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Children want to live with me

My ex and I have been separated for over a year now and we share 50/50 custody of our children, aged 9 and 7. We both live in the same town so that our children have no issues with schooling.

Today my kids came home to me for the week and just out of the blue said they wanted to live with me full time. When I asked them why they said because mum is moving to a new town on Wednesday, and in with her friends, who are one male and one female aged 17 and 18 (myex-wife is 29). My ex admitted to this on the phone.

My children don't want to move, and with the way my children have been treated by her the last few months I dont think it's safe.

The children have been coming to me telling me that their mother has been taking them to a shelter for their meals, not because she can't afford it, but because she can't be bothered cooking. My ex has admitted to this.

My children are only being showered about once a week if they're lucky and have come home for the second time in a month today with headlice (seems I'm the only one treating it).

The people that my ex is moving in with are ex drug addicts from the shelter my wife has been taking my kids to. Are my kids old enough that someone will listen to what they are saying? What can I do about this situation?

Please anyone I'm sick of seeing my kids suffer through their mother's selfish ways!
You don't say if you have any court orders in place. It sounds all quite bizarre with the mother moving to another town. How will you both effect 50 / 50 time that you say you have in place? What about the kids circle of school friends and or family? What does the school say and what school will they be going to?

If going to a Federal Magistrates Court hearing there may well be a family report and the children can express their desires at that time but the Federal Magistrate does not have to act on those views. Certainly they will be "considered" which was a change in the Act. A Diary of events as they unfold may be useful for the future. All sounds very unusual to me.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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kids want to live with me

there are custody orders in place for 50/50 care. she hasnt discussed any of the schooling issues or any other matters of the kids and their shared custody arrangements with me apart from the fact that she is moving.does she have to be moving a certain distance for it to matter that she is moving? are my kids old enough for legal representation of their own?is it nessicary? can she just move without the interests of the children being taken into account? as my ex has started  a course of bizzare behaviour i have a diary noting various things as they have happened

tough times ahead

This is where things get tough,

The Law state, I believe that a child needs to be of the age of at least 12 years to have their opinions carry significant weight. This said, the well-being of your children is paramount, to this there can be No Argument.

Moderator Note
There is no age defined in any Acts. This is determined by case law and the weight given to the maturity of the child. Current case law would indicate that the wishes of a 7 and 9 year old would not carry a great deal of weight unless there were other significant factors in the case.


Documenting any Non Compliance with the court order is very important, however it does fall upon the parties to have the Court Orders enforced, and that means you.

Things that can be of assistance in applications can be:
  • Reports from school guidance counsellors
  • Reports from Medical Professionals
  • Copy of records kept by you in a dated and clear manner showing any transgressions or concerns, and importantly the efforts that you may have made to have transgressions or poor behaviour rectified.

Don't kid yourself, this will be hard for you, but not impossible, and there are many support groups that will assist you, however Get Professional Legal Advice without delay and ask them about applications for interim orders for the well being of your children.

If you are focussed on what is best for your children things can and will change, they did for me and my child's life is now much better.
jetb said
My ex and I have been separated for over a year now and we share 50/50 custody of our children, aged 9 and 7. We both live in the same town so that our children have no issues with schooling.

Today my kids came home to me for the week and just out of the blue said they wanted to live with me full time. When I asked them why they said because mum is moving to a new town on Wednesday, and in with her friends, who are one male and one female aged 17 and 18 (myex-wife is 29). My ex admitted to this on the phone.

My children don't want to move, and with the way my children have been treated by her the last few months I dont think it's safe.

The children have been coming to me telling me that their mother has been taking them to a shelter for their meals, not because she can't afford it, but because she can't be bothered cooking. My ex has admitted to this.

My children are only being showered about once a week if they're lucky and have come home for the second time in a month today with headlice (seems I'm the only one treating it).

The people that my ex is moving in with are ex drug addicts from the shelter my wife has been taking my kids to. Are my kids old enough that someone will listen to what they are saying? What can I do about this situation?

Please anyone I'm sick of seeing my kids suffer through their mother's selfish ways!

I don't think you have any Court Orders do you? Has this 50/50 been agreed to by both of you outside of Court?

Ask yourself all the practical questions in relation to the childrens best interests:

Does this move of hers mean a new school? How far away is it? Will the current arrangement be able to be carried out ie: 50/50? Will this mean interuption to sporting and extra curricular activities loss of friends etc?

Children not being showered each night and taken to a refuge to eat does not  consititute child abuse but rather a lack of duty of care towards the children and parenting skills. If she moves in with known drug addicts (meaning you can prove this) it may not be considered a safe enviroment. How the schooling going? Any intervention by them by way of this affecting the children's work? She is clearly taking the children to a shelter so she can socialise with her friends. How late are they up during the week? Does this affect their sleeping routine and homework? Do they have a fear of the place?  Food shelters are there for the communities needs and are not dangerous but they can be intimidating for young children.

Head lice??? Mine have come home for the last 7 years with head lice he never treats them or washes their bed linen. He has never taken his son for a haircut or the children to the dentist. That doesn't make him a bad father LOL

TALK TO HER relay your concerns ask her if her new lifestyle and the move is suitabe for the children. Maybe she would like less shared care?  The best interests of the children is always the key to opening the door. A child representative can speak to the kids but they are too young to be heard just yet. And NO I do not agree with that it's just a fact.

Make an appointment with the FRC try to work it out LAST RESORT IS ALWAYS COURT believe me I am a 4 year veteran of the court system and have the scars to prove it!

:'(

IIIBETTER Not BITTER III
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