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Help sought re family situation

Cheap but good solicitor sought

Let's just start with some background - I am the mother of seven children. Me ex partner now lives with his new partner and her eight year old son. They have been together for nearly twelve months (he left me for her) so after an initial time of anger, jealousy (on both women's parts) I have put aside the beginning of their relationship (and end of our 16 year relationship) for the children.

I'm no angel, or wonderful person, i just care about all the children involved and after actually getting to know her ( the man involved has gone to jail for three month on a driving without a license charge) without him around, I realise that we do have a lot in common (as you would expect) and she also is very much aware of the children's welfare. (she even takes down pictures of them if she knows I'm coming inside their home to collect the children).

I have never from day dot stood in the way of the children seeing their father and staying with both of them, I guess because their father and I are still best friends that I knew he wouldn't invite the kids to stay with or be around someone who i felt wasn't appropriate. Ok that's the good part of the story now for the bad and the questions -

the father (lets call him #) of her son ( we'll call him *) isn't so happy. They haven't been together for six years, he is a violent man who was actually locked up (on one of his numerous times in jail)for assaulting her in hospital the day after she had given birth. He has firearm convictions, he has 15+ AVO orders out against him, he is a jealous and angry man.

There have been no court orders etc for access visits but she would happily send * to # and his mother every second weekend, she would even arrange transport if needed. She wouldtell him of all school and sporting events, she even invited # to* birthday party, when my ex left our children thereand went outso# could feel more comfortable. But then things changed.

One of her friends stuck her bib in and told # alot about mine and my ex's past and told # that the two of them were getting serious and * would talk a lot about my ex and how good he was. so # started his reign of terror, while my ex was away for a few weeks# broke in and attacked her, trying to pull off her clothes etc.He would make phone calls to * saying horrible things about his mother and my ex. Sending a group of men around to bash my ex.Going to the school and trying to take him out, (luckily the school was aware of the trouble and called them starightaway) They even had to leave the area for a few weeks fortheir safety. So she stopped the visitation, scared that he would disappear with * (which he threatened to do).

She took out another AVO which an interim has been granted for both her and *.But on Monday a solicitorcalled her and said she was representing # and asked if she had representation and gave her the court dateat the family Law Court in Parramatta (?). Unfortunatley when all these problems started she contacted legal aid but last financial year she was working inher professionand earned too much money, butshe left that job and only works casual in a differentemployment area and earns nowhere near as much money. the court case is in June so it will be the same financial year.are DART able to help her? also she told #'s solicitor about the domestic violence and she had no idea (surprise surprise) about any of that.

She isn't adverse to * seeing his father or being part of his life, that is all she ever wanted, but she is scared he is going to take off with him so wants supervised visitation only. It was only when the phone calls became abusive and manipulative that she stopped those as well. * was so mixed up he would just agree with # to not have him angry but then go to my ex and tell him that he knew his father was lying and was sorry - this is just a little boy.

The only thing they are worried about is the fact that my ex is in jail, and# might use that against her. He is in jail for a very short time due to driving without a license. He has never had any violent charges against him and we have never had any contact with DOCS ever. I can see she is a good mother, and I know my ex is a good father and we have all joined together to make * apart of our family. Can my ex have an affect on this case and is there anywhere that she can get free representation. She wouldn't be able to represent herself as she breaks down and starts crying and shaking whenever # is around her. Can anyone help please?
Ness38.

My suggestion is that you get her to join the SRL-Resources (Click on Community and then on SRL-Resources and have a good look around), it may well be that the SRL-Resources could offer help. My guess is that the SRL's will comment so I'll leave that to them, although I suspect that the other father would be seen as being a hypocrite if he tried using a jail sentence as some sort of reason to restrict your ex from being a step father.

MMMM - Interesting Case

First - Join SRL-R. Then you can discuss the details of case without having to be quite so circumspect as # & * - lol

The fact that you aren't the enemy of your children's father, and in fact are still friends, and in fact have taken the trouble to be friendly with his new partner, your new friend, would all be seen as very usefull by the Family Courts. Rest assured, the family Courts tend not to make Moral Judgements about a person's background, and definitely prefer people to "Get on" for the sake of the kids.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
ness38 said
….she took out another AVO which an interim has been granted for both her and *.  But on Monday a solicitor called her and said she was representing # and asked if she had representation and gave her the court date at the family Law Court in Parramatta (?).  Unfortunatley when all these problems started she contacted legal aid but last financial year she was working in her profession and earned too much money, but she left that job and only works casual in a different employment area and earns nowhere near as much money.  the court case is in June so it will be the same financial year.  are DART able to help her?  also she told #'s solicitor about the domestic violence and she had no idea (surprise surprise) about any of that.
…..
….. Can my ex have an affect on this case and is there anywhere that she can get free representation.  she wouldn't be able to represent herself as she breaks down and starts crying and shaking whenever # is around her.  Can anyone help please???
It surprises me that an interim AVO is being dealt with as far out as June. They are usually dealt with within weeks not many months later. The lodging party will need to appear and will more than likely be dealing with or represented by the Police prosecutor or Police brief. There were 15+ AVO's out previously you say and that I also find quite extrodinary. It suprises me the party is not already detained in some facility, especially with a 16th looming. Certainly the police prosecutor will be interested. There is never any free representation as someone has to pay either the tax payer or the client. The SRL-R group may be able to assist and are extremly experienced in Federal and or Family Courts. We have assisted in numerous AVO proceedings where the clients have been self represented.  There will be no costs if the Police are taking the matter and they have unlimited resorces. They will hardly be interested in your ex as he is not involved in the Interim avo so why should they be?

Your friend will need to discuss the AVO matter with the Police unit who will be involved. She can give evidence externally if there is fear for her safety. She can locate in the special rooms the women's legal service usually have in many local courts for victims of domestic violence and abuse. She may even be able to give video evidence. She should contact also the Womens Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program if she is located  in NSW. I note you are on the Central Coast NSW so assume your friend is not far away. If you are attending in Gosford the local Gosford Police host the womens legal service. If Wyong I believe they have a room at the court house.

The courts are extremly concerned about safety of all persons attending so safety should be assured.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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