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Post #31295 by BusyBee on August 17th 2010, 8:38 AM (in topic “No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?”)

No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?:

SRL-Resources: Thank you so much for that info. It gives me somewhere to start.

4mydaughter: Thank you for clearing up the misconception of needing orders to recover a child. It's that kind of info I came here for, because everyone seems to have a different opinion, leaving you with a hundred possibilities and no idea which one to believe. Could I dare to ask what the process is in that circumstance, and what time period you're looking at getting your baby back in?

His father is about as uninterested in a child as a parent could be, and yes, rationally, I know that the chances of him abducting him are slim to none, but as a parent, I have back up plans for back up plans for worst case scenarios :) That's my incredibly unlikely worst case scenario, made marginally less unlikely because I know he still harbours a lot of anger toward me.

As for your other questions;

Why would it be hard for me to change his surname? I have no idea. Logic would tell me I have the best case for a surname change ever, but I've no idea to what extent logic prevails in the family court system. Thus why I asked.

Could I be asking because I've done a runner? After choking on my morning coffee, I suppose yes, I did a runner in so far as I left an abusive relationship and drove the 15km back to my parents house with his son. He clearly knows where I live, and I have not prevented his access to his son if he had wanted it.

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Post #31280 by BusyBee on August 16th 2010, 8:06 PM (in topic “No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?”)

No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?:

ReallyConfused: Thanks so much for your ideas. My uni has no legal service unfortunately, so I'll give Legal Aid another call, though I'm pretty sure they said last time (3 years ago) that they would not be able to help me unless my ex had already begun proceedings. Something about them only responding to cases, rather than instigating them themselves. I'm fairly confident he probably wouldn't turn up to a court hearing about the whole thing - so it's nice to know that that might work in my favour. It's all such a guessing game for those of us who are new to the court system.

4mydaughter: My concern makes no sense to you because perhaps you have more experience, knowledge and confidence in how to manage the court system. It makes sense to me, a complete newbie to the whole thing, because all I've had to base my concerns on is the general opinion of random people I've spoken to. Thus why I've come here, to where I was hoping to receive more accurate advice from people who've been through the same thing I have.

To answer your individual points though, I am concerned about not having paper proof of my son residing with me, as I have been told, by non-experts of course, that should, on the off chance in the worst case scenario, my ex have a bee in his bonnet about it (which whilst a long shot is not altogether unfeasible) and take my son somehow, I have very little recompense other than to appeal to his better nature *cough* or take it through a lengthy court process. If that is wrong, I'd love to know what the process would actually be in that circumstance, rather than have you belittle my fears.

As for the surname, I understand that there is a specific form I can fill out and lodge with the courts to have it changed. My question was what is the likelihood that a court would grant that request. I don't want to waste the time, money or emotion on going through it if it's proven that it's very rarely successful.

Thank you

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Post #31270 by BusyBee on August 16th 2010, 3:31 PM (in topic “No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?”)

No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?:

No, I get nothing from him whatsoever, and nor have I at all, aside from a sporadic couple of minimal payments years ago. My concern is arising a lot from my not being willing to be in contact with him whatsoever if at all possible. It was a domestically violent relationship, though the only involvement from the courts was the approval of a 12 month AVO against him when we separated, which has long since expired.

I'd stake my life savings on him being unwilling to cooperate no matter what deal is struck, and he'd just stuff me around once he got the papers in his hands to sign. I'm pretty sure I'd be back here in 6 months in the same situation as I am now unfortunately. He doesn't want to know his son, but he doesn't want to officially sign away his rights - never mind that he wouldn't be, but who can argue with a screaming madman on the other end of the phone. Thus my thinking that the court route is probably the only way I'll ever see a result - but I worry what that result will be.

I wish it could all be nice and amicable, we could both sign the papers and be done with it. I truly do.

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Post #31268 by BusyBee on August 16th 2010, 2:50 PM (in topic “No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?”)

No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?:

Hi ReallyConfused,
Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately I have no contact with my son's father, and last we spoke, I did approach the topics of both the surname as well as custody, and he refused to sign anything whatsoever, unless I spoke to the CSA and cancelled my dealings with them. I'm sure you probably know that if I do that, I lose part of my income as a single Mum, so it wasn't something I could agree to. He was not amenable to any other deal I tried to strike up.
I cannot believe how much a lawyer will cost :( I am a single Mum studying full time, so doubt I can come up with anything even close to $2000, and I know that Legal Aid won't help me if he hasn't first instigated proceedings.
Thank you for trying though.
BusyBee

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Post #31264 by BusyBee on August 16th 2010, 12:16 PM (in topic “No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?”)

No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?

Hi there,

This is my first post here, so forgive me if I've done it wrong!

I have a 4 year old son. My relationship with his father ended when he was a newborn, and he has not seen him since he was 3 months old. He has called me twice since then, to abuse me over the phone for being in contact with his other ex girlfriends (both of whom have one child each to him). So he has not seen his son, nor asked about him, for the whole 4 years of his life essentially, though I did offer when it first all happened.

Last I spoke to a lawyer on a free legal advice hotline about it was probably 3 years ago. At that point, she pretty much said not to bother trying to get official custody through the court system, because there was no way the court would grant me full custody (or whatever the new term is for it), even if he attended court and categorically stated that he did not wish to see his child.

Being without official custody makes me uneasy however. I have no proof that he resides with me, so if, worst case scenario, he were to be abducted by his father, I would have a long road ahead of me to get him back. I would also like to change my son's surname, as he himself has chosen to use my surname, despite my protestations, because he's lived with my family and associates as one of us. He has no connection whatsoever to his current surname.

So essentially, my question is two-fold. What is the current state of the family law system re parents who have been uninvolved for significant periods of time being granted custody, and are they likely to let me change a surname that only serves to make my son feel like an outsider in his own family?

Thanks so much for any help. I can't believe I only just found this forum, it's a lifesaver.

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