your response. After speaking with his barrister I was just unsure of whst I should do. Everyone is saying for me to wait for him to initiate seeing his daughter. However I am also concerned for his mental wellbeing.
    His barrister was very helpful obviously having an off the books conversation. He asked me what I would aloow in relation to mikayla. I said I am unsure. Becuase I believe me and him need to be able to communicate. He suggested ammending the ordernso we can communicate. He still is in prison.
    Iv had lawyers tell me that I should do nothing becuase then it is creating hassle possibly that I dont need.
    I need some sort of answer and something in place. His barrister offered to pass on a letter and then pass one back to me.
    Really confused on what to do here.
     
  7. mickeymouse

    mickeymouse Member

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    I know his barrister openly said he has a clear issue with alcohol. He also recommended urine testing when he comes out. But I am worried on the here and now. I know he also has done a course in jail. I do believe further councilling for us both. Parenting also. If there is a joint mediation we can attend. Another question I had. Becuase he is in jail now. Can mediation be facilitated whilst he is in prison. Also am I better to have some sort of order in place before he comes out of prison.
     
  8. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You might be better off speaking to Legal Aid about whether mediation can be facilitated while the father is in prison. They can do mediation via telephone, so it may be an option, but before you do so, make sure you have a clear pathway that you're hoping to follow to help the father have a relationship with his child.

    I agree with the barrister that urine testing might be an idea, and a request that neither party consume alcohol for a period of 24 hours prior to the child coming into their care, nor while the child is their care. Any agreement that you hope he will follow, you should also follow as a show of good faith.

    Relationships Australia offers a post-separation parenting course that might be of use to both you and your former spouse. It teaches parents how to communicate and ensure the children's needs are the primary focus. I would suggest enrolling in this and asking that the father do the same when he leaves prison.

    But first, call Legal Aid and talk about mediation.

    I hope this helps.
     
  9. mickeymouse

    mickeymouse Member

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    I have spoken with a legal service and they said if I make changes and things go bad later. It could look bad on me that I have initiated something.
    The other concern I have is his mother was very close to my daughter. So were we before the father her husband died and before I was assaulted. However now that all this time has gone on. I believe its still important for my daughter to have these relationships. I was going to try and contact the mother. Would this be recommended? Even though she has made no effort. I believe st the end of the day someone needs to be the bigger person?
    Also with my ivo. Its states we can communicate through written agreement about family matters or through mediation lawyer etc. It was also suggested that I make a written agreement. I can stop this at any point. As its not a court order.
     

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