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VIC Family Law - What are Our Chances of Child Access?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Emily Anne, 3 July 2016.

  1. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Member

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    I am with a man who I'm having a child with. This will be his 5th child and I'm mum number 3. His first 2 children he hasn't seen in 6 years by choice. His other 2 he hasn't seen in 8 months. When he separated from the mother, he, for a year, made no attempt to see the children. She tried to get him to the kids but he ignored them. I encouraged him to see these kids, he agreed, she allowed it.

    They then had a huge altercation. He got a bit to verbal, slightly physical and made a few inappropriate threats to her and for the last 8 months, she hasn't allowed him to see the kids based on this altercation. I do agree that there was no need for the threats and a small amount of pushing and she maybe felt unsafe by this, but from my take, he wouldn't do any of the things he said he would. She did not take out a domestic violence order. She does let him Skype 3 times a week, sometimes it's more, sometimes less. The calls don't last long as the kids don't really seem interested in talking to him.

    She lives in WA (he gave permission for this). We live in Melbourne. Her request is that he's to travel to see the kids there, she is open to when he comes. They have had 3 mediation sessions and not getting anywhere. she won't budge on it and neither will he. One child has just turned one (she was pregnant when they parted), the other just about to turn 3.

    She has said her solicitor said that it's most likely a judge would say that he was to travel there to see the kids at his own expense and most likely get every 2nd weekend access to them. She claims the children are too young to travel all that way, especially the youngest and claiming our living environment is not safe for children.

    Will a recent drug court appearance but no charge and past drug charges and appearances impact him?

    I myself have used drugs, only pot up until before I got pregnant. I haven't since. She is aware of my usage. Can she use me as a reason as to why he can't see his kids?

    Is this true? I don't know if I'm to believe her or not. It seems a bit unfair. I know he hasn't done the right thing but is this how it works in family law? Will his lack of interest in his first 2 kids get looked poorly upon? He's just not interested in these 2 as he said he was young and never wanted kids.

    I know this all sounds really bad but I guess if I can be honest, I can get the most honest answer about what our chances are in family court.

    Thank you.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    What kind of time with the children is the father actually asking for?
     
  3. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Member

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    He would like a week a month, or a week and a half to two weeks every two months?
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    So, your partner's case isn't great at this point, and I doubt the Court would grant the time he is seeking.

    First, the kids are both extremely young. Until 4-5 years of age, attachment theory says that children have a primary attachment figure and that its detrimental to children to be away from that parent for any more than a night or two. Psychologists generally find it's better for kids 'of tender years' to see each parent for shorter periods more often, than longer periods less often. The Court usually agrees.

    Second, given their ages and the 8-month period in which they have not seen him, it's highly unlikely that their relationship with dad at this point would be considered meaningful. Going to stay with him across the country for a week or two wouldn't be unlike going to stay with a stranger. The Court isn't likely to agree that would be best for the children, and it will likely be sceptical about their ability to build a meaningful relationship with him if they only see him every second or so month under the stress of being very far away from their mother.

    Third, there's also the issue of drug-related offences, and now also the history of domestic violence. The Court wouldn't likely stop the kids from seeing their dad, but it would impose restrictions, like drug testing or restrictions on use of drugs/alcohol use prior and during time with the kids, or potentially force time to be supervised.

    The Court only makes orders that it seems to be in the best interests of the kids, and I don't think it could agree that the best interest of two very young children who probably don't know their father that well could be met by one or two weeks away from their mother every second or so month.

    I think dad is better off accepting that he will likely need to travel to spend time with the children, and that at least until they're older and have developed a proper relationship with him, it's unlikely to be for a week at a time.

    I think the mother's position is the more child-focused of the two, at least until they are old enough to travel alone and have a better relationship with dad and can better manage the separation from their mother. I think if he went to Court, he would end up with less than what is being offered.
     
    SamanthaJay likes this.
  5. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Member

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    I really really appreciate your indepth response. At least I now understand what to expect and that she probably isn't been as unreasonable as I thought she was.

    Thanks so much again, it's really generous of you to take your own personal time to answer my question. You're wonderful.
     
    SamanthaJay likes this.
  6. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    Just want to add, make sure you take care of yourself and your baby as well.
     

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