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WA My Ex Took My Kids Away - What can I Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Jeff123, 3 October 2014.

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  1. Jeff123

    Jeff123 Active Member

    3 October 2014
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    Hello, I have got a problem.

    My ex partner said I'm not allowed to see my children anymore. She changed her phone number and moved out from her old place and I have got no idea where they are. The problem is, she put me on something that I'm not allowed to be around her near then 50 meter and also not allowed to have contact with her. But what is with my kids? What are my rights under family law and what can I do to see them without dealing with my ex? If I would go to family law court, would I have a change? We've been not married when we were together.
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    Hi, Jeff123,

    I responded to a similar question recently under this thread: Separation and DVO, how can father visit children?

    You might like to have a read.

    I assume the 'something' that she has 'put you on' is a domestic violence order, or something to that effect? Are the kids named on it?

    If so, I would advise that you keep your distance from your ex and your kids so as not to commit a breach of the orders, while at the same time commencing proceedings to obtain parenting or consent orders for the care of your kids.

    In the short term, you should consider pursuing an urgent recovery order to find your kids and your ex. Courts don't look highly on parents who put their kids 'on the run' from the other parent. Please seek legal advice on how to do this - Legal Aid can give you legal advice for free.

    For more long-term care arrangements, he first step is to bring your ex to mediation, or family dispute resolution, to try and reach an agreement stipulating who the kids live with, and provisions for spending time and communicating with the other parent. You can contact Legal Aid to organise this, or you can do it through Relationships Australia or similar. It is important to ensure the practitioner who conducts your family dispute resolution conference is qualified to provide you with a certificate that shows you have made a genuine effort to reach an agreement outside of court. This certificate is necessary in order to commence proceedings with court, if necessary, but hopefully, your ex will have some good legal advice that it's best to avoid court if possible.

    If an agreement can't be reached, you have the option to commence proceedings through the court.

    For your general information, you might like to know that a domestic violence order alone is not usually enough to intervene on a child's right to know, spend time with, and be cared for by both parents, so this is unlikely to impact whether or not you see your kids if it were to go to court. The other party would need to show, for example, a pattern of behaviour that endangers the kids' well-being, mentally, physically or emotionally.

    The court will make orders they deem to be in the best interests of the child, which may include exchanging the kids at school, so that you and your ex don't have to see each other, or in more extreme cases, having your kids spend time with you at a supervised contact centre. It's impossible to predict the outcome of any one case - judges have both shocked and impressed me with some decisions - but it's extremely likely that you *will* be given orders that stipulate you can spend time with your kids.

    I believe WA has slightly (very slightly) different rules to the rest of Australia for children's matters, but I think if you look up Section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975, you will get an idea of what you need to show the court in order to prove that the kids spending time with you is in their best interests.

    I strongly urge you to get some legal advice for direction. This can be a very difficult and complicated path without adequate guidance.

    Best of luck.

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