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ADVO Including Child

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Hello,
I just have a question about an ADVO which includes a child.
I've recently been granted an interim ADVO against my ex which includes myself and our child. Our child was witness to abuse toward myself as well as being held/grabbed while ex verbally abused me. Our son was and still is quite shaken up about the incident.
The magistrate on the day included our son which I was hoping for but not expecting as I've heard that magistrates can be hesitant to include children on ADVO's.
My question is - when we go back to court to have the interim order made final for 24 months, is the magistrate likely to keep order conditions as they are? I'm concerned that when my ex contests on the day, the magistrate may remove our son and only leave myself covered by it.
Has anyone here successfully had an ADVO that includes a child or children, made permanent?
There are real concerns for the mental and physical wellbeing if our son if he is not included permanently.
Happy to provide more info/background if needed.
Thank you in advance.

 Regards…..
Let me get this straight: the ex held HIS son while the two of you had a row? And now you're trying to use that as an excuse to keep him from having any contact with you or HIS son for the next 24 months?

Grow up.
Good morning Craigo,
Well I did expect some honest responses and maybe advice also but not a response like this. Anyhow, I'll try to give a little more information and see if that helps shed some light.
1. We didn't simply 'have a row'. My ex found out where our son and I were going to be on a Saturday - I did not inform him of this so am still unsure how he figured this out - and he showed up there. It was a private, family occasion in a public place where there there many other families doing their own thing.
2. Ex then proceeded to follow me around, stand in my way, grab me, yell at me etc while I was trying to walk past him and was asking him quietly if we could please speak later when our son and no one else was around.
3. He refused and kept on hassling me, saying he didn't care who could hear.
4. Our son was riding his tricycle around and this is when the ex grabbed him and began yelling at our son - horrible things about me. Our son tried to get out of his arms and was visibly scared. Witnesses saw this, not just family members.
5. There is a long history of domestic violence, verbal and physical, drinking and ex has a horrible temper. This temper often overflows to our son. Son witnessed a lot of abuse toward myself before I eventually managed to walk away.

I'm not sure if that helps you understand some of where I'm coming from but I can assure you that I have had to grow up a lot over the past 5 years in order to deal with and escape domestic violence.

Do you have or know if any situations like this one of mine that you could help me with?

Thank you.

 Regards…..
Hi ukulele, thanks for the clarification. The way you described things in your first post was confusing.
If you have witnesses to an assault then bring assault charges is my advice.

I'd also suggest that the two of you need to sit down and have a good talk. It sounds to me that he wants to communicate with you and has been frustrated at being unable to do so. Would that be a fair thing to say?

Instead of worrying about the DVO application so much, which will make that communication much harder and hence lead to greater frustration on his part, perhaps you could consider some mediated discussions. That way you CAN keep it away from your son and the two of you might actually reach some type of common ground.

What concerns me is that there is a strong undercurrent of anger and revenge-seeking in your response here, which is entirely normal. When you feel that way it's easy to use the law to make your point that he cannot be abusive, but you have to consider whether doing so is going to advance the overall aim of coming to a satisfactory arrangement that everyone can live with, or whether it's simply going to crate a greater divide to be bridged later.

On the issue of whether your son can be joined to the final ADVO, I'd think it would be unlikely in the absence of any genuine evidence of injury. Others may have a dfferent view.
I have had a DVO's against my daughters father which included our daughter. My daughter and I were both hospitalized by her father though. Her father stalked us, sent both of us written death threats &  tried to burn down our house. Was in and out of jail for what he did to us.  

Usually DVO's that include children are only done so in the most serious cases. I have had my DVO granted for life, my daughter is an adult now and every 2 years gets her own DVOs against her father renewed. Next time the judge said she will grant her a DVO for life too.

My DVO's occurred in QLD, not sure if state makes a difference. The police also requested that the judge include my daughter on the DVO which helped.

My daughters father one time appealed the including of our daughter on my DVO, he told the judge he wanted custody of her. Judge told him that there was no way any judge in the country would allow him access to my daughter.
Be warned a DVO does not stop access.
My sister in law got a for life one after being put in hospital by ex and the family court still gave every second weekend access to this man even though child was on AVO.
A friend recently had hers allowed but even though ex broke one of the kids arms, he still gets access once every 5 weeks for a day unsupervised.
the sad thing is that even though violence is put on these kids, the courts still allow access.

why? because its in the childs best interest. yeah right.

im sorry but i dont see how the laws allow this. shared parenting in alot of cases IS WRONG.. its not the childs best interests, its so the 'other' parent can still continue to be in control.
Craigo said
 I'd also suggest that the two of you need to sit down and have a good talk. It sounds to me that he wants to communicate with you and has been frustrated at being unable to do so. Would that be a fair thing to say?
Just seeking a bit of clarity here on your views Craigo.  Are you suggesting that there should be a requirement for a victim of violence to "negotiate" with their abuser on the basis that the abuser is simply frustrated?  Or is this just a view in relation to your interpretation of the original posters situation? 

I personally would not consider a protection order, where violence has happened, to be "revenge - seeking" in any way shape or form.  To me violence is violence whether against a mother, father or anyone for that matter and any child who has witnessed violence is also a victim.  While I do not believe personally that a parent should be fully removed from a child's life except in the most serious cases (although this is on the proviso that the minimum element of "safe environment" is fully satisfied) this does not mean either that I believe a "co-parenting relationship" is feasible in most cases where family violence has happened. 

While I do understand it can be argued that the parents separation in itself can cause a reduction in the likelihood of future violence occurring, the parental relationship due to the violence has already been strained to ridiculous degrees in many cases and to force a victim and perpetrator to "negotiate" whether in the present or future is both dismissive of the action = reaction equation (which in the case of family violence reaction is often a victim who is left with a disturbing degree of emotional scarring that could take years to recover from) but also that an alteration or "change" in the previous action does not in the case of family automatically result in a change to the reaction that has already happened.  To view a victim of violence as not looking to the BIC of the child where they are unable to "negotiate" with their abuser (even in relation to the child) is ludicrous and certainly not good for the child's overall wellbeing.    

"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
I'm simply saying that there seems to have been no actual violence and that the use of a DVO in such circumstances may well be counter-productive, depending of course on whether she wants the father to have any role in the child's life at all, which is why I mentioned revenge-seeking and anger.

As I said at the start, if there has been an assault then file a complaint to that effect because things are obviously beyond the point of reason, but if the DVO is simply to stop any chance of communication between the two, I think it's a poor idea in the first instance. I'd say the same about any separating couple: it's far too easy to use the law negatively, with long-term consequences for all involved. Negotiation in a secure environment should not be an unreasonably onerous task for most people. I've known lots of women who gave every bit as good as they got until they decided to leave, then they suddenly became fearful little rabbits, unable to be in the same town as him. I just don't buy it. Unless someone is seriously emotionally disturbed, I really can't see what's wrong with giving them the opportunity to have their say and to hear the other person's say. I'm not of the view that anybody has a right to a life free of feeling anxious, stressed, or under pressure: that's simply untenable. So I'm not of the view that her feelings of anxiety over his understandable reaction to the end of a relationship should be the defining factor in deciding whether negotiation/mediation should occur.

If there is no communication there is no possibility of understanding and if that goes then there is nothing at all in the future except court, which is not a good thing. I reckon every separating couple should be compelled to attend about a day's worth of presentations on the negative impact of using the Court before they even head off to their first mediation session. It might concentrate their minds a little before the whole thing gets out of hand.

A bit of a rant, I know, but I've been on the end of frivolous DVO applications designed to make communication difficult and I know how frustrating it can be to have someone simply refuse to communicate for no good reason other than a wish not to hear any disagreement with her own views. I'm not suggesting that ukulele is doing that, but it still struck a chord.
In the context of the perspective you have provided Craigo (which btw I appreciate you going to the trouble to provide) your response tends to make a lot of sense.  So I will simply agree to disagree on the basis that with regards to family violence we have perceptions of what constitutes violence et al

"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
Craigo - I understand where you're coming from in regard to trying to better our communication through mediation and/or counseling but trust me, I've tried. I agreed to individual counseling and then many, many joint sessions, then back to individual (as it was going nowhere) and finally more joint sessions. While this seemed to help for a while, things went downhill very quickly and I found myself back in a situation where I was being harassed, abused and bullied when things didn't go his way.

I was then left in a predicament where I'd compromised my safety and that of our child by agreeing to things I shouldn't have and was basically back at square one. The abuser/ex still doesn't acknowledge the fear, abuse and damage that was done during our relationship and the damage he is now causing again. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and start fresh but nothing has worked and now things are as bad as before - although now we're safely away from him and in our own home. It seems though that even this isn't enough to stop his attempts to control and scare us. Still though, he has no concept that his actions cause fear and are threatening.

I am not coming from any area of anger, I'm far from angry - that stopped a long time ago - so if you're detecting undertones of anger on my part, I'm afraid you're reading something into my posts that isn't there. I'm not seeking revenge, I just want this person to accept that his actions have consequences and he can't continue behaving this way. If I need a protection order for my son and I to help him understand this, then that is what I hope to do. I know I can't make him realise the impact he's having on us but at the very least I'll have some sense of security.

I hope I'm making some sense through all of this….it's a difficult time.

Thank you for your response though, I just feel that I've tried all the things you've mentioned and there's nowhere else to turn from here. I need to protect our child and myself. I'm all for our son having quality time with his father but at what cost must this be? There must come a point where our son is no longer feeling unsafe, scared, confused when time is spent. He must be safe from all forms of family violence and at this stage, he simply isn't.

For everyone else that has replied to this thread, thank you also. I've got a little more insight into how this may play out especially if it ever comes to family court orders. As for now, the family court is not on my radar, I'm just trying to do the best I can right now and hope I'm doing the right thing.

 Regards…..
faith said
Be warned a DVO does not stop access.
My sister in law got a for life one after being put in hospital by ex and the family court still gave every second weekend access to this man even though child was on AVO.
A friend recently had hers allowed but even though ex broke one of the kids arms, he still gets access once every 5 weeks for a day unsupervised.
 
With mine the FC Magistrate made a decision that my state granted DVO conditions would over ride any orders made under the family law ACT. It's up to the individual magistrates discretion on wether or not they choose to exercise their power to vary a State/Territory protection orders, so someone can have access to their kids that are 'named' persons on a DVO.
Hi Frenzy,

Thank you for that information. I was always under the assumption that any order made under the family law act would override any DVO's that would be in place. So, if my son is included in a final DVO with myself, if further down the track we go to the family court, my ex could still get access regardless of the DVO. I was always aware that this was the case but if you are saying that it can still be a an individual call on the part of the magistrate then that's interesting. I wonder how often that happens?
Your case does sound quite serious in regard to abuse and I can see how that would be an exception to the rule I guess.

Thanks again.

 Regards…..
also the avo being for only 24 months maybe the magistrate is hoping hostility will settle down and circumstances change, 24 months is a short time when making decisions that last a lifetime (parent order)

I wonder how often that happens?
I don't think it happens very often. My daughters father had attacked her teachers at school & was found in the school grounds with a knife, so think that helped the judge decide even a supervised access center would be out of the question lol. My daughters father suffers from drug induced psychosis, which is untreatable so really it's an extreme case. Judges can order special courses/ programs to violent people or access at supervised contact centers  so guess that is why DVO often get over ridden. There is no hard and fast rule on whether family or state law will prevail.

The judge that did my first DVO had the power to make orders under the family law act, so did so at the time i first applied for a DVO. My daughter father started ranting in court he wanted custody/access…judge put an instant forever stop to that lol…

Hopefully this link works…parts 5 and 6 of this document explains the relationship between the FLA and State DVO's and how courts can address both at once, like in my case.
In such cases, it may be appropriate for the court making a protection order also to consider making orders under the FL Act dealing with parental responsibility and contact between parents and children. (Many courts with jurisdiction to make a State/Territory protection order also have jurisdiction under the FL Act which allows the court to make parenting orders (see paragraph 6.3.18 ff)).
www.facs.gov.au/sa/women/pubs/violence/np_time_for_action/do
mestic_violence_laws
Hi again Frenzy,

The link did in fact work, thanks very much….there is a lot to read but it's very interesting.

 Regards…..
Frenzy, your case sounds terribly extreme. I don't think most parents face an ex with a drug-induced psychosi. You seem to have dealt with it very well, I must say.

Ukelele, you seem to have done everything that could be expected, really. I'm not trying to excuse what seems to be pretty poor behaviour on his part, but do you have any idea as to what has kept him angry for so long? Most people move on with things after a short period of a year or two and it's only outside influences that keep things going.

That could be anything from CSA harassment to family members and friends stirring up trouble. If he's being subject to CSA garnishment, for example, it could be causing him a lot of personal financial problems that he expresses through anger.

One of the big issues facing separated fathers is the sense that they are being "ganged up on" by the ex and the system. It can be hard to know who is responsible for initiating what and I've known several separated fathers, including myself in the early years, who thought that the ex had the power to stop the machine once she'd started it, which of course, she can't do at all easily. Most men don't do "helpless victim" very well, so their response is not to submit to the demands of the system but to try to do something about it. That can lead to good things like the SRL-R group here, but it can lead to exes coming into conflict.

None of that may be relevant to your situation, but I have to say that your ex sounds to me as though he is having a lot of trouble coming to terms with the reality of post-separation life, which is that his role is that of payer, not of father. It's a bitter pill to swallow, even when there is a cooperative relationship between the parents.

I'd be quite surprised if a magistrate ordered the child joined to the DVO.
Good Morning Craigo,

My ex has a few things going on at the moment. Since we separated and eventually divorced, he has jumped straight into relationships with other women. This has resulted in 4 ex girlfriends now since we separated and two new babies in the world because of this. He is being chased down by CSA from both women and also has been trying to avoid them for as long as possible. I think they've caught up with him as they both live in the same state as us. What a mess hey?

Also, he is still completely obsessed with me and our previous life together. He often told me that he'll never love anyone else again and he can not live without me. This is quite a scary thing to hear years after separation and divorce. He will not give up the hope that one day we'll be together again despite me telling him that this will never happen. He has never done anything to change his behaviour or address his problems - alcohol, drugs, anger, inability to be alone.

He will not give up unless he has me back and if he can't, he'll make my life as horrible as possible. This I've been told by him.

Thanks Craigo.

 Regards…..
Also, he is still completely obsessed with me and our previous life together. He often told me that he'll never love anyone else again and he can not live without me. This is quite a scary thing to hear years after separation and divorce. He will not give up the hope that one day we'll be together again despite me telling him that this will never happen. He has never done anything to change his behaviour or address his problems - alcohol, drugs, anger, inability to be alone.

He will not give up unless he has me back and if he can't, he'll make my life as horrible as possible. This I've been told by him.
That kind of obsession, is not normal. My ex started off like that, after about 10 years, his obsession turned deadly and into full on deranged relentless stalking, it's been 20 years since I left him & he is still at it. Often people like that are suffering mental health issues or personality disorders. Unfortualty there is no way to force treatment & according to alot of psychs, treatment can make the problem worse. I understand what you are saying Craigo but sometimes the problems have  little or nothing to do with external stresses like CSA, courts ect. When I left my ex our daughter was 3 months old, although he beat me, I really thought once I left he'd grow up & move on & end up having a good relationship with his daughter. Never in a million years could I have dreamed that she would become a victim of his delusional, obsessive, resentful mind. I could qoute the police statistics on how obsessions that go on for years usually end but won't.

I hope somehow it all works out for you and your son Ukelele, I think there are some real red flags that your ex's behavior, it's run of the mill normal after break up stuff.
Now I'm getting the picture, thanks ukelele. I'd reckon he's probably in a world of pain if he has 3 young children to 3 different women. As you say, what a mess!
He's probably feeling very helpless and hopeless about the future and looking for a way out, but unfortunately that's not going to be available. It's not your fault, obviously, but it may have a big influence on how he reacts around you if he's getting threatening CSA letters with your name on them.

It illustrates the point I was making in another thread about reforming the CS program so that children of parents like that get properly funded without tying the two parents together financially and thus adding to the potential for conflict.
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