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Domestic Violence Interstate Custody

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Access to unwilling 5yo -interstate -DV history

Hello,

stats..
Family violence (largely unreported)

5 1/2 yo Son
no parenting plans or orders in place
separated 1 1/2 years ( long term defacto)
moved interstate 6 months ago (due to 'violence' and for family support)

'Father' has had extremely limited contact- few phone calls and nothing in last 4 months
Son does not want to have ANY contact with father and is vehement about this

(not sure of relevance but doesn't pay child support.. has tried to use it as a control mech in the past so i haven't bothered chasing it)

So..

Should I be encouraging contact??? to/from/between any party????

My obvious urge is to protect my son and not allow it as it causes him so much stress but i want to be sure i'm doing the right thing for him.

Sooner or later i'm sure that 'father' will feel guilty and start to try re establishing contact.

He usually sends something every few months to telling me i'm stopping him from seeing his son, denying his son a father (i'm not- i even offered he could come stay a few months while he had no commitments.. ie till he got a job etc. (before son dislike had grown so)). He also adds in that he's going to take me to court for this thing or that thing (nothing has happened yet) but guessing that he'll just dump it on me one day..

 (he is over due his regular belittling tantrums where he makes plenty of effort towards negatively affecting me but non towards actually seeing or speaking to his son)

I regularly offer my son to contact his father and try to keep the communication open about him (negative and positive) but he really does not want to have anything to do with him.


What's the opinion on both the personal side (my son's well being!) and the legal side (if it goes to court) about what kind of custody/contact could be ordered?.. what about supervised visits?

What are my best actions now to ensure his stable happy and safe future???

Thank you!!
Hi Guest

I am confused about your post. You say on the one hand you are generously encouraging a relationship and offering contact, and on the other the father wants contact and feels he is being denied it. What sort of contact does the father ask for specifically, and what sort of contact are you offering?

This may not be the case here, but I have seen situations where the lives with parent "offers" contact but the offer attaches unreasonable limitations, ie; must be in lives with parents home town or supervised by the lives with parent, at X time and day at X place etc. There seems to be some contradiction here as I don't understand why the father would be writing to you asking for contact if you are offering what he is asking for? Or are you offering contact but only on your terms, and not his?

At 5 and 1/2 a childs views are strongly influenced by those around them, so I hope you could try encouraging the child to spend some time with his father. A court would probably want to see a phased in contact regime, so if the father does want to be a part of his sons life, which it appears he does, you may want to work on encouraging some positivity towards the father as otherwise its going to be a long and painful childhood for your son with two parents hating each other and him in the middle.  

Did you receive the father's consent to take your (and his) child interstate? Regardless of whether there are orders in place if you make it more difficult for a parent to contact their child then that is opening a can of worms.
Hello, thanks for replying.

Initally i tried forced visits. (discreetly supervised by a mutual friend).
From sept to dec 2010 father saw son twice for 2 hrs. His effort. Nothing since.
It was agreed that i could move wherever i needed to make it easier for me to care for our son.
Since oct he has been demanding phone calls twice a week and regular visits which i not only agreed to but greatly encouraged but he has only followed through with on a handful of occasions.
Since April the anxiety caused to my son over these phone calls (about once every 3 weeks) meant i stopped pushing it so hard. (I used to get a set time for father to call just so i could get son in mood to talk as on one occasion father called demanding to speak to son despite my suggestion to wait a few hours causing son to do nothing but cry hysterically for entire call. Then blamed me saying i was doing it on purpose and keeping him from him etc.

I still offer son about once or twice a week that we/he can contact his dad whenever he wants and keep open communication about him. I have not however tried to contact the father at all over this time. Nor have i heard anything from him.

I have never put any limitations on times or lengths of visitation (besides to call outside of school hours). As i said i offered for him to come and stay too. I/we do not hear anything form him besides that i am 'denying him his son' which hasn't been a problem (besides personal stress- it was a very controlling relationship) as it's not been the case but now my son is so certain that he doesn't want to see him that when next he does try to call I do not want to force him to talk. I've tried explaining and suggesting he'll give toys and be really nice if he only saw/spoke to him for a short time but he wont buy it.


AM I MEANT TO FORCE THE RELATIONSHIP DESPITE THE STRESS AND ANXIETY IT CAUSES OUR SON??


What about the risk i'm putting him in if i do this??!!! That's why i left!! (physical and mental abuse)

I agree it's the LONG TERM safety and happy healthy that should be the main goal. He's doing soo much better now and is an otherwise bright and happy kid. i don't want to undo that. I want the absolute best life for him that why i'm seeking some advice.

Will the court consider the sons feelings and anxiety?? He's expressed (completely unprompted and uninformed on such matters and in a very emotional way) that he's worried that dad will have more kids and do the same to them as he did to him. It's heart breaking from my end and i'm so sorry i didn't leave sooner. I have to ensure i do my best for him now.
Hi thanks for the info. I suppose it would help us advise you what a court might say if you can explain why your son is so upset and anxious about seeing his father? What are the reasons for this? You have suggested violence and abuse, if that was directed at your son, then that explains why he is upset, and that is something the courts would take very seriously. If there was violence posed to your son, was that reported?

The type of time a court would order would depend on what harm (if any) your ex poses to your son, and what can be done to mitigate that (if anything).

What was their relationship like for the first 4 years, did your son love his father and want to see him when you lived together?

How did your son get the idea about your father having more children and doing something to them - my initial thought is that seems more of an adult concept than something a five year old might be coming up with, but I could be wrong.
Hey thanks,
The idea of father having more kids and hurting them was completely sons own idea.. hence me posting it i guess.. he seems to have a lot stronger grasp than i thought and obviously thinks about it a bit.

I would say that son loved his dad before separation. He was obviously scared of him at times but they didn't have much 1 on 1 time and no abuser is bad all the time. I'm not sure he could distinguish. It's only been since not having that influence he's realised how bad it was.

No. nothing has been officially reported. Have seen the police a few times but reluctant to report because of 'stirring the pot' and firearms being involved.

Son states that he's  scared of being hurt again and of his yelling. Says he's worried he'll take him away, that he's lazy (this is referring to being ignored and seems to be a big thing for him), and doesn't like having to think about that stuff (ie talking to him makes him think about past- this is evident by extreme moods after any contact)

He is a sensitive and astute kid and is heavily effected by what he sees as wrong behaviour. That's why my feeling is to protect him but I am worried by the 'shared care' of the courts and my lack of 'proof' of any misshappenings in the old home.

This help obviouly means alot to me THANK YOU
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