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SA Separation When Pregnant and Mental Health Issues

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by RMA, 13 September 2015.

  1. RMA

    RMA Member

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    My now ex is 6 months pregnant. She left me a week ago without warning. Here is a quick timeline.
    • Day 1, received text message saying she "slipped in the shower" and was going to hospital.
    • Days 2-3, Her text messages were completely vague. No mention of where she is or what happened. All my replies asking where she is and what happened are unanswered, except for one saying "i can not live with you anymore". I get worried and file a missing person's report. She fronts to police.
    • Day 4, I was told by her social worker that she had "other mental health issues" and is in "care". She starts text messages with false claims of abuse to my family and friends. This is unknown to me because my family put it down to her being sick and decided not to tell me. Still no direct contact from her.
    • Day 7. Called and Told by her social worker that we are going through separation and "this is how its going to happen whether i like it or not". Threatened by saying that she's put a restraining order on me. To which i replied asking why i haven't been served with documents saying so. To which he then reverted to saying that he would get police to physically restrain me for no reason. He also said that:
    -will come and collect stuff on a said date (when they know I'll be away) whether i like it or not. They also called the man next door and asked him to get the keys off me on that day. Without my knowledge after i asked to negotiate a different time.
    -that she's "applied to take her name off the lease". With the full knowledge that i cannot afford to pay it on my own, therefore trying to make me bankrupt.
    -Power cut off in 2 days

    What are my rights here? Can i complain about this social workers passive aggressive behaviour? Is there anything I can do about the false accusations? I have deduced that the baby is in danger because of her Facebook posts (one saying that she almost miscarried), do i have a legal rights to know about the medical issues that are threatening my unborn child's life? I know i cant have her location but i want to know what's going on with my unborn.

    She has ptsd and is in physiological care because of "stress". Can i stop this stuff from happening because she is obviously not in a sound state of mind? I have concerns for the future welfare of my child. What should i do? Is it possible to forgo family law mediation and take her straight to court with the evidence i have. Which includes evidence of lying to her social workers, me and my family. Evidence of her bad mental state. And evidence of the other things mentioned above. I understand that as a dad i have next to no rights and that this sexist world "the woman's always right". But I am seriously concerned about my unborn and I want custody of children.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Q: What are my rights here?
    A: In the legal sense, parents don't have any rights in respect of their children, only children have rights - see section 60B of the Family Law Act 1975.

    Q: Can you complain about this social worker's passive aggressive behaviour?
    A: Assuming the social worker is from a government department, you can write a formal complaint to the department about the social worker's behaviour. Information about their feedback and complaints procedure should be available on that department's website.

    Q: Is there anything you can do about the false accusations?
    A: If these accusations have manifested as an application for a restraining order, then you should be served with the application in coming days, which will include a court date. At the mention, you may wish to tell the court you would like to contest to the application, which will then see a hearing date set down.

    Q: Do you have a legal right to know about the medical issues that are threatening your unborn child's life?
    A: No. The medical issues that are allegedly threatening your unborn child's life are the mother's medical issues at this stage, which makes them subject to confidentiality and privacy laws. Once the child is born, then you will be able to access the child's medical records (and only the child's medical records).

    Q: She has PTSD and is in psychological care because of stress, can I stop this stuff from happening because she is obviously not in a sound state of mind?
    A: I'm not sure what 'stuff' you are hoping to stop from happening, but in any case, you do not have any right to know or intervene on any medical conditions or care that the mother may be receiving. Again, such matters fall within the scope of confidentiality and privacy laws.

    Q: Can you forgo mediation and take her straight to court with the evidence you have?
    A: Family dispute resolution can only generally be avoided if there are issues of domestic violence at play. Further - and you'll need to forgive my frankness here - you don't currently have any relevant evidence showing it would be in the child's best interests for you to have 'custody' because the child isn't even born yet - how can you know what's best for a child that you haven't met? In what way can you paint your former spouse as an unfit parent when she isn't actually a parent yet? And how can you know if you are a fit parent when the child is still unborn? Can you argue you know what's best for the child when you want to ask the court to make parenting decisions for you before you are even a parent? Do you truly believe you will get 'custody' with only seven days' worth of evidence to support you?

    Q: What should you do?
    A: Given that you're unable to do anything until the child is actually born, it would perhaps be best if you simply followed the alleged restraining order, and organise a family dispute resolution conference through Legal Aid or another provider for once the child is born.

    If I may, you have indicated at length that the mother is currently experiencing a medical condition serious enough for a psychologist to place her in care, and you have cited this as a reason for concern about the child's well-being and for wanting 'custody', but I imagine both the mother's lawyer and the court would be more than interested to hear how a father can be worried about the health of his unborn child, yet show such little compassion for the health of his unborn child's mother.

    Wouldn't you agree the mother's health is pivotal to that of your unborn baby?

    And wouldn't you agree that saying "she is obviously not in a sound state of mind" and that you want to "take her straight to court" because "you want custody" is probably going to cause the mother even more stress, jeopardising her health and impeding on safe delivery of the baby?

    Quite frankly, the court would be questioning if it's in the child's best interests to have a relationship with you if you continue with the attitude of your rights being more important than anything else.
     
  3. RMA

    RMA Member

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    Ok. I didn't want to hear.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I think what you mean is, "I didn't like your answer because it's not what I wanted to hear".
     

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