Let me start by giving you a 'brief ' rundown of where I am upto..
2 children J & A, J 6yo, A 4yo.
I got orders by consent with Legal Aid assistance in April 2007, this allowed the kids to spend time with me Every Tues night and every 2nd weekend from 17.30-Sunday 18:00, approximately a 70%/30% split with the kids but One that worked well for me around work and the kids still had enough time with me.
In December 07 I was denied the xmas holiday contact with the children - no reasons given at this time. I advised X to comply with orders or face contravention, she didn't and I applied for contravention based on denial of contact. This was due to be heard on 19/03/08.
For the 4 weekends in January I had both children and also her 10yo daughter on a couple of nights, contact with my kids stopped again on the 7th Feb.
Mid February I found out allegations had been made of a physical and sexual nature against me by the X and the kids. I was interviewed by Child Safety and despite THEM presenting NO evidence, photos, medical records etc etc etc - the outcome they came to was SUBSTANTIATED. I will say now that I have never 'ABUSED' the kids in that way!
Despite the X taking the kids to the police for an interview, I have not been charged with anything. Why? Becuase there is no evidence. I asked how they came to this outcome and bascially because the kids said so it has to be true. The kids have been abused emotionally and physically by their mother and probably her many boyfriends, and very well coached. I took this to the ombudsman and I have been told that the outcome is being reviewed by the TL and a senior worker… still waiting.
At the Contravention hearing on 19/03 I was advised by the Duty Solicitor to drop the contravention as January would be seen as make up time for December and to agree to new orders to enable contact with the kids ASAP… a priority ofcourse. She has been funded by Legal Aid. The orders now for the moment mean supervised contact 2hrs per week at a contact centre, the contact centre in question is unable to facilitate this till June 08. That is 4 months without seeing my kids
Now the FM purdon-sully suggested to treat this as Magellan case and as such a ICL has been ordered (good thing) BUT this is way out of my league. I have made application to legal aid BUT expect that to be knocked back even though I had it for the inital orders (which I want re-instated). I am not able to pay the $330p/hr for a solicitor to do this, I have pleaded with Legal Aid that I can help with costs but cant pay the full amount. Like many of you out there I have made significant changes to survive… moved out of rental property into a shared accommodation environment for the time being… selling my furniture to try to have soem fighting money though $1,000 doesn't get much.
The X demonstrated the $ orientated aspect of herself nicely the other day… no less than 1 week after this hearing I got a call from Centrelink with a debt from February as kids no longer in my care, lose out on FTB A&B and rent assistance too. No as of the 19/03 but February even though she was breaching orders! Then got the CSA call… blah blah blah… go back to paying 27% now as kids not in my care overnight at the moment.
Any recommendations on legal help? I think I'm out of my depth to attempt to self rep given where this is at, Child safety had subpopnea my file to the courts on 31/03/08. i'm waiting to hear from the outcome & if I can inspect the documents.