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Forced visitation??

I have an 8 & a half year old daughter who has lived exclusively with me since she was born. Her father & I were seperated before she was born andwe have had no formal legal visitation in place. From 18months to three years of age she would stay every second weekend with her fatyher, who at the time lived in a stable environment with his mother. From the age of three until recently he lived erratically moving from share house to share house which of course was not conducive to my daughter so she didn't stay with him, however he would take her out every second saturday for an afternoon. This has continued up until two months ago. We live in Melbourne, he has now got himself a place in rural Victoria and insists that she must stay every seconbd weekend with him. She however soes not want to, we have not influenced her desicion. I have driven her up there to see the place the place etc, however she insists she does not want to stay with him. I have tried explaining this to him, however he doesn't want to hear what she wants & is threatening to take her against her will if it comes to them. I have yet to seek a family lawyer, however as it ius scalating I will do this this. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me. Does my daughter wishes come in to it, or do I physically have to hand her over crying. I don't know what to do??
Is it you or your daughter that does not want this. Dare i say you have influenced the child to some degree.

Get a grip and start thinking about your daughter!
No orders equals no formal arrangement.

Your daughters wishes would be heard if the matter went to Court.

Book into an FRC as soon as possible.

SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
Although our resident barbarian may be a little caveman at times he does have some valid points that are made.

Children are influenced by many things sometimes it is as simple as holding on before letting go a second longer but they pick up all sorts of signs of discomfort and trepidation, this by the way is not your fault they are just tells that you can not easily hide.

I do believe that at eight she is not in the position to know if she is going to enjoy time with her dad or not and because of these tells that you are giving off she is scared because your scared ( like it or not ).

Yes you may have to leave her crying and let dad deal with it after all thats his part of the job and she needs to get use to dads environment, part of which is his methods of discipline, his environmental rules and consistencies. It will take time until she is comfortable and enjoying that time but don't think this behavior will stop all together, my daughters been 50/50 for years and there are still times of tears when she is picked up from her mothers, as soon as we drive off the tears stop and the laughter begins so I assume right at that point in time my daughter felt this is what her mother wanted and when she gave it to her, well her mother gave her the reward attention that my daughter was seeking. It's just acceptable dynamics.

There are many strategies you can apply that will help your daughter accept the situation but they are all hard work and need to be consistent to work.

I can't express enough about just how important her relationship with her father will be to her future and now that studies are being done in this area it's not just opinion but fact.

All best d4e
D4E said
Although our resident barbarian may be a little caveman at times he does have some valid points that are made.
Poor Conan, this week you have had one thank you and a backhanded compliment from D4E and only one abusive guest posting about you. Are you mellowing?

 Senior Site Moderator and Administrator
Your question about can he take her even if she doesn't want to has been answered but remember as there are no orders or formal agreement he can in theory take her and is under no obligation to return her. This is an extreme and it seems is not your concern but just to make a point that at the moment there is no recourse for you.

However one thing you should think about before you spend all that money on a $olicitor, is that if the matter did go to court for orders there would be a very high likelyhood the father would spend every second weekend with his daughter, at a minimum(if there is nothing else unusual about your circumstances). Your daughters views will be taken in to account to some extent but even so it would be very unlikely for the courts not to make orders for one weekend a fortnight. There is much case law similar to your situation so you could have a look at this to see why. Most $olicitor frims, even good ones, have first consultation for free so speak to a few to get an idea of where you stand.

To get some kind of routine, consistency and stability you should now try to get a consent order so things don't keep changing in the future. You don't need a $olicitor for this.

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"
Sisyphus I have to admit the post that Conan made the other day showed a depth in him that scared me a little, it showed a just how educated and knowledgeable he is, I was tempted to poke him in the side for fun but simply couldn't bring myself to spoil such a special moment.

Belynda Family Relationship Center will provide an arena to mediate an agreement, and although both SLR-R and Dominik have true and valid points negotiating an agreement through mediation is much better than taking chances with the court process. I see you have concerns about what who can do legally as things are escalating perhaps a quick phone conversation to your childs father letting him know that you are looking positively at arranging time for him with your daughter may be enough to disarm the situation. Lets face it things escalate quickly and I'm sure you do not want the situation to explode where something negative happens on either side.

    
Hi, without intending to appear to be ganging up…i have to agree with all of the above too Belynda.

I don't know all the scientific, academic words to describe it, other than it's wrong.  Fortunately there is a plethora of research out there now that clearly validates the importance of fathers in childrens lives.  That very same research very clearly points to the dangers and potential risks to young females who DON"T have a father in their lives in a substantial way.  Forget uncles, brothers and neighbours or even new partners.  They're not daddy.

I have a little girl and some of the research i read about the impact i as her her father have on her in the various stages of her life is incredible and extraordinary to me in many ways.

I could play amateur psychologist and say that her rejection of him is in fact her pleas for acceptance by him.  But i am not a psychologist.  But i do know that it is not "normal" for a 8.5 to reject her father so strongly.  Nor is it acceptable…unless of course, there has been some instances of abuse, drugs and all the usual things one would add here.

In my opinion you are doing your daughter an injustice by allowing her to continue with this rejection of her father.

Belynda if i was to be completely honest with everyone i would say that nothing would personally thrill me more than to hear that my daughter doesn't want to see her mummy again and wants to spend all her time with me.  Sad of me i know.  But i'm working on it.  Anyway, if that is what my daughter wanted, it's not what she is going to get.  Because it's not right.  I may have lost a few scruples in the battle that divorce and separation is, but not all of them.

If there is no genuine reason then she will be punished in some fashion.  Sadly and unfortunately.  I would equate not going to mummy's place equally with another naughty behaviour and a punishment would be quickly forthcoming.  And i wouldn't enjoy one minute of it.
I would not allow it to become a battle.  It's simple.  She IS going.  No histrionics and theatrics.  Any tantrums and tears will be listened to patiently and lovingly and gently kissed away.  But she is still going.  I'm not above or below bribery…whatever she wants (within reason).  But she is still going.  If i couldn't make this happen, then i would get some professional help to make it happen.

Belynda when this same 8.5 year old tells you next week that now she's not going to school anymore, what are you going to do?

As a father and a daddy, i am just as valuable.  Aren't you?

I should add that my daughter is only 3.  So i have yet to face many of the problems some of the rest of you are.
To force a child to visit the other parent is down right cruel and irresponsible

The trouble with this site is that the ones posting on here are just disgruntle fathers pushing an agenda.

I am a seperated father and there is no way would i force my kids to see me if they did not want too.

This business about best interest in the child is fine but whos interest is it when a child is forced to go screaming with someone even if it is the other parent.

To me that is just cruel and will cause problems later in life for the kids.
Hi cundletown,

I dont know if you have done much research on this topic, but the courts believe it is necessary for a child to have a relationship with both parents, and there have been instances where parents that are not prepared to convince the child of this have had the court order the child live with the other parent. I partly agree that sometimes it maybe cruel for a child to visit a parent that well may not be able to care for the child, but there are supervised access visits and things like this which enable a child to visit a parent without coming to any harm.
I dont believe it is disgruntled fathers pushing an agenda as the courts are the ones responsible for making orders to that effect.
I'm sure that you would want youre children to have relationship with yourself and the other parent, research has shown that children that have only parent in their lives can affect them later on in life ( in the majority of cases ).Also for instance I know of alot of children that only had one parent in their life, then when they become teens they search for the missing parent,answers, love,approval etc.
Hope this helps clear it up for you.
Spock
cundletown said
To force a child to visit the other parent is down right cruel and irresponsible

The trouble with this site is that the ones posting on here are just disgruntle fathers pushing an agenda.

I am a seperated father and there is no way would i force my kids to see me if they did not want too.

This business about best interest in the child is fine but whos interest is it when a child is forced to go screaming with someone even if it is the other parent.

To me that is just cruel and will cause problems later in life for the kids.
  Like spock, I agree with this in part also.  Now I realise that there are many fathers out there that if given the opportunity to see their children more they would jump at the chance. But my post is not going to relate to those fathers nor the ones that genuinely seek to do what is best for their children, there are helluva lot of those out there as well.

The parents (I say parents as this part relates to either) I'm going to refer to, are those parents who see their children on only weekends (some through choice like my ex) and who given the short amount of contact time hold the view that nothing other than spending time with them should ever interfere with that time spent.  Now rightfully who ever the child in the care of at the time can obviously make all decisions about the child while in their care but what happens when the child is school aged and this attitude about nothing interfering also turns into that parent never allowing the child during their time to participate in things the same as their friends (friends birthday parties, weekend sports etc)?  Now I don't know what the solution to that is, but in my opinion if that led to a child not wanting to see that parent on the weekend then I don't think it appropriate to punish the child for wanting to be a child as such.  Now I'm sure a couple of opposing arguments from some would be that the children can do those kinds of things on the other parents weekends or not all children get to participate in sports etc but I'm pretty sure that if you spoke to one of the classes I used to teach they'd tell you something quite contrary.

In any instance I don't agree with punishment being the solution but education of the both parents to promote relationships with the other.

"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
Oh please what a load of politically correct tripe.

Disgruntled fathers pushing agendas.

More like sticking up for children's rights to see these fathers.

Children are susceptible to their environment and sometimes this environment discourages the child to be comfortable with one or other of the parents what you suggest cundletown is we openly support and encourage this behavior of alienation, that will be absolutely brilliant for the childrens future, why don't we just move back to the draconian past and give all right back to the mother and tell the father to take a hike, making sure they pay for the children of course. Wake up.

Perhaps you would be better to focus on the damage done to the child that has got them to this space where fear controls their lives.

By the way Belynda this is not focused at you, you have a situation that you are trying to alleviate for the better which you have asked for feed back on.

It's about providing the basic needs of children to have contact with both parents and encouraging this, if there is a situation where something has happened in your environment that has made the children respond in this negative way then you need to be proactive about sorting your mess out and if this means you have to listen to your child cry because of the damage you have done then so be it.

Do the right things and encourage the child to create a bond with the other parent wait six months whilst expanding this encouragement and see how the child is doing. Then come back and say just how cruel it is that child and father have bonded and have a beautiful relationship.

If you are happy to step back and let this form of control happen to your kids cundletown don't complain when you are alienated out of their lives and your kids are forever more damaged from not having you in their lives.

The crying is a temporary reaction quite possibly due to fear and anguish that has been created in an environment unfortunately it takes time to adjust for the child until they realize it's not as bad as they thought.

Crazyworld I think it depends on the age of the kids and if you can communicate what the kids problems are with their father as well as realizing that when there is limited time with your kids you do not want to be running around the full weekend but sometimes as a father he will need to keep these commitments it comes back to individual attitudes of mums and dads.

In the subject of identifying " time with dad " as a punishment you need to re-think and let them know different, if it is labelled as punishment kids will adopt this and react accordingly.

    
cundletown said
To force a child to visit the other parent is down right cruel and irresponsible

The trouble with this site is that the ones posting on here are just disgruntle fathers pushing an agenda………………………..


cundletown you have only made two postings on this site in twelve months. The first was weird and the second one confirms you are a troll.
Cundletown.

You have obviously done very little research into such matters and I suspect when/if you do you will change you views. I encourage you to browse some relevant research on the matter and you will find that even the most ardent opponents of shared or equal care do agree upon the importance of having both parents involved in the childrens lives and this includes spending time with them. Don't take my word on this there are those far more expert to qualify this. The reason courts make orders that children spend time with both parents is not because of well argued points of views of (disgruntled)seperated fathers but because of this research and years of consistent expert opinion put before the court that it is good for the children.

After you are more appraised of the facts we would again invite you to make further comment.

You say "there is no way would i force my kids to see me if they did not want too"  It is a shame you would give up on them so easily.

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"
If Conan is right and we have a troglodyte stirring up those who are trying to help Belynda through this Dominic I fear no amount of self reflection will change the opinion of this person who may not even be male let alone a father.

It's a shame if this person is not what they say as it detracts further from the relevance of their comments and adds to the argument they are simply a bitter twisted control junkie who probably has damaged their children with out any regards to them  using them as pawns in a power struggle.

I could be wrong but without further comment from cundletown it is doubtful things will progress with regard to their comments. Then we can get back to discussing ways to assist the situation and not antagonize it.

 

   
Hi Belynda,

Now baring in mind that your daughter is a couple of years older than my eldest son but here are some things that have become the "norm" at my place as they have been occurring ever since my children's father and I separated.

Whenever the children and I make a cake or something they always make a special one for daddy to take and give him when they see him next

I have a few photos still of their father on the living room wall with them

If I'm telling them a story about something they did that was silly or made me laugh or when we went somewhere or whatever I never not include their father if he was there.

The children make cards for their father here for Father's Day, his Birthday and just like Father's Day gone I always go with them to buy a small gift each (they're little they like to each give something to their daddy :)) that they can wrap here with me to give him when they see him

When we first separated (because they were so little) even though they obviously loved their father (still do) I got into a habit of always saying to them when they were dropped back home "give daddy a kiss and tell him that you love and that you'll see him next time".  I still say that now sometimes because I don't want them to ever just rush inside.

I read them stories (or make them up) which includes father's with children, I often change them into animal characters though, I've got boys, crocodiles are regular star.

That's just a few things that I do here like I said my children are a bit younger than your daughter but none of it is ever day, time consuming or even difficult.

Also too as you need to be careful about having conversation about the other parent with other adults in ear shot.  Kids are not stupid and even if you're not saying anything really bad they'll still pick up on any negative bias.

You'll thank yourself in years to come for promoting the relationship!

D4E it certainly does depend on their age I had secondary aged children in my head

"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
CrazyWorld you make some very good points of which I also subscribe too. While I don't have pictures of the mum with the kids on the living room wall, I do in their bedrooms. I think it is very important that separated parents make sure that their kids know that both parents have a very important role in their lives, while all of us will at some stage have negative feelings about the other parent, its essential that we don't let these feelings detract from the relationship that our kids have with both parents.

I believe kids are in tune with our feelings and as pointed out they will pick up on a negative bias. While it can be difficult at times I think we all need to dig deep and put our own feelings aside so that our children can feel comfortable with their own feelings for both parents.   
Everybody needs family and children need to feel that they can see all their family from mum and dad. Tears can flow, but they soon stop and children act as children again. An agreement is at all times better than court rulings and can also be more flexable so as to allow for the social butterflies children can become. Mum or dad can take the children to activities and a parent included expands the pride of the child.

I am a father and I speak from personal and broard experience

cundletown said
To force a child to visit the other parent is down right cruel and irresponsible

The trouble with this site is that the ones posting on here are just disgruntle fathers pushing an agenda.

I am a seperated father and there is no way would i force my kids to see me if they did not want too.

This business about best interest in the child is fine but whos interest is it when a child is forced to go screaming with someone even if it is the other parent.

To me that is just cruel and will cause problems later in life for the kids.
 
As a parent, there are many occasions where responsibility requires me to "encourage" my child to do things they don't wish to do. Everything from drinking milk, juice and water in preference to soft drink, eating fruit and veg in preference to chocolate and sweets. Going to school, doing homework, playing a game or going for a walk instead of watching cartoons. I don't think anybody could argue that these represent responsible parenting. The aim being to have the child learn to make the same choices for them self. It works, I have a child who will choose milk, water or juice in preference to soft drink most of the time. A child to whom school is mostly and enjoyable experience.

For the first few years that included encouraging him to spend time with his mother. At 18 months he used to scream in fear at the first sight of her. He had minor yet valid reasons for not trusting her a great deal. It took a couple of years of encouragement, but he move to being comfortable and now has a great relationship with his mother as well.

I chose this course because 15 years experience as a youth leader told me that kids with an absent (live) parent faced a tougher battle that those with 2 involved parents.
There is also significant body of research on the topic, coming from both the social sciences and medical research indicating that children generally make a better transition to maturity with 2 involved parents.

The Courts also take the view that it is part of "Parental Responsibility" to encourage the child's relationship with the other parent. Subject to the need to protect the child from abuse.

The reality is that as parents we can force small children to do most things, though this will cause problems. A much better strategy is to encourage (and they know they don't really have a choice). As they grow, it becomes much more difficult to force a child to do anything. By their mid teens it is almost impossible.

If I was faced with a child who really didn't want to see me I would most definitely be asking myself - "WHY" and "what can I do about it"

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
Conan said
cundletown said
To force a child to visit the other parent is down right cruel and irresponsible

The trouble with this site is that the ones posting on here are just disgruntle fathers pushing an agenda………………………..

  cundletown you have only made two postings on this site in twelve months. The first was weird and the second one confirms you are a troll.
 

Firstly i actually do not post simply because i do come here and find some information on this site interesting and helpful.

As for being a troll that is far from the truth.I am actually expressing an opinion which I am entitled to do.
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