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Ex wants custody solely so children can go to a school of his choice

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What is enough for a change of custody?

Ex-husband wants custody so the children can go to an elitist school


Background


I have 2 girls aged 11 and 12 with ExI have always had the children 85-87% of the time for their whole lives including when we lived in the same state.We live in different states as from 8 years ago (I moved with his complete consent for employment reasons after finishing university) although now he tries to say I decided to leave and he had no choice which is a complete  lieThen we both re-partnered (that is when the problems started)He has one child who is 4 yrs old with his new wife (and that child has only ever seen her siblings in the school holidays so knows no different)I have a further 6 children with my new partner (Totalling 8 children)Over the last 8 years he has intermittently decided that he wants the girls to live with him and his new wife every couple of years he starts a campaign of bullying them to say they want to live with him. At one stage when his wife was expecting their child I had to take my eldest to counselling because she was so affected by his ongoing bullying about living with him
    Problems


    Ex wants the girls to move to SA for years 10,11 and 12 so they can go to an elitist private school in Adelaide which he says he will pay for (although I am not sure how considering he has claimed poverty every single year and a need to reduce child support down to $45 a week per child!)Ex is now bullying/ badgering, harassing the children during contact visits to say they want to live in Adelaide with him (The decision is 3 years away and he is starting all this now)Promises them whatever they want including mobile phones, laptops, overseas holidays, pets well everything short of a pony really which is very hard for preteens to resist!Tells them they will end up working at McDonalds and amount to nothing if they don't move to Adelaide  and go to this particular elitist schoolSends me countless emails about how I am jeopardising their future
      Claims that


      The Family Court would give him custody because I have "so many" children and stay at home to raise them (well that is the nice version of what he says)Says that the fact I live Defacto  and have not remarried like him puts me at a disadvantage (again nice version)Implies that the girls are in some way neglected due to our family sizeThat he and his wife (both teachers) are professional people (who work fulltime) and the court would see the girls would be better off with them solely for monetary and 'moral' reasonsThat the court would NOT  take into consideration that the girls whole lives are here, they have their school, their friends, they are part of the community, they have 6 siblings hereThat if the girls say to the family court that they want to live with him that that is all it would take for a change of custodyThat the only reason I have the girls is because 'he lets me'
        Issues


        There are no issues of abuse, neglect, etc (unless you count the endless badgering and harassing of the girls to 'live with him&quotMy partner and I  have a 6 bedroom house on  a large block and a stable, long- term relationship and I choose to stay at home to raise the childrenThe children do not miss out on opportunities because of our chosen family size eldest child does swimming training, dancing, piano lessons and netball Second child does ballet, swimming lessons, Irish dancing and Piano lessonsBoth girls attend private schools, the eldest attends a catholic secondary school we both agreed on (and he pushed for)He has only ever had the children for 24 hour weekends (Sat 12 Sun 12 ) and for half the school holidays never for more than 2 straight weeks and only ever in holiday time. I have offered him more time in the school holidays so he doesn't have to drive over (now that the children are older) but he refuses.
          Questions


          If the children (when they are 14 and 15 in a few years time) say they want to live with him enough for him to get a change of custody? Or does the court look at "why" they want to live with him?


                   I have in the past (when he was harassing about the girls moving to Adelaide for the whole of high school years 7-12) said via email that I'd consider years 10-12 (solely to stop his badgering of the children and me) he has kept that email and keeps throwing it back as solid proof that I have committed to the girls living with him for the final years of high school. Is this a problem?


                   Does my family size have any bearing on the case?


                   Does it make any difference that I am not married to their step-father? (We have been together for 8 years)


                   Does the Family Court take into consideration my other children and the effect that separating them from their eldest sisters would have on them?


                   Is there anything that I can do to stop him badgering, harassing and bullying the girls to say they want to live with him? It causes the eldest a lot of stress and she takes it out on the rest of the family when she returns from access visits. I don't want to stop her seeing him I just want HIM to stop the behaviour.


                   What do I do if my eldest doesn't want to go on a contact visit because of his badgering? I am scared if I dont make her go he will say I am breaching the court orders. At what age does it become the child's decision whether they want to see the other parent? I can make a 12 year old go but how do you make a 16 year old go?!!?


                        I have tried:


          Mediation he wouldn't go and definitely wouldn't let it be child-inclusive or consent to anyone else talking to either of the children  because he knows what they would say


          He then stops the harassment temporarily until things die down then resumes it all again.


          Do I have anything to worry about or is it all "Hot air"?

Is there anything to worry about?

That is a question which is way to complex to answer in a public forum on the limited information available.

Having said that, the other parent cannot initiate action in court without attempting mediation. As the applicant they would have approach a provider of Family Dispute Resolution (Mediation with bells and whistles) and obtain a certificate before a Court would accept their application. It is the LAW. There are vary narrow reasons that allow an applicant to bypass the need for mediation, those criteria are usually stringently applied by the Courts.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
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