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VIC Family Law - Keeping Son Safe with Supervised Visitation?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by OnceBitten, 24 November 2015.

  1. OnceBitten

    OnceBitten Member

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    Hi

    My ex is an alcoholic, and when we were together I was constantly bombarded with emotional and sexual abuse because of it. It was when he physically hurt me for the first time that I made an exit plan, took our child and ran for the hills. I never reported any of the incidents due to intimidation and threats.

    During the last 4 years, he has had access every second weekend and spends those weekends with our child at his parents' house. This was his choice, but only due to the fact that he lives in a tiny bedroom at a mate's house with no room for our child. However, now he is having to move and he's talking about getting his own place, which will mean that there won't be that buffer zone and I fear for our child's safety. He has drugs, alcohol and a decent collection of knives (I believe there is a switchblade somewhere in that collection) which he refused to lock up/get rid of while we were living together, and I'm pretty sure he still has them. Last I heard, he was shopping for a new one.

    So, I have no solid proof of any of this, and it's just my word against his. All I have are psychologist and psychiatrist reports (he messed me up big time). There are no court or parenting orders in place. How can I ensure the safety of my child under family law? Can I just insist that he comes to my place for visitation? I'm 99% sure he wouldn't take me to family court.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Therese

    Therese Well-Known Member

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    Hi OnceBitten,

    Under the Family Law Act, the welfare of the child and their bests interest is the priority of any decision made by authorities.

    Therefore, if your ex was to challenge you requesting him to visit the child you would be protected by law.

    It is my understanding that a court would take into consideration the allegations of family violence and with your expert reports it would be considered seriously.

    I would suggest asking him to come and visit the child at your place and if he refuses, seek legal advice of how to proceed. See Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You.

    In my opinion, you have a strong case to demonstrate his negative impacts on the safety of the child. Hope this helps!
     
  3. N Knight

    N Knight Well-Known Member

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    Hi OnceBitten,

    I would suggest that you contact DHHS and report what is going on with him to them. If he insists on taking the child to his house and you have concerns about the safety of your child - I would challenge him and tell him to take you to court.

    The worst that will happen is that he will get the current routine going pending a Family Report.
     
  4. OnceBitten

    OnceBitten Member

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    Thanks for the input guys.

    One more question:

    I have recently obtained a lawyer through a community legal service (didn't qualify for legal aid) and have restricted visitation. Under the advice of my lawyer, I offered the ex a supervised visitation (by me) in a public area. The ex begrudgingly accepted, but of course, he cracked the sads and afterwards dramatically reduced his phone contact with our son to one 2 minute phone call a week (as opposed to 2-3 times a week, plus fortnightly visitation rights).

    Sometimes it's me initiating the call on my son's behalf (I dial and hand the phone straight to my son so he doesn't feel like he has to speak to me first) if a week has passed with no contact, or my son asks to speak to him. Not once has he challenged my decision nor demanded to see his son. It honestly seems to me that he's lost interest in our child.

    Does this seem like enough evidence to request full parental responsibility Family Law? I would ask my lawyer, but I've left 3 messages in the last week for a return call but got nothing. We're going to mediation next week (not that I think it will help anyone) and I'm freaking out.

    Thanks
     
  5. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    It will be up to the court to determine whether it would be in your child's best interests to grant you sole custody of your child. Depending on the age the court will appoint an independent children's lawyer as well as getting an independent expert witness to see your child and provide a report to the court.
     

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