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SA Family Court Orders - Does Child Have a Say in Family Court?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by SA2016, 23 February 2016.

  1. SA2016

    SA2016 Member

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    I left my ex due to domestic violence in 2003 when our child was two years old. After that, he didn't return our child after a weekend. I took him to family court and he was returned after a few days. We have family court orders in 2005 where he had three nights a fortnight access. Before one of his weekends, early after the court order was issued, he would say that I would never see our child again. I didn't send our child and subsequently contravened the order. He took me to family court and I was shocked that the court ordered the time be made up.

    After this, the threat of never seeing our child again become a regular threat and this went on fortnightly for years. He would say I wouldn't see our child again and then turn his phone off on a Friday and I would live in fear until he was returned on a Sunday. I didn't go back to family court because I believed there was nothing I could do and if I stopped our child from going they would order more time to be made up.

    Over the years, there have been some terrible things that have happened in his care and I would report them to the child abuse report line, go to the police, lodge court papers and nothing would happen.

    Four years ago, he stopped one of the days and only had two nights a fortnight. He has since asked for this time back when he got a letter from child support. He has never paid and this always angers him when he hears from child support. At one stage, I had an exemption from child support for our safety.

    We have lived with this man's anger for 13 years and our child has now started high school. Late last year I spoke with my ex and he advised next time our child is in his care, he is going to ram our child's head through a wall. Our child has not had contact with the father again since then and doesn't want to go to the father's house due to being scared and also due to past behaviour.

    Through counselling, our child has said that his dad showed a gun on access and advised not to tell me and our child also saw him smoking a glass pipe. Today I have court papers regarding the contravention and an affidavit stating that I stopped access for no good reason.

    As our child is 13 now and doesn't want to go to Dad's due to the threat of family violence, Dad always being angry 'every day about everything', being scared all the time and being scared of not coming home, I don't know what chance there is that the Family Court will listen to our child's concerns (and obviously mine) in relation to this matter and cancel our Family Court Orders that was made in 2005.

    I have legally been advised that our child will have a say and will not have to go back if they decide not to but I am frightened it may not be that easy.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    There's never a guarantee that a child won't be forced to spend time with a parent against their will, but in most circumstances, if a child above the age of 12 shows a strong resistance to doing so, the court will make orders "that the child spends time with the father in accordance with his wishes".
     

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