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Ex causing trouble - trying to stop me seeing my children

after I changed my level of care details with the CSA

Hi all,

I have been divorced for almost  10 years now and have two children (now aged 12 and 15) that I started seeing last February after 5 years of no contact. Long story short, my ex made allegations against me and 'brainwashed' my children into not wanting to see me. I was extremely depressed and suicidal but after getting some advice I decided to not see my children and let them contact me when they felt they wanted to get to know me.

February this year, both my children made contact and told me they wanted to start coming over and get to know me (which I didn't think would happen) so I have been picking them up every fortnight and a week during each holidays ever since.

They love coming over here but it is costly as I have to drive over 500km every fortnight and take time off work to do the trip, so I contacted child support to change my level of care (which was 0%). They contacted her to confirm my change and she disputed it, so I have sent copies of my court orders and a statement from a work mate confirming visitation has been taking place. Since they contacted her she has told my children they will only be coming here on school holidays and her partner is threatening violence if I show up to collect them on weekends. My court orders state I have the children for the times I mentioned already.

I have talked to my children and they want to keep coming here regularly but, as what happened previously, she will 'disappear' when I come to get them or she won't let them out of the house and yell from the front door "they don't want to go"….. all because of $100/month difference in child support payments.

I am after advice on what to do in this situation. Can I have the police come with me to pick the children up every fortnight? What if she isn't home when I get there? Is there anything else I can do?

My ex has had a drug offense recently and is constantly being visited by DOCS about the childrens living conditions. DOCS called me and during the conversation recommended they keep coming here to have some 'normality' in their lives. After what happened years ago just thinking about all this again gets my heart racing and I don't want to deal with it, but it isn't going to go away.

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Shane
As far as I'm aware State police do not deal with Federal matters which means they would not get involved with Family Court Orders.

Now I realise you have said "my ex made allegations against me and "brainwashed" the children" but what I don't understand is why if there were Orders already in place that there was a time elapse between then and now for the Orders to take effect.  What I mean is…did the allegations occur after the Orders and this is what caused you to discontinue contact at that time?  Or were the Orders made only recently?  I'm just a little bit confused when trying to work out your time line with what you have written.

I was advised at one stage (this is subject to correction) that breaches in Court Orders and enforcement of them are something which needs to be dealt with by the Courts so this might be your only option to have this addressed.   

Sorry I cannot be of further help, maybe someone else can assist you properly.

Good Luck!

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
Sorry, let me try and explain this a little better…

I separated from my ex in '99 and orders were put in place a few months later. I had trouble seeing my kids from that time right through until I decided to stop seeing them in 2003 (ish). In this time the children were told many 'stories' about me, how I threw them through walls, punched them, etc …. Each time I DID get to see my children they would cringe in fear every time I spoke. Most times I went to pick them up she would take them out of town or just come to the door and say to me "they don't want to go", then shut the door. Even if I did have them during a holiday period she would call them mid week and tell them she had a surprise for them, which made them want to go home and get their surprise.

I am a low income earner but am not eligible for legal aid so I would have to pay for a solicitor, which I cannot afford, to enforce the orders.

Around 2003 I decided to stop seeing the kids to give them a break from the mental abuse they were subject to by my ex. I hoped that in years to come they would want to get to know me again, which is what happened earlier this year. Everything had been fine until I changed my care details with the CSA recently, then it started again. She can't use the mental abuse anymore because the children are older and know better after coming here for a few months, so she has just told them they won't be coming here, full stop.

On the subject of the CSA, they called me yesterday and confirmed the change of care details BUT they are not changing the amount I have to pay each month…. So I guess my ex will ease up and let them come again knowing she isn't losing the money….

Thanks for the replies
night0wl said
I am a low income earner but am not eligible for legal aid so I would have to pay for a solicitor, which I cannot afford, to enforce the orders.

You have two options here…

1.  Let your ex continue to manipulate the situation and only let you see the children when she decides

2.  Like many of the people on this site (including me) Self Represent and set this wrong right!!


night0wl said
On the subject of the CSA, they called me yesterday and confirmed the change of care details BUT they are not changing the amount I have to pay each month…. So I guess my ex will ease up and let them come again knowing she isn't losing the money….

Your children have a right to know their father (YOU) and this should never be based on how much money your ex receives from you or how she feels about you at any given time.  You have Orders from when your children were approximately 2 and 5 years old and except until recently (for a short period of time) had not seen them for roughly 6 years.  Your say your children want to know their dad (the dad they  have missed out on for so many years), if it were me…I'd be choosing option 2 - Fighting for my children's rights to get to know their father!!

As far as I've been made aware the opinions of children (especially when they are in their teens) are strongly considered by the Courts in decisions regarding children's matters.

Good Luck!!

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
NightOwl,
             what do the court orders say in regard to contact? Have you checked out the SRL area (click on Community at the top and then on SRL-Resources), alternately, heres a direct link SRL-Resources, it is possible with a lot of hard work, to represent yourself and make the costs pretty negligible.

Also how old are the children?

Last edit: by MikeT

$100/month difference in CS - $50 per month per child
Age 12 - about 5.5 years of CS - $3300
Age 15 - about 2.5 years of CS - $1500
Total difference to CS about $4800
Seeing your kids - Priceless

Alternative -
Family court fees if your ex causes problems - tens of thousands and still no guarantee you will see the kids.

I wouldn't seek changes to CS - it might not be right but it probably be better for the kids in the long run.
Guest said
$100/month difference in CS - $50 per month per child
Age 12 - about 5.5 years of CS - $3300
Age 15 - about 2.5 years of CS - $1500
Total difference to CS about $4800
Seeing your kids - Priceless

Alternative -
Family court fees if your ex causes problems - tens of thousands and still no guarantee you will see the kids.

I wouldn't seek changes to CS - it might not be right but it probably be better for the kids in the long run.

So that's the answer…. Let a drug using alcoholic ex legally extort thousands of my hard earned dollars. Great legal system we have isn't it? Mothers can sit on single parent pension and live with other men, while all along collecting more than their fair share of child support… No wonder there are so many father suicides each year.

Turns out there is nothing I can do to lower the amount payable anyway, even with the care changes taking place…. Go figure… The first phone call I am told if the care percentage changes it would affect my rate, then after the changes go through they tell me there is no change…. I'll just have to continue struggling for the next 5 and a half years until this is over.
night0wl said
Mothers can sit on single parent pension and live with other men, while all along collecting more than their fair share of child support… No wonder there are so many father suicides each year.
Bit harsh!!  As an educated mother of very young children, who last I checked must of inherited a Y chromosome from their father given a female can only donate to their offspring an X chromosome,  I'll be sure to remember that all the problems in the world and high male suicide rates have been mostly through my own CS extortion of their father which has allowed me the luxury of living the high life so I can "sit on a single parent pension" while their father is the only one of the two of us that "works"!!

C'mon…you've got to be kidding!!  Blaming suicide rates mostly on CS?  I'd be more inclined to link depression with fathers not being given access to their children!!!

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
night0wl said
Great legal system we have isn't it?
night0wl seems all you want to do is have a rant. Are you saying the CSA is a legal system or are you referring to going to Court? Get off your backside and do something or is it easier to whinge?
CrazyWorld said
Bit harsh!!  As an educated mother of very young children, who last I checked must of inherited a Y chromosome from their father given a female can only donate to their offspring an X chromosome,  I'll be sure to remember that all the problems in the world and high male suicide rates have been mostly through my own CS extortion of their father which has allowed me the luxury of living the high life so I can "sit on a single parent pension" while their father is the only one of the two of us that "works"!!

C'mon…you've got to be kidding!!  Blaming suicide rates mostly on CS?  I'd be more inclined to link depression with fathers not being given access to their children!!!
 
Yes, fathers not being given access would contribute more to suicides…. That is what I mean about extortion, the mother denying access to the children unless the father pays more money than he should be. So we have a choice…. spend tens of thousands of dollars in court fighting it or let her get away with it and still only see our kids when she feels like it.

I am not saying all mothers are like this but, If you DO "live the high life" through the extortion of your childrens father and sit on a single parent pension you'll have no idea what it is like to be on the other side (depressed or suicidal from that situation) and if your ex partner does harm himself you should remember that his problems have possibly been mostly through your own CS extortion!
night0wl said
So we have a choice…. spend tens of thousands of dollars in court fighting it or let her get away with it and still only see our kids when she feels like it.
So get off your backside and do it yourself instead of whining. On the other hand do nothing and you have something to rant about for the next five years, perhaps this is what you really want?
You want to spend time with your children and they with you, however, financially at this time this is difficult for you with the costs involved in travelling, picking them up, feeding them, taking them out, as you are on a low income. You feel angry and abused by your ex wife, she is not supporting you or the children in encouraging them to spend time with you, or making it any easier for you, using child support payments against you. Child Support examined your child support contributions as you say but are not changing your monthly payments. You are in a dilemma! It's not going to go away, somehow you need to deal with it, and yes financial status is linked along with many other things to depression and suicide, so the sooner you attend to this matter the better for you and your children.

I suggest you join the Self Represent Litigants on this site and do it yourself. It really is not that bad, and as you say your ex wife has had a drug offence, and you have Docs on your side. Why not give it a go? You need to for yourself and your children who are at that age where they need you now more than ever. Hope it works out for you whatever you decide. Keep strong.

Moderator Note
Post edited to normal font

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  M K Gandhi
Seems all you want to do is whine nightowl, even with refining your generalization a bit more mothers are still greedy child withholding cs extorting demons and fathers are saints who are in despair and wouldn't put a toe out of line on cs, that's what it looks like your saying.

My ex ONLY started fighting back in court when I got residency and his cs went up, then even with some time restored the pittance of $30 a month for 2 children was too much for this "hard working" father to bare, god forbid he may have felt suicidal as you've put it by being pushed to pay such a tiny sum. no instead he worked the system, claims he works full time and yet his income is smaller than someone on the dole so now because I work in my own business with another 2 children(not his, from current relationship) at home the youngest only a new born, I can't even take time off from my business to spend with my baby(which I planned to do from the day of birth but instead started back in my business a week later) because CS now believes that just in the threshold of care the ex has, then I need to pay him…………    wait for it $180a month.
Bravo for a F-ed up system, it ain't just fathers it penalizes it's mothers and yet they won't investigate as they believe what ever the tax office supplies them with. Not even thinking that if your self employed most of that income is going straight back in to stock and my real profit is only $5,000 above his fake income.

The whole system needs an overhaul and if it makes you feel suicidal then seek help cause there's alot worse than some money lost that goes to your kids. If I felt at that point over the hell I have been through with CSA then I think i'd be better off locked in a nut house if I can't handle that small amount of stress.
Faith said
Seems all you want to do is whine nightowl, even with refining your generalization a bit more mothers are still greedy child withholding cs extorting demons and fathers are saints who are in despair and wouldn't put a toe out of line on cs, that's what it looks like your saying.

Perhaps faith, you should look at what has been said, Nightowl said "I am not saying all mothers are like this". I also think it wrong for you to whine/attack someone else for whining and to then have a good whine yourself. I would suggest that you'd find more respect heeding your own advice first. I'd also question that advice, as saying nothing will likely have little chance of effecting change. I'd suggest that you writing what you have about your own situation could be seen as you believing or hoping that it might effect some sort of  change.

Yes nightowl shouldn't specifically say mothers, as some fathers may be in a similar position, however certainly it is primarily mothers who are assisted by the bias of the CS legislation toward collecting or transferring money as opposed to ensuring children are supported and also the way that the CSA act in not applying factors which should be applied equally.  A classic example is the information available from the SSAT decision of 2nd June 2009 referred to as Ryan v Ryan.

In this the CSA originally attempted to set the paying parents income at $90,000 (unsure as to reasons why they came up with this extortionate amount), this was successfully objected to and lowered to $62,000, however the objection went further and to SSAT. The paying parents income was lowered to $58,500. In addition to this the recipients income was raised from the CSA's "turn a blind eye to recipients income" calculation of $25200 to $420000 on capacity to earn.
The View is the same as the generalisation given by many mens groups everyday. yes some mothers have figured out how to work the system but not all. I was giving my situation to show it is not always the case it is men too and that getting to the point of suicide over CSA would indicate a much deeper issue. I have to put my baby into daycare MUCH earlier than I ever wanted because of the CSA but it makes me annoyed and no where near suicidal.
many fathers work the system too, yes I am emotional in describing my case as it annoys me but the point I am saying is the system needs an overhaul and even if I sit hear whining all day it is not going to change it. The system is flawed as many mothers use centrelink payments as their weapon and many fathers use cash in hand work as their weapon, coin can flip both ways but thats majority.

In a perfect world their would be no biast and I would love to see mens and womens groups eliminated as many groups my partner and I have been to are the source of these problems in telling the said party how to manipulte the FLC or CSA.

If anyone feels that depressed over CSA then seek a doctor, fighting CSA is not the answer to relieve depression, if anyone gets to the point of feeling suicidal then they need to seek medical support.
faith said
I would love to see mens and womens groups eliminated as many groups my partner and I have been to are the source of these problems in telling the said party how to manipulte the FLC or CSA.

Which ones? There are many Men's and Women's groups on this site.

Faith said
The View is the same as the generalisation given by many mens groups everyday. yes some mothers have figured out how to work the system but not all. I was giving my situation to show it is not always the case it is men too and that getting to the point of suicide over CSA would indicate a much deeper issue. I have to put my baby into daycare MUCH earlier than I ever wanted because of the CSA but it makes me annoyed and no where near suicidal.

You obviously don't have a clue what a person can go through, by equating what so very often happens to a liable parent, generally fathers, with having to put a child into daycare earlier. Does doing that place you at the angst of society? I've never heard the term of "Deadbeat Daycare user". I don't see society producing media of which 75% is derogatory towards the users of Daycare. I don't envisage any seeing that having to resort to Daycare as being anything as near as distressing as being placed into a situation where one of your main reasons for existence is taken away mainly for doing most things right. I would suggest that giving many such the fathers the situation where they were required to place children into Daycare would likely reduce the very skewed rate of male suicides. Personally I think it's a pretty sad affair when society creates an environment where a person can much such a comparison and genuinely believe they have foundation in doing so.

Faith said
many fathers work the system too, yes I am emotional in describing my case as it annoys me but the point I am saying is the system needs an overhaul and even if I sit hear whining all day it is not going to change it. The system is flawed as many mothers use centrelink payments as their weapon and many fathers use cash in hand work as their weapon, coin can flip both ways but thats majority.

yes many do, however I would suggest that the figures produced back in 2005/6 would have likely apply, that is that the CSA report showed that about 40% of father's didn't pay or pay on time, but that about 60% of mothers didn't pay or pay in time. However what you have done is again not read what I have said. I didn't apportion the blame onto anything other than the legilsation and those who generally enforce that legislation.  This factor acts in addition to those who have a tendency to rort. In the example above, Ryan v Ryan, the enforcers, the CSA, attempted what is nothing other than extortion by attempting make the father's income $90,000. I am not sure that this was the other parent's doing, somehow I doubt it. I believe it is a lot clearer that the enforcer ignored applying the legislation correctly and without bias on their own initiative. This factor of taking actions to inflate the amount transferred and collected and thus increase "brownie points" in conjunction with the fact that more males are the paying parent means that mothers benefit most from this type of action.

Faith said
If anyone feels that depressed over CSA then seek a doctor, fighting CSA is not the answer to relieve depression, if anyone gets to the point of feeling suicidal then they need to seek medical support.
I believe that you again show a lack of knowledge/understanding of the situation, although I believe yes there are often other factors, but they can often be considered as also very similar.

Very basically father gets shoved out of the lives of their child/ren, very often for no wrongdoing. They are then given the position of wallet often having a far greater than is just proportion taken away. Society tags them as a deadbeat, the court process will very often make them out the monster they are not, if not the media has done it's bit anyway. Many will see the only way that to give more, to not be that deadbeat, to not be the monster, is to not be, the child/ren would then possibly benefit from having all that existed and all that may be such as death benefits. They've been placed by society into simply being seen as a wallet and that wallet can often give more when it's gone. Then of course there is the fact that they will be released from that deafening silent type hell they have been rewarded with for being a good caring parent of their children.

As CS generally comes after most of these, then that is very often the proverbial camel destroying straw. So it may not only be CS but often it's the deciding factor.

Yep tell them to go to a doctor/seek medical attention, that's as good as shouting to the deaf. Often what is required is for them to see that they are wanted by someone in a world that has rejected them, that's why DID's is such a life saver. Telling them to go and seek medical attention has the reverse affect, it is saying I don't want you, go elsewhere. Get them to a doctor, ask to take them perhaps, but tell them to go it alone and that may be the cause of the proverbial camel's broken back.
nightOwl…

While I appreciate that not being able to see your children because of your ex while still having to pay for them would leave you feeling empty inside and also largely impact on your ability to cope with life, my argument against CS being a core contributor to suicide had not to do with its fairness (both mothers and fathers have their own reasons for disapproval of the CS process) but more so to not take away from the many parents out there (especially fathers it would seem) the principle reason they have or continue to fight for their children.  I'm almost 100% certain that most of these parents would give away every cent they had if it could mean they got to see their child!!  Although you need certain basics for survival, money holds a far less value to them!!  And yes, I certainly acknowledge that you have said that not being able to see your children would be the highest contributor of depression.

Seeking "help" is something that many people find hard to do and you have taken a large step towards that in even exposing some of yourself (your situation) on this site to people you don't even know.  Four of the six people here who have responded to this thread (including me) have tried to offer you a way to try to rectify your situation at minimal costs and hopefully reduce some of the burdens that you currently bare.  It is only you however that can take this into action.  You can save costs if you become a Self Represented Litigant, just scroll back up to one of MikeT's posts…he has provided the link for you.

It is not always easy to take advice (positive or negative) especially if you are past the position of hope.  I am unfamiliar with many of the groups on this site (in general) but MikeT mentions DIDs (Dads in Distress) who no doubt have a lot of experience in helping fathers like yourself, and through other fathers in a similar situation you might be able to reclaim some of that lost hope.  If you click to the Community Link at the top of the page you will seemany groups on the LHS that all have an abundance of experience.  The link for DID's is 
ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
http://www.dadsindistress.asn.au/ 

I wish you all the best nightOwl and hope that sometime soon you will see the light at that very long dark tunnel.

Good Luck  :)

Last edit: by CrazyWorld


"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
Unfortunately it has appeared this post has slid down the path of political harassment.

We need to get off the merry go round of correcting people because they say one or two things that may be offensive, it appears rather than addressing the main issues some prefer to attack defensively because someone has not considered how others may read their post.

This is setting forth a defense mentality because people feel they have to back up what they say, it interferes with help and advice being given and takes the post on a unhealthy tangent.

nightowl:

You have already been given some good advice between the rev up so rather than reflect on this advice I'm just going to pas on my spin.

Things were different when you went through the system last time and I can sympathize with a very hard choice you had to make, it would not have been easy but may well have saved your life.
 
I am so happy your children found the strength to see you, any child that has been inflicted with alienation has many conflicting feelings to address before they can find such strength.

You have an established care routine for the last few months and with this you also have the children wanting to visit but this does not count for much if they are unable to stand up to their mothers influences, because of their age there is little possibility a court could order them to see you, just in the same way the Federal Police would not be able to enforce them to have contact.

The only real option you have is to go through the court system if she breaks the terms of the court orders but in saying this she may well excerpt more pressure on the kids to refuse to see you and this will effectively cause nothing to be done by the court.

The kids however have a choice to let their feet do the walking if they wish to spend time with you, if they run away and insist they want to stay with you it will be in your favor, but you still have to be aware of the laws and need to read as much as possible with this regard. It is very important to educate yourself and I've found out of late this is not the easiest thing to do especially if crossing state boundaries ( or is that just W.A. ? )

My advice would be to let all other things go at this time and concentrate on building a relationship with your kids, be supportive and always let them know they have a home with you if they need it. If you can get back onto D.O.C.S. and get that request in written form and diarise  , every single thing that happens.

Look to make your home as positive for them as you can and make sure they know how and when to reach you at all times, contact their school and explain the issues that concern you, even if you have to make a personal appearance to introduce yourself and what you are trying to achieve for the kids to provide a positive environment.

If anything you will have to sacrifice much at this point in time but it all will benefit you just like any good investment.

All best D4E
 

D4E said
  contact their school and explain the issues that concern you, even if you have to make a personal appearance to introduce yourself and what you are trying to achieve for the kids to provide a positive environment.
I'm not sure if I'm right in saying this so perhaps one of the more learned people could correct me here.

I was at the understanding that Orders made previously to the 06 amendments do not have that same presumption of shared parental responsibility.  Which would mean that unless stated in the 1999 Orders nightOwl has, maybe some clarity of those Orders should be sought before contacting the school. 

Schools ask for a copy of any Orders in place for their students to be attached to enrolment paperwork, so that they can operate consistently with the Orders so that their students are not compromised by external "domestic" issues.  There is a possibility that the mother has not supplied to the school a copy (which makes any enforcement by the school ungrounded) however if she has supplied a copy and depending on what the Orders say, the school might not be able to disclose or discuss any information about the children with you.  If unspecified the school might still be hesitant without clarity (many Orders are very open ended). 

Also, if she has alienated the children against you then there is also the possibility she has made you out as a less than desirable person to school staff. Just something extra to think about. 

Cheers

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
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