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I know that this will be adding to the general "tedium" or overload with other posts of injustice. But if I can briefly relay my story in the hope that someone out there can identify with my position and can give me some direction or advice through shared ground.

After 15 years of marriage my wife left the family home at the beginning of last year. There was a history of self harm throughout the marriage that resulted in her spending sometime in a psych ward after an attempted suicide. During this time she was seeing a psychiatrist for 16 months.

I became our four children's primary care giver (through centreLink) and receive the parenting pension. I study fulltime and work part-time. I am currently paying her child support through the CSA.

We had a verbal share care agreement, one week one, one week off. During 2007 I found myself paying for most school fees, dental, doctors bills etc. I worked out my care diary for the past calendar year and the care ratio was 65% in my favour. I complained to the CSA and centrelink with regard to this early 2008 and as a result she has had to pay back money to the agencies. These circumstances came about because she chose to give me the children in her care period to pursue her own path without our children. It has cost me an estimated $9000 for the past year with this ratio.

In part she retaliated by making allegations of her concerns with our two daughters sharing their fathers bed, in a solicitors letter in response to a settlement proposal. I immediately took the children down to a government agency to be assessed in relation to her concerns. I feel I need to say that the children do not share my bed!!

My wife is gay and has recently lived with her partner in a rental (four bedroom house) with nine people living in it. My wife's partner would bully the girls and I would get distressed phone calls asking me to pick them up (all recorded). The children reached the stage of dreading their week with her.

Since her warning seven weeks ago with government agencies she has been more responsive to our children, and kicked out her partner at the time of receiving the letter. I met with her recently to try and negotiate settlement with her. She amongst other statements said that consent orders aren't worth the paper they are written on etc.. The children although happier with her are reluctant to commit to her. And want to stay with me.

My eldest child is depressed and after four and a half months has returned to school (11th grade) my youngest daughter is also depressed and in October of last year her mother (arm in arm with partner) tried to pick her up from after school care, my daughter saw her coming, hid under the table and told them to go away, I was called and had to pick her up. Next day at school it was all around that her mum was gay. It took 5 weeks and five sessions with the counsellor to get her to spend a full week at school. My wife denies any problem faced with our children and has no involvement with the counselling, or many many attempts at mediation. Leaving the emotional fallout for me to deal with.

After finally being ready to self represent in the family court I read this website and felt absolutely gutted by the many comments of bias. Can't afford legal advice, what can I do?
Sorry to hear your story, but as you've found it's all too common a story. You ask what you can do, and that you have looked into being an SRL, but not what your goals are. Are you asking what your goals should be?

I'd suggest joining the SRL group, there you can discuss details privately.

I wish you all the best.
I agree with Mike, you will find more information in that forum than on the general part of the site.

It would not be unreasonalbe a goal to have the children 60/40 in your favour. The wife's own behaviour seems to indicate that she would (perhaps grudgingly) accept this.

While there is a lot of bias out there, it really depends on the FM that you get and the family report writer. The good thing for you is that your children sound old enough (definitely the yr 11 girl) to tell their side of the story and say who they want to live most with.

The issue is less the mother's lifestyle, but the lack of concern and level of caring for the children and suitable environment (a 9 person share house?)

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. 

Thank you

Probably a little clumsy in the my personal revelations, but I would like to thank you both for responding. And it has always been reinforced to my children that their mothers lifestyle choice has no bearing on her love for them. It is her priorities with our children that has caused the most trauma. I would like to talk about this further in the other forum, thank you again for the suggestion and the time to respond.

Redfield~~

Children

If your children are teenagers, they will have a big say in where they want to live. The court has to listen to them. In some case the court orders one thing, but the teenage children do another. The court is unlikely to order them to return to a parent they do not want to see.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 

My First Post

Hi,  I am currently defending a contravention and a ridiculous change of orders, I have everything in hand as monteverdi is handling my case and I really appreciate all his help. Its good to have a resource to help all us novices through the tedium of the legal process.
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