QLD Help with Domestic Violence and Father's Unsupervised Access?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Thenarcisistsprey, 23 August 2019.

  1. Thenarcisistsprey

    Thenarcisistsprey Well-Known Member

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    I will start with a bit of the history/background of the situation... So I have a 5-year-old son. His father and I separated prior to his birth, however, briefly reconciled after his birth for several months.

    There is a significant history of domestic violence and the father had a drug problem that was largely kept hidden from me (he knew my stance on drugs and he and his friends all teamed up to keep it hidden from me). We resided in Tasmania throughout our relationship.

    Around the time I found out I was pregnant with our son, I was trying to leave his father. There were several incidents and the police became involved and placed a police family violence order on the father. The conditions were that he not stalk threaten harass or abuse me. Eventually, I managed to leave and went interstate to QLD to be near my family and our son was born in QLD.

    Stupidly, I gave him another chance and moved back after our son was born. This time things were worse however and after a few incidents, the police placed another order on the father that he not come within 500 metres of me and not to contact me or have anyone else contact me. He breached that order 5 times and damaged a hire car I had amongst other things.

    Child protection became involved and told me under no circumstances was I to allow the father to have any contact with our son. They also told me I wasn’t allowed to have our son at my home as the father had been successful at breaking into the house and knew where we resided. I was told to place him in daycare whilst I packed up my belongings. Which I did. The police would drive past the house every ten minutes on days I was packing due to concerns for my safety whilst I packed up the house.

    Our son became very ill after contracting a bacterial and viral infection from daycare. He was diagnosed with septicaemia and placed in the hospital. I was told he was 2 hours from death when I finally was successful at having emergency staff do a blood test after they attempted to send him home with Panadol for the 4th time in a week when I knew he was very unwell. Somehow the father learned a few days later how I’ll our son was and called me crying saying “what if he never got to say goodbye”.

    I felt terrible for him and so I stupidly allowed him to see him despite what child protection had told me. I guess I thought maybe this one time it would be ok given how sick he was. Well nope, there was an incident and the police attended and they informed child protection of the incident and child protection contacted me telling me as I hadn’t acted protectively of my son that they were going to be applying for a 12-month care plan/ order and would likely be removing him from my care. I was devastated.

    I spoke to a support worker and several officers at the victim response team of the police and the police offered to pay my airfare to leave and go back to qld where my family was. Child protection agreed to allow me to go and take my son but said that they would be liaising with qld child protection and the order still may go ahead. So I left. After several big meetings child protection decided that me leaving the state with our son was acting protectively and in his best interests and they decided after a few months to close the case.

    Now, I’ve always allowed his paternal grandparents to see him any time they like. They are not aware of any of the aforementioned incidents that occurred. They do not know their son is violent or any of this. I have not wanted to tell them as his mother is a beautiful kind woman and it will upset her greatly to know the truth. Instead, we don’t really talk about the father. They would visit a park with our son every 5 or so months and spend about 4 hours having lunch and playing. They have been consistently there his whole life and he adores them. I’d always be present when they visit. They live a few hours away and are elderly. So the father came up from Tasmania maybe 2 years ago.

    And has been coming with them over the last year and a half to see our son. I am always there and I have no concerns about mine or my son's safety whilst his parents are present as he is a completely different person with them present.

    I have no communication with him whatsoever. Now all of a sudden these visits and requests to visit are increasing - a lot. Which is ok because our son enjoys seeing them and I understand that he has a right to know his paternal family. The second last occasion the father came up to me as we were leaving and said he wants to start having our son sometimes.

    He has never had any involvement other than tagging along when his parents come to see him. He has never paid child support, never sent presents or bought anything for him, hasn’t even paid for the damage to the hire car or other property he destroyed, some of which were our son's things.

    So now Father’s Day is coming up. They are asking to take him for the day. I’d have no concerns about the grandparents taking our son at all. What I am concerned about is that they don’t know the history and could allow the father to be around him unsupervised. I get such bad anxiety at the thought of telling the grandparents the history of mine and the father's relationship.

    I don’t know whether I have done the right or wrong thing in allowing the father to see our son with his parents present and I’m basically just very confused about how to move forward with this whole situation.

    If anyone has some advice on what they think I should do it would be greatly appreciated.

    Does anyone have any opinions? Or maybe know of someone who has had a similar experience with child protection? Would child protection be likely to reopen their case or something? I’ve tried asking but they can’t tell me anything bad they closed their case so I don’t know where I stand or who to ask. I don’t feel comfortable with them taking him without knowing that he shouldn’t have unsupervised access but I also don’t feel comfortable being the one to tell them what their son is truly like.

    I don’t want to be unreasonable and not allow him the access they are requesting so I’m just very confused about what to do. I’m not sure if a family lawyer would be able to offer advice on this so I don’t know who to really ask for help. :(
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    So meet the grandparents in a public place with your son & remain with them for the visit...
     
  3. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    Has dad ever hurt the kid?
     
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