I moved from one region to another and gave my ex husband 3 days official notice prior to the finalisation of the move. I had intended to give him a week's notice, but was unfortuneately unable to catch up with him earlier. However, I had indicated several times over the previous year and a half that I was planning to study to return to work. The course I had chosen would be in this region, due to the jobs as a result of doing this course, being in this region. Also, I grew up and met my ex-husband in this region. At first he was shocked at the apparent suddeness of the move. but then he agreed to see the children one weekend per month, rather than fortnightly, and have them for four weeks annual holiday, rather than two. He said that it would work out about the same. The children were quite happy with this arrangement as they are not particularly close to their Father, nor is he to them. There are many legitimate reasons relating to that issue which I will not go into. We have been separated for five years and are now divorced.
The weekend was nearing when my ex-husband was to visit them. He called and said that because it was such short notice, could I meet him half way with the kids. He suggested that if we both took the train and met at a half way point the whole trip would take 3 hours for all. On the Friday, I took the children to the station and caught the train with them to the half way destination. It took us two and a half hours one way. When we arrived there, we found out that he had driven. By the time I arrived home it was 9:30 pm. I rang to see if they had arrived, and they had arrived approximately the same time. The return trip was the same.
I rang him the following day to tell him that an eleven hours for four people, totalling 44 man hours was too much, when a round trip by car was only 6 hours. I suggested that once per month that he travel 3 hours to visit the children, stay in a motel and have his child support reduced accordingly, and then travel 3 hours back.
The region we just moved from is where he and his family were born and live. The region we have moved back to is where my family live and where the children were born. This is the region that my ex-husband lived in when I met him and where we lived when we were married. When we separated and sold the house, he moved back to his parent's region and we moved to another State for two and a half years to buy a cheap house. When we sold the house, I decided to move to his region, but no agreement was ever made for me to do so. We stayed in his region for 2 years, although we did not like it. The relationship I hoped that he'd develop with the children never happened.
I have moved back to this region for the purpose of studying, working and eventually buying a house. I chose this particular time to move because the children are now seven and ten and old enough for me to study part time while they are in school.
He refuses to discuss anything now. I have received a letter from the Family Court inviting me to a mediation, which I have accepted. Obviously, this will be the issue. There were no court orders in place at all, and no court orders with regard to me not relocating, and I have been relocated for six weeks and it's another five weeks until the mediation.
Before you think anything, let me tell you this. As soon as we arrived back into this State and settled near my ex-husband, he began to under pay us in child support. The Bank statements and the Child Support Assessments that I have filed are the proof. That for 36 months he under paid us in child support $18,000.00. and only stopped when I caught him out and confronted him. How did this go on without me noticing it, do you say? From the first time I lodged the initial request to the CSA, I neglected to give them a change of address when I moved. When I was cleaning up my files one rare day, I came across the original assessment, which I was still being paid. I rang the CSA and gave them my new address. When I received my new assessment my ex-husband's wage had gone up to $88,000. and not $50,000. I ordered 36 months worth of back dated Bank statements. I rang the CSA. The payments were being made voluntarily, and there was nothing that they could do but confirm it. They said it was a Civil Court matter. I rang my ex-husband and conforted him and was told by him there was nothing that I could do about it. Our car sat broken in the driveway while I walked the kids to school on some very bad weather days for many months, when it should have been fixed. We struggled, and he stood by knowing and watching, but still continuing. Centrelink payed us according to what we should have been receiving in child support and not on what we actually were receiving. So we spent 36 months choosing between food and bills. You might say boo hoo to that, too, but I'm not in this situation, because I want to be. There is a reason that the Government pays single mother's a certain amount to stay home and look after very young children. An amount that is based on the amount of child support that we receive. It is to give us an average income with which to raise the children until the Parent is able to return to work. As much as possible, I have tried to make the kids life as good as any two parent family, but during those 36 months we were well into the poverty line. This is my ex-husband. I have not gone to Civil Court, because this is me.
I feel my ex-husband is trying to strong arm me to get his way, using the Court and the attitude that he is the helpless, good Dad, and everything that he does is for the good of the children, when it is for the good of himself. So, I am tired of being stepped on. What's your advice?