LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

TAS How to Stop Ex's Harassment?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Sheer, 23 September 2016.

  1. Sheer

    Sheer Active Member

    Joined:
    22 September 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    My ex wife was physically very abusive towards me and verbally abusive to our children. We separated 5 years ago and I have had the children in my care since.

    The children only have visits with their mum 3 times a year but have regular phone contact. We have no formal custody arrangements in place. Over the past 5 years, she has continued to stalk, harass and abuse me. She has also tried to destroy my life and reputation with false accusations.

    The children are very frightened of her as she has lashed out at them many times. I have always tried to accommodate her wishes around access to the children, but she is extremely uncooperative and has become increasingly threatening and abusive.

    We have tried mediation but she continues to use phone contact as a platform to abuse me or the children. I have been so worried by her recent threats that the children and I are staying away from home at the moment. I have spoken to police, who took out an FVO on my behalf, but have otherwise been reluctant to charge her for breaches of the order.

    Our eldest child has started to become significantly distressed by her escalating abuse. He recently told me he was afraid for his life. I feel completely powerless and at a loss as to what I can do. I just want my children to live happily and to be safe. I am at breaking point. I feel as if I will have a mental breakdown very soon if the harassment does not stop.

    Is there anything I can do to stop her harassing us? Also, would I have good grounds for a formal custody agreement that required she have supervised visits, or could I even try for full custody of children?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    They only see her three times a year?

    Is she asking to see them more?
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 September 2015
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    126
    So take some control. Buy a cheap phone, give her that number then leave the phone on top of the fridge turned off. Check it once in a while and get back to her. That way, every time your real phone rings, you don't have a panic attack

    Tell her you want email correspondence only. Don't even answer the phone. Mate, she sounds like a nutter. Best way to deal with it is to ignore it. Teach your kids to do the same.

    You could spend thousands on solicitors to try to get sole parental responsibility. But all you're really doing is engaging in conflict with the ex and you'll be playing into her drama riddled world. No thanks....
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    258
    Agree with Sammy, take control back. At the moment you have given it away to the ex.
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    I disagree with the above. I think teaching the kids to ignore their mother is going to cause the father a world of pain should she ever wish to take this matter to Court.

    Why is the mother only seeing the children three times a year? There are no orders in place and you've indicated she has asked to see them more often, even attended mediation I assume for that purpose, but you've then described her as 'extremely uncooperative' in doing so. How so? Is she asking to see them at 2:00am on a Wednesday morning? Or is it more related to something like a clash of schedules?

    Further, the police are reluctant to charge for breaches of a family violence order - why? Usually, such reluctance is only linked to cases where the breach is linked to contact about family law matters. Is that the case here?

    And if the children are being abused via phone calls to such a degree that they fear a person they only see three times a year will try to take their lives, then why are you still facilitating those phone calls? What's the reasoning behind that?

    I am reluctant to answer questions about the likelihood of getting orders for sole parental responsibility, that would be something to engage a family lawyer to provide legal advice on.
     
  6. Sheer

    Sheer Active Member

    Joined:
    22 September 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I will clarify a few things...

    Firstly, the children only see their mum a few times a year because she lives several hours from us and she has never asked to see them more. She moved away around a year after we seperated. I have taken the children to visit at her request. I have only asked that she has someone trustworthy present while she has them. It has been a very difficult situation because I always felt it was important for the children to know their mother, but I am afraid to leave them in her care. I sought legal advice a few years ago and was told to forget about trying for supervised access because she hadnt abused the children physically (yet).

    Secondly, we attended mediation because I was unable to cope with her abusive behavoir. I was considering applying for custody at the time but my family lawyer suggested we try mediation instead.

    Thirdly, by "extremely uncooperative", I mean she has been abusive towards me at almost every meeting with the children and has also become increasingly abusive towards our eldest child. She calls at 2am and leaves messages demanding to talk to them. If we accidentally miss a call from her she will call back 30 times or more and send a barrage of texts. I usually have my phone switched off while at work. During this time she may message me dozens of times asking why i am stopping her from talking to the children and become increasingly abusive. In order to address this issue our mediation councillor suggested we have set call times, but my ex never follows this and admittedly I stopped trying to enforce it after a short time because the backlash was too much.

    Fithly, I can ignore the abusive messages and change my numbers / email ect.. but that still wont solve the problem of her being a threat. I was advised to do this by police once before but she turned up at the houses of my friends and family and eventually tracked us down and ran my car off the road (with the children in it). She also broke a window trying to get into our house. Police were called and placed an FVO but no charges were laid.

    Finally, I facilitate the calls despite the damage they are causing the children because I have been advised to do so by police and a lawyer. I was told that while she is clearly a bad parent, its not grounds for legal action and that if I were ever to try for full custody, it would make things more difficult.

    So my position is that I am very afraid for my children and feeling helpless. I am also physically and mentally exhausted. I have had to take time off work, my eldest child is frightened and looking over his shoulder all of the time and he has gone from being an 'A' student to barely scraping in 'C's recently. We are staying with my parents at the moment because I cant be with the kids all the time to protect them. It seems that we have to wait for her do something really terrible before anyone will help us..

    I am willing to do whatever it takes for my children to feel safe and for them to be happy. I came here as a last resort to seek advice as I have so far not found a solution anywhere else.

    Thanks again. The family court sounds like a really shitty option.
     
  7. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 September 2015
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    126
    Ok, so court won't help. Court can't make a crazy person become sane. So you have to make strategies to manage crazy. You also need to have strategies in place for the kids to feel safe. Again, court won't help. You need to think this one thru. Maybe counselling

    I would cease all contact. How old are the kids?
     
  8. Sheer

    Sheer Active Member

    Joined:
    22 September 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kids are 12 and 8. My eldest is having regular visits with a counselor to manage his anxiety and emotions.

    I am also in the process of arranging something for myself. I can cut contact, but then what? If she pursues the matter, we may end up in a custody dispute.

    I am concerned family court may make situation worse by enforcing conditions that are unsafe (such as unsupervised visits). How likely do you think this is?
     
  9. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    258
    Sheer, your posts have the tone of a helpless victim. You need to man up and take control. You are allowing the damage to your children to occur. You chose the ex to have children with, now you need to shield your kids from the actions of someone who seems to have mental health issues.

    Personal actions by yourself and legal options are both available to you. Use them - both of them. If you don't do this, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    If you are being harassed - report it to the police. Get custody sorted in the court, or deny all contact and let her fight for access. Keep a diary of all contact with the ex. Stop feeling helpless, take positive steps and take back control and get help from police when needed!

    I am not trying to be cruel here, am hoping you will see that you can take positive steps to fix the problem.
     
  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 September 2015
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    126
    I kinda agree with Rod, I reckon I'd have been a bit nicer in the way I expressed it.

    Ok, so 12-year-old, great - Child can express their own wishes. Doesn't mean court will do what the 12-year-old wants but at least their wishes will be factored in. And the courts don't like splitting up kids, so 12-year-old's opinion will affect the 8-year-old.

    So refuse access and tell the ex to take you to court. Easy.

    But - if you're deemed by the court to have manipulated the kids to get back at the ex, or for whatever messed up reason that people do that sorta stuff - you can expect the courts to come down on you hard.... Not saying that is what you're doing, but it does happen...
     

Share This Page

Loading...