by dad1820  06/02/2014  255 Page Views
4 Comments  Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
Hi there, was just wondering if i could get some advice or opinions from anyone with experience or expertise...
I'll give a very brief background first. I am from Melbourne. My daughter is 7.
I'm a single father with a "Live with Order" stamped by courts. I had some documents written up and both my ex and I signed them and had them sent to court to be stamped and put in place. There were other conditions written in which have since been modified via a Parenting Plan in RDM (yes I am aware that these are not exactly legal papers like court orders). We made the changes due to circumstance changes over the years.
Currently our daughter spends time with her mother (reluctantly) for 8 hours on a Saturday or Sunday, we originally agreed to a graduation plan where once SUPERVISED visits ceased that time spent would increase from 6 hours to 8 hours unsupervised for a period of time, to a one night sleep over every fortnight for a period of time and eventually Friday through Sunday fortnightly and half school holidays. However due to our daughter having separation issues when not with myself especially in regards to sleep overs, (anxiety, crying hysterically, asking for me, and me having to pick her up at midnight because she won't settle) we have since reverted back to day visits only. It is very clear to myself and anyone who witnesses change over that our daughter does not look forward to spending time with her mother. Between inconsistent access and routine disruption due to last minute cancellation of access by my ex and lack of a real bond (which i have worked tirelessly to try and resolve with professional help) our daughter expresses that she is "not ready" to sleep at mums house and becomes quite distressed when it is discussed.

My ex has moved house frequently and with different people all the time, including to and fro her parents, Uni/Tafe students, various partners and friends. She has a history of mental and emotional instability including being suicidal, she is very irrational and appears to have split personality at times...One of the key factors we agreed to in order for sleep overs to ahead were that she has her own place or close to, but more importantly our daughter has her own room and own bed,. it has been over quite some time and none of these requirements have been met and she is about to move house again.

My issues are the following:
My ex is planning to move back in with her mother (whom she shares a sometimes hostile relationship with, going for long periods of time abusing and not speaking to each other, back to being close again and then back to hostility) BUT the BIGGEST concern is that my ex's mother is a registered sex offender and my ex wishes to spend time with our daughter including overnight stays there.
Having never been to court before and only going from what i hear, no offence to anyone- that the courts, although have evened up a little, are still in favour of mothers... I'm wondering if a court would allow/force this sort of arrangement, and/or force our daughter against her will to spend extra time (overnights) with her mother when she clearly expresses that she doesn't want to yet...
I am not against our daughter having a relationship with her mother, in fact I encourage with the aid of my family and professional child counseling. I am just trying to protect our daughter and make sure that her relationship with her mother is the right type of relationship.
Thank you in advance for any opinion/advice.