NSW Is it legal for my wife to hide out with my 2-yo kid without telling me?

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smallcat

Well-Known Member
8 January 2020
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My wife and I are in cold war since 2 weeks ago. But while I was at work today, she suddently left home and hide out with my 2-yo kid without telling me. She also didn't answer my calls.

Is it legal? What is my option as a dad to the kid?
 

Jake Matherson

Well-Known Member
15 June 2018
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659
Is it legal yes.
Is it nice no.

Be VERY careful from this point on and document everything!

Do not harass her, send 4000 messages, yell, scream, be overly angry.

Everything you do now can and will be used to slap you with a DVO that will say that you cant be near her and the child.
She will get the DVO by telling the police she is scared of you and you're harassing her. Even if she says she doen't want the DVO the police will put it on you anyway. It's that easy.

Then you will have to take the DVO to court and apply for mediation and family court.

DO NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID. It will cost you thousands of dollars and +6months time without the child.

Your option as the dad is to be nice and civil with her. Talk to her politely and offer to go to mediation if necessary(Call relationships Australia and set it up).
 

smallcat

Well-Known Member
8 January 2020
30
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121
Thank you for your advise. I know I need to stay calm.

I found out that she is hiding in our joint-name investment property. (because the tenant just moved out yesterday)

Now my issue is I am worrying about my kid and the loss of renting income which must be used to cover the mortgage.

What if she doesn't want to talk?

FYI, we have an Event No. with the police because she beat me to bleeding half year ago, and the Police Inspector confirmed with me that I was the victim (but no AVO).
 

Jake Matherson

Well-Known Member
15 June 2018
223
29
659
#1 suggestion get actual legal advice. This is going to get very messy if the relationship is irreconcilable.
You might get an initial consultation free or cheap ($300ish) to get some initial ideas/help

There are properties and kids involved you need actual legal advice.


Just my opinion.
Yep she's gonna stop paying rent and if she has the child 100% expect her to call child support and hit you up for money there.

If she doesn't want to talk there is not much you can do.
Organise mediation (you have to do this to start Family Court)
If she doesn't rock up you get a certificate and then kick off Family Court to get time with your child.
Call relationships Australia today.

Your event with the police isn't of much help right this second. You would use it in your Family court paperwork should this proceed to family court.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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Sydney
She's moved into a vacant property that she part owns?
Hard to see anything unlawful there.

One suggestion.
If you have one, and if you can, then keep paying the mortgage.
And I mean pay all of it, on the assumption that she won't be paying anything,
Yes, even if she can afford it (or even if she has been co-paying until now).

Why?
Because it helps you look like the sensible, rational one.
And because it will keep the lender off your case.

"Three reasons, Your Honour.
Because I'm trying to protect my own interest in the property; and
because I'm trying to keep things calm, and promote an environment favourable to negotiation; and
because it helps provide stability for the child at a difficult time."

Further suggestion.
Stay away. Be contactable, but don't contact her.
That stuff about harassment above? That.
No, in the current circumstances, you don't have any kind of right to go the property.

And, you need the advice of a family law lawyer, and in your case, an accountant.
 

smallcat

Well-Known Member
8 January 2020
30
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121
Hi Jake Matherson,

If mediation can be done successfully, then no need to go to Family Court. Otherwise, a court case will be started after mediation failed. Am I correct?

There is no good way to get back my child before any court order is made?

For this early stage, can she still request child support money from me?

She is always emotionally unstable and she also admitted that she has problem with her mental health. (but no official diagnostic so far)

In fact police have assigned a counsellor from Relationships Australia to me, they are very good at providing support other than legal advise.


Hi Tim,

Yes, it is a joint name property.

I like your suggestion to keep paying the mortgages and bills. But I probably can’t be sustainable after few months… In generally, how long it takes to settle a case like mine?

BTW, she took away a lot of money from our common account in the last 12 months w/o my consent, which made our common account always suffer from insufficient funds…
 

Jake Matherson

Well-Known Member
15 June 2018
223
29
659
I am not a lawyer, just a punter on this page that's going through his own mess.

Mate, you sound like you're dealing with a loose cannon. Having dealt with my own ex and not getting out when I saw the red flags I can empathise with you.
Now might be the time to get out for good.

Assaulting you, mental health issues and poor financial stability are pretty good reasons to take a step back and think about if this is a person you want to be with.

But, yes if you to go to mediation and talk it out and perhaps come up with a parenting plan that works for you both that's great! Provided you both stick to it and everybody is happy no need to go to court.
Parenting plans are not legally binding documents and she can decide she no longer wants to follow it at any time and withhold access to the child. If she is emotionally unstable like my ex you can expect that a parenting plan wont work and you will just be delaying the court process.

No Court Order's that say Dad get X time with the child then you're correct there is no way to get the child back without mum giving her to you. If the child is not in immediate danger (sexual/abuse) police or child service will do nothing as the child is being cared for by her mother and a responsible adult. If you go to the child school and take the child you will be seen to be creating conflict and no doubt mum will slap you with a DVO. Don't do this.

Yep, it will take 4 week's processing and then they give you about two weeks to respond but you would expect mum to call child services and say she has the child 100% and you will be asked to pay from the day she applied.

You need to see a lawyer and get this mess sorted quickly, Before she costs you more money. It's already going to cost you thousands in legal fees.

Again, not a lawyer just my opinion.
 

smallcat

Well-Known Member
8 January 2020
30
0
121
Hi Jake,

Thank you so much for your suggestions. I will consider them seriously and take action ASAP.

I also want to ask whether what have they done below was legal?

========================================================================
During my wife's move out, she searched every corner at home including my personal drawers and cabinets. She secretly took around 70% of the daily necessities / kitchen ware / toilet items, most baby stuffs & passport, all gold and jewellery, and my personal Opal card, but except large appliances. She also took away the keys of my home and my car.

Her mother and her sister helped her to move out and then moved in to our investment property together. Now 3 women are happily living together (with our child).

Why them?
Her mother: we invited her to live with us for almost 2 years to take care of our child
Her sister: an overseas visitor spending 3 weeks in Australia, we invited her to stay at my home, will leave very soon
========================================================================
 
Last edited:

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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2,894
Yep all legal.
My advice is contradictory to some of the stuff above. Food for thought.
Stop paying for stuff. Clear out bank accounts so she cant access them. If you're paying for her phone then don't. Contact the bank and explain, you'd be surprised. They have hardship provisions. Save every cent you can. WHY? well it seems to me she is gonna make this as difficult as possible. She isn't being fair. True? Reasonable? NOPE.

So this is gonna get expensive. Start saving ????

And - the mortgage is a big one. Story time... I was in a similar / worse situation. I was kicked out of the house. She had an avo against me. So I could not go near her / the kids / the house. I'm paying mortgage, rent to put a roof over my head, child support, car loan for a car she was driving, health insurance, her phone, electricity, gas, child care costs and legal bills to try to get access to the kids. Meanwhile she was getting single parent payment, family tax benefit, child support and she didn't have to pay for accomodation or any of the bills - Basically she had about $2000 a fortnight to buy food, clothes and fuel.... Meanwhile I was spending more than I was earning whilst living in a s**t hole rental place with barely enough $$$ for food. Oh and I"m working 40 hours a week, she wasn't working at all, but still had 3 days a week with the kids either in child care or school..... So why would she want that situation to change? Why would she wan't to agree to sell the house? Give me access to the kids? The answer was she didn't. She would have been happy for that situation to go on for years and years.

She refused to respond to letters from solicitors and when she eventually did she wrote back an extortion letter. Basically, she would agree to me having the kids one night a week IF I agreed to continue paying the mortgage and child support and spousal maintenance.... It was madness.

So I stopped paying. Stopped paying the mortgage, her car loan, health insurance, I got the electricity turned off because it was in my name, same with internet. All of a sudden she had a reason to want to talk, she had to compromise and she was angry about it... GOOD. So with the bank threatening to take the house she agreed to 5 nights a fortnight and to put the house on the market. See it is all about power. When I was paying for everything she had all the power, she had the kids and used them as bargianing chips. I had nothing. But when I stopped paying she was gonna lose. The power dynamic changed and she became more inclined to be reasonable...

rant over.
cheers
 

smallcat

Well-Known Member
8 January 2020
30
0
121
Hi Sammy01,

How come it is still legal... so she can invite all of her relatives to come to take away everything from our home?

Which stage you were at while having the negotiation? After mediation? Why you didn't take it to the court?

In short, you gained your bargaining power by stopping to pay for her. But I think it shuold be easier to just sell the property and split the money?


Update today:

After she didn't show up in our 1st couple counselling session yesterday, I received an email from her saying that she need space and time to think about our relationship etc...

Then she wrote some timeline things (with a lots of lies), and offered me to look after our child 1 day every week. "Please request it by email".....

OMG! She certainly got a lawyer to teach her how to write this kind of official email!


Now, I think I should start the mediation immediately?