by Myssie  07/01/2016  398 Page Views
7 Comments  Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
Mother Genuinely Concerned RE Ongoing Well Being Of Children. Advice Regarding Having To Self-Represent

Thank you for reading this and I am very sorry for lengthy entry. Will try to be as succinct as possible.

Ex and I parted ways in 2010, children were 2.5yrs, 5yrs and 6 yrs. At the time, Ex coerced me out of our ex-marital home (yep, kicked me out basically) and to share 50/50 of the kids. As much as it killed me, I gave it a go as I really do believe the importance of having a relationship with their father but also he ALWAYS had a placid demeanour.

However, my best intentions has evolved into a nightmare where I am constantly worried about my children.

Within months of the separation, the ex found his soulmate and honestly don't know if this caused the change in the ex.

Children complained lack of attention paid to them (can be normal, not right but normal). Then the soul mate's child became the centre of attention and stayed that way.

There was a critical incident at the end of 2010 where I tore shreds off the couple after my 3 and 5 year old informed me they were allowed to watch the MA15+ movie Ted with their older sibling and soul mate’s child. I relayed my concern to the inappropriateness of such a movie on children this young and they should have known better, both being responsible adults and especially soul mate who was a primary school teacher! Nevertheless, I would find out a week later from the children why they were unusually cagey and nervous. The ex had confronted the children that night and verbally abused them and threatened the kids not to say anything to me about anything.

Needless to say, it has been an ongoing issue which has affected the relationship between the children and I. Early in the peace I was able to gain their trust back but on the provision I was not allowed to relay this back to the ex. This has posed as a huge problem as over time, issues which are of concern and need addressing I cannot do conventionally for the genuine fear of what my children will have to endure when they are with him.

Consequently, issues are escalating and are classed as negligent but I feel my hands are tied. There are numerous issues to list. The children basically have minimal contact with their father during the week. He spends most of his time in his room with his partner and the children have full access and range to gaming consoles and tablets. No homework is done at all during his week. Since mid-2014, my children only have an average of 2 showers a week. Since 2011, Oral hygiene and grooming are not supervised and left up to each child’s discretion. Ongoing issue of head lice with the ex refusing to treat or lies about treating. Refusal to comply with doctor’s treatment orders by refusing to supply medications to treat my oldest son who has chronic hayfever and mild asthma. Doing the same atm with youngest son who has an ‘irritable bowel’ by refusing to supply his dosage of probiotics as directed by the doctor.

Over the years have tried to negotiate change custody arrangements so the children are with me more but flatly refuses. Even managed to trick him to attend family medication at Centacare who offer child inclusive medication but he refused to give consent for the children to speak to specialist mediator.

Miraculously managed to just scrape to obtain legal aid only to consult one of their lawyers early December. However she stated legal aid will only be prepared to fund mediation through lawyers. She stated that because whilst there are concerns, the children have been in 50/50 arrangement for 5 years and therefore unlikely for the judge to rule 70/30 care which I am requesting.

The big issue is, lawyer mediated mediation will not change one crucial thing, the ex can and will refuse to allow the children to have their opinion heard. So I am back to square one.

2 out of the 3 children expresses their desire to live with me and the other is not fussed. I am concerned their emotional needs are not being met. The significance of teaching them life skills are ignored. And with my oldest starting high school this year, their safety will be compromised. He will be leaving the 11 and 8 year old alone at home for about half an hour before they have to walk 10-15 minutes to school. The ex refuses to acknowledge my concern of the 11 yr old not having the maturity to do this safely and responsibly and they are expected to walk home and be alone again after school.

All I want is my children's opinions be heard because I really do not think the current 50/50 are in their best interest. My children deserve to be loved and nurtured and I wish it was by both parents but it is not. I cannot afford to pay for a lawyer and will have to self represent but can't even afford the application fees. I don't even know where to start. Do I attempt to apply for exemption before I submit my initial application? Do I have to submit affidavits to support my application and if so, which angle? I would be grateful for anyone's ideas, experiences etc.