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QLD Mum Left Children - Can I Have Full Custody of Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by quasar, 25 March 2016.

  1. quasar

    quasar Active Member

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    Hi,

    My ex and I divorced a few years ago. Gracefully, we were sharing the responsibility of our child (10 years old and she has 2 other children (18 years old and 16 years old) from her 1st marriage).

    A year ago, she approached me and asked if I can have my son full time and I said no problem. We informed the Child Support Agency and I did not ask any payment from her. Once a week, I was dropping my son to her house so he would play with his siblings and see his mother also.

    Recently, my 18-year-old stepdaughter called me and she said that her mother has been missing for a month! and they were in a police station. During the investigation, the police found out that she sold her car a month ago and departed from Australia to EU. I knew she had a boyfriend but I did not expect that she would abandon the kids like that.

    Now my question is, can I have full custody of children of my son?
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Look, it will be hard to get things like passports without her signature. But I don't think you really need to do very much. As far as the law goes, you have no obligation to file for court at this stage
     
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  3. quasar

    quasar Active Member

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    Yes, there are things that her signature will be required. Looks like it's clear she chose her new path that did not including kids. I don't want to appear to be an opportunist, however, I believe it is wise to be cautious in the unpredicted future.

    In case she returns a few years later and knocks the door, then I wouldn't refuse her nor deny her rights on the child. I don't feel comfortable to sit and not doing anything in this case. I have a crystal clear past for child support. To be on the safe side, I feel that I should get full custody but I am wondering what my chances are.

    Every end of the year, I visit my parents with my son regularly at overseas and return safely (so far 5 times). Now his passport is about to expire and we absolutely have no chance to contact her nor locate where exactly she is.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    The Family Law Act governs how the court deals with parenting disputes. It does not govern parents and their parenting decisions, only the court when parents ask it to make those parenting decisions for them.

    At the moment, you don't have a parenting dispute. The mother going overseas is not a dispute. If the mother wanted time with the child while overseas, then you would have a dispute. If the mother refused to sign passports, then you would have a dispute. But at the moment, you don't need to do anything to be seen as the primary carer for the child. The court doesn't hear parenting matters that one parent is pursuing as a 'formality'. It only hears parenting matters where there's actually a dispute.
     
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  5. quasar

    quasar Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. If I cannot reach her to sign my son's passport renewal form then what should I do? Does it become a dispute?
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    There's a couple of options. You can treat it as a dispute, or you can look at the options for getting a passport signed without the other parent's consent, but as always, the first step is to see if you can contact the mother. If she's abroad, there's really no reason for her not to give her consent.
     
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  7. quasar

    quasar Active Member

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    I already sent an email to her a few hours ago but I am not sure whether she is using it or not as she seems burning every communication bridges. I'll wait for her possible response. Thanks very much for your valuable responses.
     
  8. running

    running Well-Known Member

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    Hi, you used to be able to get a passport from the passport office for a holiday if the child had had little contact and the parent was unreachable. This was without the other parent's signature. This was 10 years ago, I'm unsure if it has changed..I think this would be especially relevant if their records show that she has left the country. Get the police report as backup.

    I would lodge consent orders yourself. There are forms online. The child already lives with you, formalise the arrangement and allow for visitation by the mother if she gets back.
     
  9. quasar

    quasar Active Member

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    No, mate, the passport office is extremely strict. Why? When I renew the passport last time, despite her signature filled right in front of the JP, they checked, even called her and asked if she signed that by her own free will, did anyone forced her to do it, who is the JP, was he present, etc, etc.

    I found it so strange that time and I even made complaint against the officer who made these calls despite the fact that she signed it of her free will and the JP that she chosed. Now I am thinking, if I go through the same thing, I don't think they would be understanding since she is no longer present in Australia.

    There are countries which we want to go to, but they also ask consent from the mother or a court order when you attemtp leave the country you just visited eg; Bosnia!
     
  10. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    I think it's a big political hot potato, parents fleeing overseas with kids. So, as always, you can expect huge overreaction from authorities, the end result is that it won't be easy for you.
     

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