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VIC Family Law - Ex Locked Me Out When I was Gone

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Bebalucci76, 13 December 2015.

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  1. Bebalucci76

    Bebalucci76 Member

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    After years of trying to salvage our marriage, I finally tell him we are done and it's over. He encourages me to go away for a few days to clear my head. So, I do. (Silly!)

    While I'm gone he gets a lawyer to advise me not to go home as he was concerned about my increased drug usage. (Untrue) When I get home, all my things are prepackaged in the garage and the locks are all changed. Meanwhile, he has my children!!! The case went straight to booking a court date. We are now in the week of the final hearing.

    So far, mostly his story has been told. Mine hasn't as yet as I'm the respondent and my apparent risk as an apparent druggie is far worse than the actual truth. He has always been a narcissist and now he is extremely vindictive. Mind you, he has also admitted to recreational use of substances which is all I had done.

    I am fighting to get time with my kids and it is literally tearing me apart. It is really hard to cope without my beautiful children. Sometimes I can't even breathe. The focus thus far has been on the allegations. Not the actual true story leading up to him instigating his premeditated action plan to out me like that. No money, no food, no shelter, most of all no children!!! Seriously, can't anything be done here? Justice?

    Please help with Family Law, I'm losing my mind without my precious children. This has been since late July 15. The first 2 months I had no contact with them whatsoever. Last 2 months I have 1.5 days, no sleepovers, and visits are supervised.

    Please help!
     
  2. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    In cases like this I strongly suggest you get legal advice as soon as possible.
     
  3. Bebalucci76

    Bebalucci76 Member

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    I have, but because I'm the respondent, I don't have much room to breathe. Apparently the final hearing this week is when my story will be heard. I'm still not happy with that answer even. Not sure if it's worth getting legal help elsewhere? I'm drowning at a very fast pace.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    What orders are you seeking in terms of parental responsibility and time spent with?
     
    Bebalucci76 likes this.
  5. Bebalucci76

    Bebalucci76 Member

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    We already have equal shared responsibility but he is the primary carer (by default) and I am seeking equal share. 50/50
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You'll need to show that equal time is in the best interests of the kids. Generally speaking, if a matter makes it all the way to trial, the likelihood of attaining equal time care arrangements is very limited. The reason for this is because if parents need a court to decide matters for them, then it's unlikely they're able to communicate, compromise and co-parent well enough for an equal time arrangement to work.

    However, it's not impossible, but you will need to do away with phrases like 'MY kids' and 'MY story' and 'what happened to ME'. The kids should be referred to as 'our kids', and the only part of your story that the court needs to know about is the part that impacts the kids - if you have an addiction, what are you doing to alleviate it? If you're having trouble with food and shelter, then how do you plan to feed and house the kids? Can you put aside your criticisms of the other parent in order to support and encourage the children's right to have a relationship with them?

    These are the sorts of questions the court will want to be answered, so think about what your narrative needs to be in order to get 50/50. Is 'But he did drugs too!' better than 'I am undertaking counselling to help address this issue'? Is 'He left me homeless' better than 'I am looking for a rental apartment in X suburb and have Y applications pending'? Is 'He kicked me out of the house!' better than 'I propose both parents attend a post-separation parenting course to help improve communication'?

    A judge recently pointed out that an error self-represented litigants tend to make is believing the court wants to hear about all the flaws in the other person, but what the court wants is parents who acknowledge their children's needs must be placed above their own differences, and fundamentally, children need a relationship with both parents. Focus on how that can be provided to them, rather than turning it into a mud-slinging match.

    Have a read of section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975 for a list of things you must address in regards to what's best for the children. This is the list the court refers to when determining parenting orders and children's best interests: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fla1975114/s60cc.html
     
    Hope this helps and Bebalucci76 like this.
  7. running

    running Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Bebalucci.

    Your ex and my ex sound remarkably similar. After years of abuse, he decided he was sick of me and upped the ante, including getting a lawyer without telling me.

    Luckily, I had a stand up argument with the police on the night we left and they let me take my child.
    We ended up effectively homeless so we went to my parents in another state. Instead of ringing around, he launched a recovery order, and we are in court in the very near future in our home state.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    Please really take note of what allforher has said. I know you're hurting and traumatised and emotionally in overload, but please for the aim and outcome you want which is to have shared time with your children and be the mother you so enjoy, you have to gather up a lot if inner strength and prove to the Judge you've got yourself together to be able to care for the children. Forget the ex, don't even look at him and concentrate on being the sensible, capable person that you are.

    If you haven't already, then state you are awaiting or have a place set up ready for you and your children, as all the Judge is interested is making sure the children are safe and their well-being is taken care of by both parents.

    Don't give up! You're going to court to obtain equal custody, care everything. So go get it! Dress well. Make sure your hair is well groomed and be or look confident. You know you can be a mother.

    As I recommend, please take note of what 'allforher' has stated and don't go in there being defensive nor attacking to the ex. You are not the number one priority. The court is not about you! It is about the childdren! Family court is not a place to do ' throw mud at the other' nor 'look what he did me wrong' mode and play the victim. Court is to show and prove to the Judge by your conduct and using the term 'Our children' not 'me, myself and I' syndrome.

    Go in there like a confident mature responsible mother you are. Your are in the process or have accommodation set up for your children, etc. just take in allforher's advice.

    Calm down. Increased contact, etc. will come as quickly as the hard work you are prepared to set up home and get your act together and life so you can concentrate on being a mother. I know it's extremely heart-ripping but when you enter the courtroom doors be the mother! Think like a mother! And the aim to have equal time and co-parent with the children who belong to both you and the father equally. Walk in there proud of yourself, listen to all suggestions of the judge and read up on the 1975 ACT that allforher has given you.

    I'll be thinking of you. You can do it!
     

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