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VIC Separation - What are My Rights Under Family Law?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by James Smith, 29 March 2016.

  1. James Smith

    James Smith Member

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    Hi,

    My partner and I have recently decided to separate. We've been married for three years and have a 9-month-old child. So far everything has been amicable and we've agreed on most things. However, I'm starting to get the vibe that this is changing and we are likely to head down the road of a difficult separation.

    My biggest concern is that my partner will use our child as a bit of a bargaining chip as they have loosely mentioned something along those lines before. I've done my research and I know that I am offering more than I am obligated to pay through Centrelink as a child support payment and offered no claim to the family home.

    If it does become messy and they start to use our child as a bargaining chip, what rights do I have to have access to our child under Family Law? From what I have read elsewhere, it's best for them to stay with their mother full time up until the age of 1. But is there any legal obligation that she would have to allow me access to our child?
     
  2. speck1

    speck1 Well-Known Member

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    You sound exactly like where I was four years ago. We were very amicable for one year, then bang.

    Be careful. If I were you, I would immediately apply to mediation and ask for 3 to 4 nights a fortnight and hopefully, she agrees and get it made into consent orders.

    We made an agreement. I had daughter 5 nights out 14 then I met another girl a year later and she started denying access.

    I have only seen my daughter 3 days in the last 400. Don't let that be you.
     
  3. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    May I ask if the mother is breast feeding?

    Baby/child comes first in all family. Whilst the relationship is still fairly good, work out around the baby's routine, even put to the mother to have free time to herself so you will take the baby off her hands and spend time with your baby and some bonding.

    Short answer. You have equal rights as the mother, however! As your baby is only 9 months old and maybe still breastfeeding, in a routine ( which changes as the baby gets older), at this stage try and keep it light, helpful, look as if you are being considerate of the mother. Discuss baby's routine so for the baby's sake, you both keep the same routine pattern of feeding, sleeping, etc.

    If baby is bottlefed, eating solids, then still maintain routine of baby and get a written plan between you both so you have equal share, care time as possible.

    You state 'they' - please verify who they refer to.

    You stated you have only separated recently - please state in months or weeks how long you have been separated.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    No legal obligation at all. Mate, you're in for a tough few years.

    My youngest was 6 months old when we separated. Well, actually I got kicked out. Very messy.

    My opinion would be, be patient and accept that if you have assets, you're gonna lost somewhere between 65-80% of them.

    Stay calm. You have a very long road ahead. But it ain't all bad. By the time my youngest was 2, I was having 4 nights. By the time he was 3, I was having 5 nights and since he was 4, he and his older siblings have lived 80% of the time with me...
     
  5. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    It's absolutely fantastic to here fathers wanting something to do with their children. In my situation, our children were 6 months, 8, 10, and 12 years old. Their father didn't want anything to do with any of his children and our 10-year-old son missed him terribly, but it didn't matter how much I tried to convince him to think of the children, it didn't help.

    He had no interest and wouldn't even ring them as he would say where he was and eventually didn't answer the phone but would come round out of the blue and I mean out of the blue as I would find him in the lounge standing there watching me without a word. His idea was he didn't care about the kids, only him and I mattered. I had to hunt him down as one of the sons were affected that he hadn't seen his father, and when I did he had told the landlady he was a single man with no children until we arrived on the doorstep of his granny flat.

    No agreement was put in place as I knew and fought even before marriage for the laws to be changed and that both parents were equally important to the development of children, so I made it that he could see them and have them as much as he wanted, hoping on a weekly basis and freely.

    Our six-month-old baby could have been with him for a couple of hours or he comes over to see her due to breastfeeding, and where babies are concerned every involved parent knows they control us in the first 2 years but especially the first 18 months (minimum 1 year, if bottled feed) as they are so changeable and in the process of teething, getting vaccinations, going through extreme development stages, including the 'clinging stage ' and this is all normal baby development of a child whereby it is traumatic for them to be separated from their mothers.

    No one other than the mother will do. Read books on children development from birth to 12 and you will educate yourself. So all these great men who want to see and spend time with their child is fantastic!

    So every situation is different and it all depends on if you work or not and have the time plus your place must be child proof. Depends if the mother works as well. Do not presume you are going to get a bad deal as there are plenty of situations where the mother is worth more than the father, does work and therefore, may be placed in a crèche or doesn't want anything to do with the child.

    Either way, make your place child-friendly, keep baby in routine for the baby's sake, bare in mind they are teething, can get sick, and find out as parents work out. Write down the routine of the baby, as this little person, especially the first 2 years of their life, is the fastest growing and development in the whole of a human life. Therefore sudden and constant changes for all the children under 2 years old are dramatic.

    Like I said, we are at their beck and call 24/7, and routines will adjust accordingly. Either way, read up on development of children.

    Children are not possessions or to be used as a pawn between parents and if your child has disabilities, learn to work with these including keeping up to date with what is occurring with your child as their development is constantly monitored by nursing sisters, doctors, etc. Eg. weight, height, size of the head, teething problems, feeding problems, sleeping problems, etc. Very unpredictable.

    Either way, stabilisation for the child is vital and keeping to changing routines set by mother or baby themselves, you'll have to respect. But find out all this, make your place is baby-friendly and as I said keep it nice and work out when each of you can manage to have the baby especially if it is in a crèche. There is no reason why you both can't have equal time but don't force a little baby and stress them up because he wants his/ her mummy or Daddy.

    As far as finances go, only you know about that, including how long you have been separated. Not all separations are permanent so Relationship Australia is very good for both of you in counselling and working out how your relationship with the mother is, as parents, consideration of the baby's needs and finances are all in the best interest for a happy family relationship, even if you do not live under the same roof.

    Plus, everything will be documented. You will obtain correct advice and assistance. This is the best thing you can do and suggest stating to the mother that you think it would be nice to keep a pleasant relationship, share responsibility for the baby, and sort out everything in a sensible manner.

    Before you or the mother start listening to other people with negative experiences, you're passing on stories that cause fear of the unknown and one of you starts going to the extreme. So please go to Relationship Australia in your state and work everything out with the counsellor.

    Good luck!
     

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