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My son's mum took my boy interstate and wont let me see him

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She has lied about me terribly yet say's she wants him to see me but only if I sign her consent orders from her solicitor, It's been 8 months and feels like blackmail! My son is getting hurt a lot.

Hi, I feel I am stuck, I can't afford to pay solicitor's I have had a little help from legal aid in the way of mediation but still haven't or am not allowed to see my boy!

My ex met someone in Tasmania and took my son over there without even letting him say good bye.

I have been devastated for 8 months now and don't seem to be getting anywhere.

It started back in November when my worst fears were confirmed and My sons mum mentioned going to live there. I was shattered and pleaded for her not to. She said it was because her mum was so sick she had to but I knew different. She is a compulsive lier and I now have her family even believing me as they are in Tasmania too and a lot of lies have come out.

They are very dissapointed and upset about what she has done and she doesn't see them. Nor is her mum sick! She left without telling me and left a pack of allegations behind in the way of a solicitor's letter.

My son is very very upset and misses me terribly as I do him. I used to have more time with him than his mum as she was a shift worker and I was told when I would see him, which at the time even though I knew was her dictating to me I didn't mind as I would have and love as much time with him as possible.

This is very very hard to write as so very many thing's have happened and are unfair. I will keep my initial post shorter and see if anyone can help me before going more in depth.

Immediately I saw every free solicitor for advice I could and did obtain a grant for help with mediation. She refused to come and said I had to go through her's there. I was advised to do this so I did but I feel it was all a ploy to drag it out as it took ages during this time I organised a child phsycologist to speak with son as all I ever wanted was for him to be happy and didn't know what to do for the best. This went ahead and the result left me feeling he wasn't unhappy with mum nor in danger but clearly missing dad a lot. I decided to go ahead with her mediation for the sake of my son but we couldn't come to an arangement because I felt the travelling and cost's involved were too much and to be honest felt it all very unfair to my son and me.

Well I was told I was wrong by my solicitor and would be unlikely to be successful in having him return to Victoria so saw another solicitor.

During all this time more lies were told by her I was stopped from speaking to him on the phone and things got worse.

Now 8 months later I am being told I have to apply to Tasmania legal aid for help as that is where they are now and have been refused once but am appealling because it was refused on the grounds that we DID reach an agreement through mediation.

It is all taking too long now and I feel like me and my son have missed a huge part of our lives together and its terrible.

I have now just recieved a consent order in the post written up by her lawyer saying when I can see my son with stickers tellimg me where to sign. I had no input in the orders what so ever and they are unreasonable. Having said that in a moment of despair and upset I signed them and posted them hoping and thinking it was the only way of us seeing each other again!

The same day my new solicitor called as I had been trying to call them while all this was happening but had been unable to get help as theey were on leave or something. They told me I shouldn't of signed them and stopped them going to court.
I am now waiting again to hear back but am not hopeful and getting more upset every day. I have begged her to let me see him but she say's no and it's all my fault because i wont sign! When I said I would fly over I recieved a letter from her lawyer stating that I intended to snatch him. More lies! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I look forward to any replies.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

mate, no-one can read that.

Use paragraphs, cut out all the junk and leave the relevant facts in. Dot point.

Then someone might be able to help.
Your post is difficult to read, but I understand your dispair.

What did the papers you signed say? when did you sign them?

Do not sign anything unless you talk to someone first. I know it is hard to wait, but have hope.
I can read your post. You have been done over. This site is really just a mix of opinions and experiences. This is my opinion.Take any contact at all just to get it happening again, as in take any contact rather than no contact. Use that to build more contact. Go and apply to the Court. In the hearing, if it comes up that you had signed previously tell the Judge that you were suffering from a lack of stable legal assistance, emotional turmoil and unduly influenced into signing.
Guest said
Go and apply to the Court. In the hearing, if it comes up that you had signed previously tell the Judge that you were suffering from a lack of stable legal assistance, emotional turmoil and unduly influenced into signing.
I don't think that warrants a good excuse as to why you signed binding documents. We don't know what documents have been presented and from what I have read your solicitor advised you not to sign them and that stops you from going to court.

I am not sure why you didn't lodge a recovery order 8 months ago. Without seeing what you have agreed to it is all speculation but step one should have been an urgent application to the Federal Magistrates court in respect to the relocation. This matter has to get before a Federal Magistrate ASAP. You are wasting your time with mediation when clearly the other parent is sticking two fingers in the air. The child has been removed from the local area and the longer you leave the hard yards work the harder it will be to get any agreement to get the two of them back. The amount of time that has gone by will make it difficult to get them back but not impossible.

If you have sufficient funds for flights have you been down to see your son?



Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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This seems very unusual and clearly you are skimming the surface with your post.

Regardless you would be wanting to consider initiating proceedings ASAP! You are very much behind the 8 ball at this stage.

You must first prepare and consider your application and really have 2 options.
1. To have the child returned to reside in your state.
2. Formal arrangements to spend time with the child, be it you travelling there or him to you or a combination.

The chances and degree of success very much depends on your circumstances. Be future focused with the application presenting what it offers the child.

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"

Executive of SRL-Resources
Hi,
Thank ypu all for you response.

In reply to kalimnadancer, The papers were drawn up by her lawyer and they said my son could see me once a month and all school holidays.
I was responsible for all travel cost's, that's in brief.
What I don't agree with is obviously the cost and I feel it's too much for a nine year old to do.
Also she will only meet me at one airport which I've found out is the most expensive to fly too, and will only allow drop off and pick up at certain times, well evenings because of her work.
This would mean after flying there to collect him, flying back here, and then flying back to drop him off so he's back for school. It would leave hardly any time left actually with him once a month.
I signed them over a week ago but I think they have been stopped from going to court. very hard to know as solicitor isn't returning my calls again. Thanks mate.

In reply to the secretary of SPCA.
Thank you, I only didn't do this 8 months ago because I was advised not too by a lawyer. It's been so hard I haven't known what best to do for my son and have obviously not made the right choice's, that's why I am at this terrible stage now.
It's very hard as I have no family in Australia only my boy, I got very down and I guess just hoped I could rely upon help from the solicitor.
I did book flights there a while ago and lost the money as my ex said I was going there to snatch our son and would call police etc. etc. I know her as she's done it before and my son would get even more hurt through the confrontation. So I tried to do everything the right way, but it's not working. Thanks mate.
In reply to SLR-R.
Thank you, I am getting some help today to fill in forms 'initiating application (family law)' thanks mate.

Moderator Note

The post has been edited to change the name of the child so as to not potentially breach section 121 of the Family Law Act. Missmyboy, its best that you don't use  names or information that could identify persons directly involved

Last edit: by MikeT

Missmyboy,
                  I would suggest that you compile an accurate list/diary of relevant events/happenings a time line. Unfortunately you, as guest has said, have been done over not only by the other parent but it also appears, from what you have said, your legal representation.

How old is the child in question? Sorry just saw 9. As the child is 5 or over then you can reduce contact costs by having the child fly unaccompanied (at least with Qantas). Many parents do this. My son used to and he was less than 9 when he started. Qantas and I guess other airlines have pretty good procedures in place and routinely do this. In my situation the flight was between Sydney and Port Macquarie. The inbound flight was normally Friday evening/night and the return flight on Sundays, rarely was my son the only "Unaccompanied Minor" and most frequently the other children were travelling because their parents had separated (they sit the UM's together).  You have to fill in forms and you basically sign the child/children over when they board accompanied by a flight attendant (last onto the plane after all the irresponsible late people, so expect your stay at the airport to be extended due to this). When they arrive the named adult responsible for collecting the child/children have to provide photo id (drivers licence) and sign for the child/children (you are also meant to provide such id when checking in but this was not always).

You should also consider what is reasonable contact and how it is reasonable (especially countering claims of unreasonableness) and come up with. I'd say, unless the child is very young, at least a weekend per month, starting Friday evening till Sunday Evening, plus at least half of all school holidays. However, half of school holidays can be tight employment wise. I was meant to be on-call every 3 weeks but I stood up and said that I would not be on-call when I had my son. I was also fortunate in that in addition to the four weeks holiday I could also take up to 10 days per year in "personal leave" and also accrued a fair bit of toil (time of in lieu) due to my frequent out-of-hours work. I also worked from home a great deal and although I did this as a last resort, I did on occasions work whilst have my son here (this was often a visit to his step grand-parents which was eagerly accepted by my son).

With regard to costs, find out the most reasonable, don't easily let the other parent abuse the child by exploiting that child to enact vengeance upon yourself. If it's overall cheaper to use one airport over another, then make a case/argument that it is more reasonable and thus more in-line with Family Law (again depending upon reasonableness have the costs met by both parents, perhaps even solely by the other parent as the other parent moved the children). If you alone of covering contact costs then those costs should reduce your child support liability. However, you have to apply for a reason 1 change of assessment (COA). Unfortunately the CSA have notoriety for using the COA with bias to increase their top-line reporting, the amount of CS transferred or collected. Therefore it is quite likely that going for this could result in the CSA finding some cause to increase CS. If you are self-employed or a small business owner then you can virtually guarantee that you will be well and truly shafted by the CSA. I personally didn't claim contact costs due to what I then know of the COA process which was often termed as "Deem and Destroy".  Basically if you believe that the CSA cannot extract more from you then go for a reason 1 COA for contact costs. However, obviously concentrate on getting contact and court orders together. Also on the CSA note, the  CS legislation is very flawed in that it basically condones recipients for abusing children by denying their children their humane rights to be known and cared for by their parents. As such and considering what the other parent has done to date, it is quite likely that the other parent may find this loophole and exploit the loophole. As such I'd advise keeping a diary of all events, very much in a factual rather than emotive sense as you may well need to protect your children from the other parent's contravention of court orders.

I know it's hard and may sound harsh but the sooner you can get your head concentrating on working to protect your children rather than in the anecdotal sand  then the better. I have no doubt that I and my son would have faired better if I'd have had this rather harsh sounding advice and took it earlier.

Perhaps also check out DIDS (Dads In Distress) they may be able to provide emotional support.
Hey…my daughter was required to fly Canberra Sydney every second weekend.  She was five.  The parents were both required to pay for the flights…the payee 10 flights a year, and the payer the remaining.

Since the child turned 9, the child relocated to live in Tasmania, orders were that the parent who moved away, would be responsible for the two school term return flights, and the other parent christmas holidays.  When the matter came back to Court in 2010, the Federal Magistrate reaffirmed this arrangement dispite the parent arguing that they now have private school fees to pay etc.  (That's another story…)

So as Mike T suggests…get project child contact on track.  It is also a good idea to understand what the dates are for school holidays, public holidays of the jurisdication where the child lives.  My point being, Tasmania has a three term year, and the other states are all on four terms.  However, this is all about to change in 2013, when it is proposed that Tasmania will catch up with the other states and territories and have a four term year.  Having this well entrenched in making your application, lets the Magistrate know that you have considered opportunties for the child to have time with you, contact with their extended family, and the probable costs.  Utmostly, present your ideas in your affidavit that your proposal will be in the best interests for the child.

unaccompanied travel is what you need here

missmyboy said
….What I don't agree with is obviously the cost and I feel it's too much for a nine year old to do.
I don't believe it is a problem for a nine year old to travel with the airlines within Australia. You should not have to do the travel with the child. The airlines are PARTICULARLY good in dealing with children of this age and I would make immediate enquiries directly with your airline of choice, You can be there at the air bridge and the mother can drop off at the air bridge. There are a number of cases that have been dealt with here that have even younger children travelling by air. You might travel once with them and make it a real adventure and see how it goes. The airline do take care of children in my experience.
missmyboy said
Also she will only meet me at one airport which I've found out is the most expensive to fly too, and will only allow drop off and pick up at certain times, well evenings because of her work.
This would mean after flying there to collect him, flying back here, and then flying back to drop him off so he's back for school. It would leave hardly any time left actually with him once a month.
unaccompanied travel is what you need here
missmyboy said
I signed them over a week ago but I think they have been stopped from going to court. very hard to know as solicitor isn't returning my calls again. Thanks mate.
Get a new solicitor or someone that cares.
missmyboy said
In reply to the secretary of SPCA.

I did book flights there a while ago and lost the money as my ex said I was going there to snatch our son and would call police etc. etc.
Simply buy fares that are able to be re booked. So don't buy the bottom end no refundable fare. You only need a seat. The child can have a back pack and take that on board. You can provide all toiletries etc. at your end. If you are initiating an application try to make sure it gets to the Federal Magistrates court.

Moderator Note

The post has been edited to change the name of the child so as to not potentially breach section 121 of the Family Law Act. Missmyboy, its best that you don't use  names or information that could identify persons directly involved

Secretary SPCA said
Thanks MikeT it is important that no identifying details are given


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
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