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Does my past affect the courts rulings?

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I am going to try all I can to have my parenting time made enforcable by court regardless of the mistakes of the past.

Hi, I'm very new to this forum and even more inexperienced with the family court rules.

I'll explain a little of my past. I was raised by my great grandparents as my mother and estranged father lived a life of their own. I worked most of my life in austere remote locations on oil rigs. I worked hard and partied hard. Eventually I worked up the line to a point I could not go any further so I went back to high school for 5 years and 2 years uni. After I returned back to the oilfield running an engineering lab but stll drank a bit. Later due to the long hours and stress I had a breakdown and did not know what help was out there and went from drinking for fun to selfmedicating.

Anyway I had a son in 2004 to my then defacto, we split up and she played hard ball ever since. Denying me contact, changing the goal post and leaving me baffled, lost and depressed. I hit the bottle and drugs bad. To cut a long story short I eventually overcame everything. I went to detox got myself a counsellor and then a psychiatrist and I have been clean and sober since 1/9/2010, even gave up cigarettes in May 2011. My ex got a boyfriend and suddenly I can see my son so she can entertain her social life and placate her boyfriend.

My son and I get along like a house on fire and we have many "Huckleberry fin "Adventures such as fishing, bushwalks, fossiling, walks on old abandoned railway lines etc. I usually see my son at least every second weekend and other intermediate times that a solely to appease her night life. I've been patient as I thought any time is a good time. However everything is on her terms and I've tried to be patient. In 2008 I organised mediation and she would not attend. Nothing has changed! I tried to see if she can see I am making an effort and I did not want to push for court as I felt due to my past I won't have a leg to stand on and she instilled this into my psych.

My psychiatrist says I'm a great father and now is the time to stand up. I feel I have to because she stressed my son out by telling him she will move to Queensland eventually. He also informs me he can't tell her he would like to stay with me for extra time on holidays because she scolds him. She would rather put him in childcare than do the right thing unless, offcourse, she needs a baby sitter. Other times, however, when she can't handle him she'll ring me for help. Also she knows I'm ready at anytime to have him day or night, ready clean and sober. 

Also, I have finshed working in remote locations inorder to be there for my son. However I went to New Guinea in 2010 for two months straight to work only so I could buy a car and other things so my son and I can get around and all his needs met. NG was hard and terribly hot! Apart from the lab duties I also did manual labor on the rig to help the crew, I'm 49 he. The pressure was on and my ex just made it even more harder by demanding money. We did not even have a wireless net conection installed at that time, only an expensive mobile phone sim that used up $40 every seven minutes.  

I recently tried to approach her and state that I am ready to do whatever it takes to make things right for my boy's sake.  She took my son away and stated "you won't be seeing him again". I've heard this mantra one time too many. As she led my son out he broke away and he said" will I ever see you again?" I said "offcourse." I rang him days later to calm his stress and the first thing he said was" will I see you again?"

So you get the picture? Any advice would help. If anything, I'm looking for reassurance and advice? I'm going to mediation and not accepting anything else except a consent order or I will pursuit the Federal courts for a Parenting Plan!

Thanks for listening.
Ossman said
Does my past affect the courts rulings?
It would be impossible to give any definitive answer as there are many factors that may contribute to any decision. However, considering that the current situation is that the child is deprived of any contact, or is subject to the humane rights being intermittently provided or provided only at the whim of the other parent. It is likely that irrespective of your past that a court would provide a more stable basis of the child's rights being provided for.

With regard to the past substance abuse. If it is accepted that it is in the past, it should have little bearing itself. However, a parent relying upon an argument that you are a bad parent, based upon not accepting that there has been a change, could act against that parent. It would appear that this could well be the case. I'd suggest that a good approach, please note that I have very little court experience, if the other parent plays that card, would be to defend that it is the past (e.g. show that you have changed and that the past is the past and will stay the past).

Ossman said
I'm going to mediation and not accepting anything else except a consent order or I will pursuit the Federal courts for a Parenting Plan!
You get a parenting plan through mediation and orders, be they consent orders (i.e. the courts haven't made them rather the parents and their legal representatives have and then filed them with the courts) or orders decided upon by the court.

Please note that I myself have very little court experience my remarks come from anecdotal accounts and accounts from published proceedings. The best people to listen to are those whole have the SRL icon. Hopefully they will respond.
Thanks for that MikeT. I have confidence in this whole thing as I'm laying everything on the table. The doctors, counsellors and close friends seem to think all is ok. Funny as it is since I have decided to stand up for my son I have lost any animosity towards her because I am focused on him only.



I also want to run this over u. Last friday at my son's swimming lesson, which is where we hand over every fortnight, I approached her while my son was in the pool to talk about better arrangements. She was concerned about lawyers fees and I just told her if we can agree then no lawyers. She said we'll discuss it on sunday when she picks him up.

On Sunday I approached her, as arranged, about my son staying with me a little longer etc;at least, for a few days longer since he wanted to stay too. She replied" you've had him long enough and I have him booked into Osh;"after school and holiday care. Anyway it got a little heated but not that bad and she said I'll never see him again. Anyway it happened in front of my son as she arranged.

Now let me run this over. As I write I just got a text from her concerning picking up my son on Friday. I must say the language and mood of it was no way like her. I'll just give you the main body of it ,please take in regard that she arranged to discuss the issue on pickup day as mentioned.

Text from ex: " Ok since there was conflict btwn us it is better that u pick up Ben at Moms……………Easier that we don't have to see each other at least for the time being( i don't want to yelled at anymore infront of my son.) We'll talk about you seeing son down the track when u can discuss things in a calm and rational manner."

This is the first text I ever got in 7 years without her vitriolic replies. But it is the usual twisting things around. The handover disscussion, turned argumental, was not as heated as the past as I already knew to keep calm for future proceedings.

Me thinks she may have some machinations afoot. That's cool because the truth ,"it is what it is."
Keep very accurate records of everything in a diary.

This may be a lifesaver in the end.
kalimnadancer thanks. I've started putting everything together. Documenting everything, records and especially bank statements. I hate to have to sink to a point needing to use finance as an angle as well. I hope the system can see my heart and look at all the patterns of both sides. For the last 4 years, on top of CS, I've given her $1000.00 when I got hardship super in 2008. 2009 tax returns I've given her extra for such things as incidentals and so forth. Even when she held him from me I still gave extras because he's my son. I was connected no matter how much she alienated me. I guess I have always had a passion never to be like my absent dad, who is a stranger to me. That has always kept me going no matter what darkness I have felt in my journey for my son.    
Ossman - If you get to a trial and the judge needs to make you a loser, then they will refer to your past otherwise I would not worry too much about it. As suggested keep a detailed diary and control yourself at all times. You don't want to labelled an angry dad. You have to be very patient and prepared to wait for a result if you use the Family Court. Your ex can't think you are such a bad parent if she drops him off to you when she wants to go out. The court will see this straight away and realise she is using your son to minipulate you. I suggest you set youself up as if you coudl care for him full time. No more going away for two months. Your son needs you 24/7.
All good Fairgo. Yep I am keeping very cool and calm now…Ok I just did a tap dance a little while ago. I went up to the calender to rip off January's page. Right infront of me was a smoking gun. There are dates on there, in her own hand, crossing out pre-arranged days and inserting other days and times coinciding her with her night life. Nothing is uniform. A day here, 2days there and then back for a night.  The pattern suggests exactly what I'm trying to say.
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