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TAS Separation - Custody of Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by MJS, 10 January 2015.

  1. MJS

    MJS Member

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    Have recently separated from partner of 10 years with whom I share three children. She was unfaithful with a stranger who she met on a business trip. However she did choose to then bring this stranger back with her to our family home (while I was away with work). This included taking our three children on a weekend holiday with him, followed by having him at our family home for around a week, during which time he was taking my children to and from school also.

    This man was a stranger to all in the family and friendship circle. he was not previously an acquaintance to anyone that we knew. Obviously my immediate concern as a parent was the well being and safety of my children, which I feel was violated by my ex by bringing this complete stranger in to our family life in the secretive manner in which she did.

    Post the separation she has begun a lesbian relationship, with someone who was known to the family.

    I work away month on month off, and allowed her to remain in the family home, which is in my name, primarily so she didn't go house hopping with our children. I needed to know that they had some stability in their lives etc...

    Eventually she ended up moving to her parents house with the kids, but only due to a rat infestation due to her hygiene or lack thereof. I came back to find bags of opened garbage in the middle of the lounge room, hallway and bedrooms. There were urine filled nappies all over the house along with food scraps left by the children.

    She has a medically documented history of post natal depression, and has been seeing a psychologist for the past four years. While I know deep down that she loves the children these behaviours are quite erratic and I see the children suffering as a consequence. I believe the term used is not fit to parent?

    Due to the fact that I work away for a month at a time, custody is problematic for me. Full custody is an impossibility, but I am wondering what my chances under family law would be for the full month that I am home etc. I would request full custody of children if I were able to.

    Could someone please advise.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    A court cares only about what's best for the kids. Most of the issues you've listed here are legally irrelevant because they're adult matters, not children's matters. It's unlikely that, on these grounds alone, you would be granted sole parental responsibility for your kids, and if the mother has always been the primary carer, it's also unlikely the court would deem it in their best interests to be placed into your care primarily, particularly as you work what they would consider to be a family-unfriendly roster. The specific principles that direct the court on what to consider when it comes to the kids' best interests is outlined in Section 60CC of the Family Law Act.

    The course of action I would take is pursuing a family dispute resolution conference so that you can both establish a parenting plan for care arrangements relating to the kids, as this step is mandatory before court proceedings can be instituted anyway. I would further suggest using family dispute resolution to raise, in an assertive manner, your concerns about the hygiene of her home.

    Relationships Australia is a good contact for family dispute resolution. Otherwise, Legal Aid can also provide some guidance.
     
    Tracy B likes this.
  3. MJS

    MJS Member

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    Thank you for the detailed response.

    It's definitely frustrating to hear that the courts consider 'work' or 'employment' a 'family unfriendly' matter, yet having an affair and other lurid behaviour they can set aside as 'adult only' matter, when clearly they have just as much to do with the welfare of the children.

    We are pursuing RA at the moment.

    Thanks again.
     

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