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LEGAL ASSISTANCE needed in Brisbane

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Let me start by giving you a 'brief ' rundown of where I am upto..

2 children J & A, J 6yo, A 4yo.

I got orders by consent with Legal Aid assistance in April 2007, this allowed the kids to spend time with me Every Tues night and every 2nd weekend from 17.30-Sunday 18:00, approximately a 70%/30% split with the kids but One that worked well for me around work and the kids still had enough time with me.

In December 07 I was denied the xmas holiday contact with the children - no reasons given at this time.  I advised X to comply with orders or face contravention, she didn't and I applied for contravention based on denial of contact. This was due to be heard on 19/03/08.

For the 4 weekends in January I had both children and also her 10yo daughter on a couple of nights, contact with my kids stopped again on the 7th Feb.

Mid February I found out allegations had been made of a physical and sexual nature against me by the X and the kids. I was interviewed by Child Safety and despite THEM presenting NO evidence, photos, medical records etc etc etc - the outcome they came to was SUBSTANTIATED.  I will say now that I have never 'ABUSED' the kids in that way!

Despite the X taking the kids to the police for an interview, I have not been charged with anything. Why? Becuase there is no evidence.  I asked how they came to this outcome and bascially because the kids said so it has to be true. The kids have been abused emotionally and physically by their mother and probably her many boyfriends, and very well coached. I took this to the ombudsman and I have been told that the outcome is being reviewed by the TL and a senior worker… still waiting.

At the Contravention hearing on 19/03 I was advised by the Duty Solicitor to drop the contravention as January would be seen as make up time for December and to agree to new orders to enable contact with the kids ASAP… a priority ofcourse. She has been funded by Legal Aid. The orders now for the moment mean supervised contact 2hrs per week at a contact centre, the contact centre in question is unable to facilitate this till June 08. That is 4 months without seeing my kids:(

Now the FM purdon-sully suggested to treat this as Magellan case and as such a ICL has been ordered (good thing) BUT this is way out of my league. I have made application to legal aid BUT expect that to be knocked back even though I had it for the inital orders (which I want re-instated).  I am not able to pay the $330p/hr for a solicitor to do this, I have pleaded with Legal Aid that I can help with costs but cant pay the full amount.  Like many of you out there I have made significant changes to survive… moved out of rental property into a shared accommodation environment for the time being… selling my furniture to try to have soem fighting money though $1,000 doesn't get much.

The X demonstrated the $ orientated aspect of herself nicely the other day… no less than 1 week after this hearing I got a call from Centrelink with a debt from February as kids no longer in my care, lose out on FTB A&B and rent assistance too. No as of the 19/03 but February even though she was breaching orders!  Then got the CSA call… blah blah blah… go back to paying 27% now as kids not in my care overnight at the moment.

Any recommendations on legal help?  I think I'm out of my depth to attempt to self rep given where this is at, Child safety had subpopnea my file to the courts on 31/03/08. i'm waiting to hear from the outcome & if I can inspect the documents.

Thanks in advance.


Click on the community menu option (in the dark blue bar near the top), then click on SRL-Resources and consider joining or perhaps using the help email address. You may be able to get some very useful help by doing this.

I wish you all the best, with what is an all too familiar story.
Thanks Mike… I'll check that part out.
In Brisbane there is a subsidised legal service called Caxton Street. It's in the valley. They can give you  advice and help you with what you need to prepare. They ask that you make whatever donation you can.

Legal aid don't just fund on your financial circumstances, they fund on prospects of case.

It sounds like the 10 yr old was sent to verify the younger children's "story".

Enroll yourself IMMEDIATELY in a parenting apart course. This will generate good faith and shows that you are very aware of what will be thrown at you.

If the supervised centre can't take you till June, you need to negotiate with the ex that she nominate a trusted 3rd party to supervise you, until the centre becomes available. Keep notes, emails and other evidence if she is obstructive.

Think back and make notes of any past times that you have baby sat the kids when the missus was out.

See if you can make contact with the birth father of the 10 yr old and see if similar allegations were made with him.

Under FOI get a transcript of all proceedings from Child Safety.

Join the SRL.

Even if you make it part way through proceedings as an SRL, you can save for a solicitor along the way.

You may find someone who gives unbundled services, or who will accept a retainer and then regular payments till the debt is paid off.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Thanks. I'll give Caxton a go.

I'll look at the parenting apart course.  I have done 3 different parenting courses already regarding the kids, expectations etc, etc.

Already subponea Child Safety, waiting on appoinment to view documents. Also requested details of file under FOI - just waiting.

Just signed up for SRL… hopefully that will be a good start.
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