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am I on the right path?

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My relationship deteriorated over many months / years & as a result I had major depression. I suffered (but was not diagnosed) with post natal depression & reached out to whoever would listen. This resulted in me having an "affair" & subsequently the total breakdown of my relationship with my ex. When my ex found out, the days & weeks became an endless vicious cycle of horror upon horror. Without going in to detail on here, it was paramount to torture. Some would say it was justified.
Is there a question? Or are you asking if it was justified? :\
Are there children involved?

Are you staying with your new partner? What help are you looking for here?…. The site predominately deals with legal and complex issues around Child Support and Family Law matters and in the main parenting and children. There are some specialist counsellors on the site that deal with other issues but in the main we are focussed here on court and legislation issues and resolutions for parents around getting proper parenting outcomes.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Sorry I wasn't finished. I got booted off but then couldn't add or amend the post!
To continue…..
My ex gave me 2 choices: go to hospital to get "help" or tell all our family & friends about the affair.
I chose the first option to which my ex said I had to say I wanted to end my life. He did all the talking basically & I was admitted in to the psych ward.
To keep a long story short…. I got out of hospital, the horror continued. He took me to a psychiatrist who after 3 visits said I possibly have bipolar 2.
After leaving with nothing but a few clothes & our son I have been trying to get my life back on track ever since.
My ex took our son & refused to give him back & made an application to court stating he has grave concerns for the safety & welfare of our son.
I have since stopped the medication I was on, on my own as I could not function. I stopped going to the psychiatrist as I believe he was too quick to medicate & diagnose & began to see a psychologist who helped me a great deal more.
I have completed the parenting after separation course & have enrolled in another course to better myself for my son.
We had a shared care arrangement in place before but my accommodation fell through & I had to ask my ex to have our son until I could find a place. I am now settled, have a good job, supportive new partner & not depressed. I hoped to go back to the shared care we had before. When we went to mediation,   the only issue was the accomodation. Now that I am working I on longer have legal aid so my ex has done a complete turn around & says for the best interest of our son that he will only agree to me having him every second weekend.
What I'm asking I guess, is will the court take into account the efforts I have made in the last year? And am I on the right path?
I think consistency will be a big issue, ie, being able to demonstrate improved lifestyle and mental health management over a period of time. To be honest, the whole thing with the forced suicide confession sounds dodgy as, and I think it has the potential to become extremely complicated. That's not to say I think you're lying, but I presume you can appreciate the fact that it sounds like quite an incredible story. Arguably, nobody in their right mind would be talked into confessing non-existent suicidal thoughts, therefore it may be suggested that you were in fact mentally unstable. It sounds like you needed some form of help, and one way another, your ex made this happen. If your ex abused you physically or psychologically, that will never be justifiable. But if all these issues become entwined with what's best for the child now, it's going to get really messy.

I wonder if it might be better to keep it simple - you had depression, your behaviour at that point was out of character, it led to an emotional breakdown and you needed help and got it. Now you're on the road to recovery and doing everything in your power to ensure you stay healthy. Although it's concerning when you say that you took yourself off meds that were prescribed when you were seriously unwell. Fair enough, you didn't agree with the way the psych was handling it, but he/she is far more qualified than you to make that decision, therefore their opinion will hold more weight than yours. It would probably look better if you had sought a second opinion rather than making that call yourself, and if wasn't too long ago, that might be a good idea. If it was only depression meds we were talking about, it might be less of an issue, but bi-polar can be a lot more serious, particularly when people go off their meds. I think you're opening yourself up to a world of trouble. His legal rep will have a field day cross examining you over this. Maybe others with more experience can give some better advice on how to approach this.

If you've been stable for a year and continue to be so, you've got a reasonable chance at increasing your time with your son. You need to propose an increase that is gradual, building up in small increments over a period of time. This gives your boy time to adjust to the changes, and gives you time to continue proving yourself. I think it will be important to demonstrate insight into your own mental health issues and also a dedication to keeping your mental/emotional health in tact by continuing with counselling and checking in with your doctor. Parenting courses are great, they show you are prepared to work on yourself. Even if you did still have bi-polar, depression or something similar, people with mental illnesses are still able to parent as normal, so long as they are in treatment and the child is being well cared for. You are on the right track, keep trying, but be careful you get this mental health angle fully covered. Good luck.

Rabbit, Whilst you response was met with somewhat mixed emotions, I appreciate and thank you for taking the time to reply.
Without knowing the full story, I guess one would come to the conclusion that no one in their right mind would confess those things. After being kept awake for 4 days straight, spat on, physically & psycologically abused, I needed all the help I could get to get away. Hospital was indeed the only option.
I could get into the why this and why that but I don't want my life story on a public forum and I'm not here to justify my actions, for sympathy, or for pity. I am here to gain as much knowledge as I can, not to go to war with my ex as he says, but to better myself to be a better parent, get the much needed assistance with some court procedures and hopefully one day we can agree on the most important thing that is our beautiful little boy and what is best for him.

Your reply makes sense 100% and I agree with you on most things. Thank you
Yes, I don't suppose I worded that so well, I'm sorry. I didn't intend to trivialise or make assumptions at all, and between you and me, I did some really irrational and erractic things myself whilst suffering from post natal depression and being in a relationship where psychological/emotional abuse was a daily ritual, so I get how it messes with you and I realise there's probaly WAY more to this than what you have the time or inclination to divulge. Totally respect that. When I said "arguably", I mean only that it could be argued, and that such a question may be at the forefront of people's minds on the face of it.

I can imagine it's such an in depth and complicated issue that I'm simply wondering if going right back to that point and dragging it all out will help or hinder your case. That's why I thought perhaps a simplified version would serve you better and keep things focused on the child and the future. Obviously your solicitor will advise you there, and as your ex is the applicant, it will also depend on what he has brought up within his affidavits. I just wonder if your case might be served best by focusing mainly on admitting you were  unwell and proving the actions you have taken to remedy that, and how much better you've been doing since. I'm no professional, I just see the potential for this to be very complex, and I've actually benefited from being told myself to simplify things for the bigger picture.

But your question was, am I on the right path - yes, absolutely. If you can provide stability and love and care for your child, then he needs you in his life and you should keep moving towards that. Your efforts (previous and continuing) will be taken into account, but they will have to weigh up against the potential risk to the child. That's why getting the all clear from a psych might be very helpful, because it will counter any suggestions that you should indeed be medicated, or that you don't heed the advice of trained medical professionals. You may have to be patient and work up to it slowly, but I don't see why you couldn't gain equal care or similar if you continue to be stable and well.
Hi Iamnotanna ,

Do you have existing court orders in place for your child ? You mentioned shared care arrangements ?

Is your ex seeking to change these orders ?
phoenix21 said
Hi Iamnotanna ,

Do you have existing court orders in place for your child ? You mentioned shared care arrangements ?

Is your ex seeking to change these orders ?
  Hi phoenix21,

Yes, the existing court orders state that I pick him up from daycare every Wednesday afternoon and then take him to his fathers on Saturday at 5pm. But this was when I was living at my fathers place. I now have him only on Saturday from 9-5 and Wednesday night see him for 2 hours. This was agreed to at mediation as at the time of that mediation I didn't have a suitable place for my son. The ICL at the mediation was happy to sign off on another shared care as per the one above, provided I sort out my accommodation which I now have. So I didn't sign off on the agreed Saturday 9-5 and Wed 2 hours even though this is really the only time I am seeing my son.

The ex is now wanting me to only have him every second weekend from Friday evening and take him to daycare Monday morning which he says is more than I deserve and that he is being generous as his barrister only suggested Friday evening to Sunday night! :/ So yes he wanting them changed and on a final basis too.
Hi Iamnot anna ,

Do you have anything in writing from the ICL from the mediation ? I think this would be fairly important to get before you go to court .
Pheonix21, No I have nothing. All the correspondence was done by my solicitor at the time which I don't have anymore.
Hence my question in another post asking if I'm able to contact the ICL.
I would assume you could call your solicitor that you had at the time and request your file ? Not sure if they would charge you for this but they probably would .That should detail any information regarding the ICL and I would assume that you could request information directly from the ICL in relation to your case ( I may be wrong here , but I am sure someone here can comment )
I have the file already. There is no information in there re the mediation. Should there be?
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