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QLD What to Do With Ex's Character Assassination in Family Court?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by bankslola, 12 July 2016.

  1. bankslola

    bankslola Active Member

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    Hello all

    I am currently going through legal proceedings in the hopes of a relocation order.

    A little bit of background info:

    The father and I separated 2 years ago. We share a 6-year-old son. We were civil and had a parenting plan which stipulated week about arrangements.

    A year ago, I met a new partner and since then, things have been very ugly. A lot of emotional abuse and extreme parental alienation. Tried coming to a compromise so I could leave (back to where I grew up, family, friends, new partner plus job offer - 900km away), tried mediation and still no agreement was reached.

    I do not want to keep my son from his father. I have offered all of every school holidays and even two Christmas's to my one. After mediation, there was a Domestic Violence incident (in full view of the child) on changeover day. There were many witnesses and a dash cam footage supporting this, so he is currently fighting the Domestic Violence Order (that police placed on him) and an assault charge. He is also currently going through court for a drug driving charge.

    Fast forward to the first court mention in regards to the relocation, he filed his affidavit that morning 3 weeks after receiving mine. His is filled with absolutely heinous lies that have sickened me to the core and blown my mind: stating that my partner and I take drugs and have a "sex den", that I neglect my child, that I am suicidal and that I physically abused him for years and he has gone into great detail.

    I have legal representation, he self-represented. My affidavit was extremely child focused and I did not degrade or try assassinate his character, nor did I lie. It was adjourned for 3 months time. In the meantime, the father has degraded me all over social media, also stating that he won in court (possibly thinking so because we withdrew interim orders as we knew there was no way a judge would rule based on the lies in his affidavit without being proven otherwise, although I'm quite sure the judge did not even read at least the father's affidavit as it was 19 pages long), but we are still seeking a relocation on a final basis. Orders were made to keep the week about arrangements.


    We are having a family report done in the coming weeks. I am hoping this will help my case. I've had people tell me "the good guy never wins and to play dirty", but I refuse to turn this into a mud-slinging match or stretch the truth. I just want an honest outcome so my son can have the best chance at a healthy life.

    One other thing, I've read many reports that the judge who is handling this case is a "father-loving judge". These statements scare me. I hope it is not true and I truly need to have faith in him and the system, but the more I research the more it dwindles.

    Sorry about the sloppy post, family court is the most distressing experience ever, as many of you would understand.

    Just looking for any opinions that may possibly help. And also any guidance on how you may have handled going through this stressful process.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. bankslola

    bankslola Active Member

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  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'll give this a shot.

    I'm not going to talk about the legal side of the thing. You've got representation already and I firmly believe you should follow the advice your lawyer gives you.

    So, what I will provide is some personal advice.

    First, there's nothing you can do about the character assassination - realistically, it wouldn't be family court without one parent trying to defame the other.

    The upside is that the judges aren't idiots, and they don't like parents whose sole purpose is to nay-say the other. They like parents who try to get along and put their differences aside to appreciate the important role each parent plays in the lives of their kids.

    So, on that front, have faith in your judge. Even if he is one who supports shared care, he's much wiser than you think. My husband's ex-wife came up with all kinds of colourful stories about how "violent" and "negligent" my husband is, but in the end, the person she described in her affidavits never appeared at the bar table. What she described was an abusive man with no idea how to raise a kid, but what the judge always saw was a calm, loving father who just wanted to help raise his daughter.

    What comes up in an affidavit doesn't hold as much weight as how a witness conducts themselves in cross-examination, either. You lawyer will know what he's doing on that front, so try to take it with a grain of salt.

    After that, it's about dealing with it at a personal level. I suggest doing a post-separation parenting course with Relationships Australia, it helps you see past the BS and learn that you can't control what the other parent does or says, you can only control what you do. One of the most important lessons is never to include the kids in the dispute, and the other is to always speak well of the other parent, even if they're driving you mental.

    Find a support network, too. I had an 'anonymous' friend in WA who I wrote to often because she was going through the same kind of thing, so we could relate to each other. I also wrote a kind of journal every time there was an incident. It helped me track dates and get my feelings down on paper.

    I hope this helps. Family court is an immensely distressing process. Just do your utmost to rise above it.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    I've read heaps of relocation cases.... My ex decided that it was to hard and she left the kids with me. But I am a smarter punter than your ex. Why?

    Well, every email I ever wrote was, Kind Regards - Best interests Of the Kids. Working hard to effectively co-parent, missing you already... I figured she was audio recording changeovers so I was nice as pie then too...

    So when I got a letter from a solicitor telling me she wanted to relocate because she felt intimidated by me and I should just agree to keep the peace because a magistrate will agree to let her move because I've been such a horrible man. I told her to apply to court because I would not agree. She gave up and left the kids with me.

    So My story should give you some confidence because he isn't playing very nice and that is going to hurt his chances.

    But - if dad has 50/50 shared care or even 35% care you're gonna struggle.

    So I'm not gonna do you any favours. I'm gonna give you a link to a place where you can read lots of cases regarding relocation. You can spend hours reading cases and some of them you'll think relocation should be granted and it won't me... Others where you'd think relocation should not be granted and it was.

    AustLII Results - relocation

    You'll spend hours going through cases and be none the wiser...

    What I can tell you is that his dirty tactics are a bad idea. It is also a bad idea to play dirty. So don't do it. BTW it is a weak argument to say that you have to relocate because of your new partner's job.... That is not putting the best interests of the child first
     
  5. bankslola

    bankslola Active Member

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    Thank you so much for the replies. Greatly appreciated.

    The relocation isn't for my partners new job. I myself have been offered an amazing job. It is also the town I am originally from with my whole support network (I have not a single soul where I live and have been isolated from anyone I ever did know through my ex). There are numerous factors for my need to relocate.

    Totally agree with all of the above. All I want is for my son to have the best chance at life and I know that primarily residing with me will give him that chance. I want to encourage an ongoing relationship with his father, I'll do everything in my power to facilitate as much time together for them. My main focus is our sons health, education, welfare and wellbeing. My ex is quite the opposite, as well as many other concerning factors such as drug and alcohol use. Although he has never (and would never) directly harmed our child, I do believe he has him in potentially dangerous situations. Alongside the DV incident in which my son unfortunately witnessed. Plus the parental alienation and continual denigration, which in my opinion is affecting our child's emotional wellbeing.

    We have a family report in a month. I truly hope the truth comes out. Any suggestions in regards to the family report? I assume I just be myself and not "bash" the father, as this has never been my intention anyways.

    I guess in the mean time I just continue focusing on being a great mother and have faith that justice will prevail.

    Thank you for all your help!
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, but justice prevailing doesn't necessarily mean that you get to relocate. You might want to think about the answer to this questions... Will you relocate without the child? Expect to be asked it and expect the magistrate to say good, then go and the child stays with dad.

    So no-one is perfect but you reckon he is a pretty good dad? That is going to make it hard much easier if he saw the kid once a month and didn't really maintain an ongoing relationship with the child.
     
  7. bankslola

    bankslola Active Member

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    There is no way I could leave my child. I would just have to deal with it.

    I feel as though my chances are slim and I'm wasting thousands of dollars. But I have to give it my best shot for my son's sake.

    The 50/50 is definitely the biggest hurdle. Although I would facilitate for him to have him for the whole of every school holidays and am prepared for him to even have 2 Christmas days to my 1. It's not about trying to hurt their relationship, it's about my son needing a stable life.

    I appreciate your help.
     
  8. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    You're not going to like any of this.

    So when you say 'justice will prevail' what you mean is you get your way....

    When you say you could never leave your child...that is what you're expecting to force onto dad...

    Now about a year ago, you started hitting up dad for the chance to relocate... It pissed him off. Fair enough. He got angry - fair enough. He didn't deal with it well - not fair enough....

    A court will look at the best interests of the child. Now 2 years ago, the kid's life got turned upside down with mum and dad breaking up and now you want to move 900km away and turn his life upside down again....

    Now while I'm at it... You have said that you don't want to keep the father from the child... Guess what - that is exactly what you're planning to do and you're planning to do it in a fashion that clearly you would not agree to if he wanted to move 900km in a different direction and take the child. True?

    You have also said that you need to have faith in the magistrate and the "system". Actually, what you mean is, you hope the system is that broken that one parent can unilaterally decide to reduce a child's time with one parent from constant to inconsistent.

    I really think that you should have a chat with a different solicitor. I hate solicitors. I often think they are at their happiest when they are taking money for nothing and that just might be what you're doing. Go see another solicitor try and be brutally blunt ask - what are the chances, hit them up for a % and ask yourself, is a 15% chance worth the stress / money? What about 20%?

    Now I'm sorry that your ex is causing you grief. Maybe you should direct him to this website and the nice folk here can tell him to pull his head in because the way he is running his case is folly. At least he might stop harassing you and that is a win and it will be a cheaper win than court...

    So last part of my rant. Relocation cases are tricky. Like I've said before they are very hard to predict. Now if the child was older - say 13-14 and he was keen to move, then I'd suggest court, but based on the information you've provided, and you've come here looking for opinions, so with that in mind, I'd suggest you find something else to spend your money on...

    Please let us know how you go.
     
  9. bankslola

    bankslola Active Member

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    Thank you for your input, I really do appreciate it and I absolutely see it from the father's point of view aswell. I do have empathy.

    I know my child have a better chance at life with a family support network without being exposed to domestic violence, parental alienation and being made aware of all this mess (by his father).

    Thank you so much for your reply. Will keep you all updated. Hoping the family report sheds some more light on the family dynamics and needs for my son.
     

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