2 Comments Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
Ok, I suspec you need legal advice. But, I'd talk to DOCs and see whe they can refer you or if they can assist in terms of advice for the children being at risk of harm or having sustained harm. I'd also do the same with the police and see what they advise or refer. Maybe they will observe your ex new partner and ex, maybe do a bust. Talk to the school as well to see if they've registered any concerns.
Finally, I'd see a lawyer. Here is a wild guess, I believe you can withhold if you have genuine concerns. Ok, you withhold, do you need some form of restraining order to stop the kids being taken back,. Do you need an urgent court hearing that would include drug testing etc, interim orders to keep with you, some form of injunction against the ex.
I think you need to understand the options and consequences. And your ex? Any chance you can talk to her?
Finally, I'm taking what you say at face value as being true. What you have is hearsay from the kids. They say what they want to whom they want. She had him out in jail? Was there involvement from DOCs or the court with the children in that regard.
If you are comfortable, send them back with reassurance that you are taking advice on what to do and will update when you see them. Tell them if concerned, tell school in the day, worst case call the police at night.
So doctor's first. Make two appointments. First one for you... Explain your concerns and explain that you wanted to talk away from the kids first just so Dr knew what was going on. Then kids and Dr.... But explain to kids that this is to help them because you really need them to be on board and be prepared to open up. Doctor's are mandatory notifiers of abuse / neglect. If the Dr notifies Doc's (Dept of community services) then that is a big win to get you started.
Next see a solicitor. Ask about withholding, ask about getting an AVO to protect the kids.
Solicitor can help with the cops. Mate last thing you wanna do is go to the cops for help only for them to take the details so they can do a drug bust on the house and leave you out to dry.