thread: taking ex to court

  1. #19
    Registered User

    Nov 2006
    Somewhere Over The Rainbow

    mummycate, when is the little one when he does te night shifts? This sounds like a worry to me.
    Also, you havementioned you are in different states - how far? And if you dont mind, what are your arrangements?

    I know she is only little now, but the cost of having to fly backward and forward will probably have him stop coming to get her so often in future - ir might just be to get back at you just now.
    A friend of mine's X moved about 3 hours away when they broke up, now he has her for at least half of all school holidays - so it doesnt affect her routine.
    How are you supposed to get yourself and bubs into a stable routine if it is quite haphazard as to when he has her?!

  2. #20
    Registered User

    Dec 2006
    In my own private paradise

    cate - i hope you can find a way to come to an agreement amicably. this may sound unlikely, but Terry might find after a while that routines work better for him anyway! it sounds at the moment like he's doing this to get to you, and maybe to give El the impression that he's the "good parent" that caters to her every whim - but it might be a case of him trying this for a while and realising that she a much better little girl when she arrives than she is when he is doing everything on demand.

    good luck at getting through this - i hope for your sake (and even more for El) that you can keep this out of the courts

  3. #21
    mummycate Guest

    Brisbane and Sydney. He won't care how much it costs if she lives with him 50% of the time. He's being so pedantic and stubborn. He has someone babysit for him on his night shifts, perhaps his mum for as long as she's in Australia. But I don't know what he'll do when she's not here. He said heaps of times, "next year I won't be working those shifts" etc. But he hasn't told me otherwise. I had to go to Ryde today to go to the post office (which i didn't do as i wasn't going to be able to go home until one of my mates get home to let me in, so didn't want to carry a parcel around all day) and went by the house (had to, to get from station to bus stop) and no one was there. It was the time of his mediation but I expected El to be there being babysat. He probably took her with him, even though they told me to have her babysat for the appointment. He could have brought her to try and make them sympathetic to him. I don't know. He kept saying ages ago he has heaps of friends who can babysit. He probably took her over to his mum's friend's place (xmil is staying there).

    this is all so overwhelming for me.

  4. #22
    Registered User

    Nov 2006
    Somewhere Over The Rainbow

    catherine, when it comes time for school, or even just preschool, shared care WILL NOT work with an interstate father! So myabe it will all settle down later, rather than sooner?
    You poor thing. It kills me everytime DD is picked up by her dad, i know he is her dad and all but he just doesnt take care of her properly (no abuse, just lazy). He loves her with all his heart, i know that, but its like a stab in the gut each time she goes.
    Big huge hugs, try to keep yourself strong and get as much advice as you can - especially on the whole interstate shared care thing.

  5. #23
    mummycate Guest

    I'm going to suggest through mediation that he move to Brisbane. We can both afford it there and she will be closer to both of us. And he has mentioned how easy it is to transfer uni (this was a while ago when there were no problems).

  6. #24
    paradise lost Guest

    Oh cate! Deep breaths hunny, calm thoughts.

    My DD has been living between me and XP since she was 4 months old. He too will not stick to routines or discipline her (i don't mean smack or anything, i mean prevent her from ripping books up!) or do anything which isn't what she wants. I too get a child back every monday which doesn't want to nap or behave herself and throws a huge fit when she hears the word no. BUT, it DOES get easier! When she was El's age it probably took until Thursday for her to be back in her routines (which was incredibly frustrating as she'd go off to her dad again on Friday night) but now it's more like Monday afternoon! SOmetimes she's fine as she's beggining to get now that muma and dada have different rules.

    Please don't feel i'm attacking when i say this, because it's not a revalation that came easy to me either, but he's not WRONG about parenting. He has a different style to you, and that's annoying because it means your style is more difficult to implement but the same is true for him - he wants her to nap when she's tired but because you have a sleep routine she gets cranky when he doesn't stick to it. Would you drop your style and do it his way? NO, because you do it how you find it easier and better. But so does he.

    Over time my XP has realised that some of my overbearing strictnesses, like changing her nappy as soon as she poops even if she's busy playing, or putting her to bed every night at the same time, or giving her breakfast as soon as i get her up and not 2 hours later when i have my own, actually works better and makes more sense. And slowly slowly he has come more over to my way of doing it, but he still has his own quirks. He still never ever disciplines her directly, he might swap what she is wrecking for something else but he never tells her not to do it. The other week DP asked her not to drag her baby bath out of the bathroom (i'd asked him to stop her) and she came running through to tell tales because a man has NEVER said "no" to her before! Obviously i told her sorry, but mumma agrees with DP, no playing with the bath!

    I really sympathise as i've been there but finding a way through is the only realistic option unless he behaves in a way that is dangerous to El. My XP never made food for DD until she was fully eating normal adult foods (not even mashed up - he just bought jars), he simultaneously verbally beat me up over weaning off the breast and wasted EBM by forgetting to chill it because formula was easier for him to use.

    I have had big struggles about it, but THIS is DD's family. There are lots of times when i wish i could just say "forget it, you can't have her, you muck everything up" but i can't. The differences between us which we couldn't work out to stay together we HAVE to work out to parent DD. She is ours. They always say you can't choose your family - XP is family now, a blood relative of yours through your beautiful DD and you are stuck with one another, you CAN make the best of it, i promise.

    I educate XP as i go - every single time she comes back with nappy rash i SMS him and say "did she poop? Did you clean her really well? SHe has nappyrash..." and the next time he pays more attention. I told him again and again to give her her own room to sleep in at his and he refused again and again until eventually he tried it one night and discovered that it ISN'T normal for her to get up and want to play from 1am-3.30am! The things he doesn't get on board with i continue doing in my time and she knows how i want her to behave. She is less well-behaved for him, but it is his problem, not mine. All those weeks of insisting on a routine when she was difficult because he let her do what she wants were so worth it because she TRUSTS me now, she knows how reliable i am - even if he let her nap until 6pm i still put her to bed at 7pm. She knows i'll be here because i always am, mama is utterly reliable.

    It is a difficult time just now, everything is in flux and your XP has not been patient or reasonable in his treatment of you, but things will get easier, you will find the strength you need, sometimes you will feel like you're squeaking through with nothing extra, but eventually you get to look back at and think "Hey, i did good here". Hang in there hunny.


  7. #25
    mummycate Guest

    Mediation went very badly. Terry and I could just not agree or come to a compromise about where Elouise will live. We couldn't even agree on which city to live in, Sydney or Brisbane. He had several factors that prevent him from moving to Brisbane and I have a huge financial concern about living in Sydney and he just had little things that added up but were not really much to concern himself with.

    So his problems are:
    I can't apply to transfer uni until November.
    What's going to happen with the cats?
    I have a support network here (Sydney).
    My dad hasn't seen Elouise since she was 3 weeks old.
    I don't think you can cope looking after Elouise.
    My income is now only $250 a week as I had to cut back on work, so I can't afford to rent.

    His positives are:
    He lives with his parents so he has a roof over his head without having to do much for it.
    My mother can help me out looking after Elouise.

    My problems are:
    My income is not that much, purely on welfare.
    I will need to pay rent, electricity, water, gas, phone, internet, food, clothing, Elouise' other thingies and private health.
    I also don't have a lot of support in Sydney.
    I will have to work to earn enough money to pay all my bills, so then I will hardly see Elouise.
    Sydney is one of the most expensive living cities in the world, ie income and expenses are almost the same. The rent is high, is rising and there's not much available and high demand.
    He collects most of the water used in his house to put on garden/flush toilet. It sits stagnant and smells revolting. (On sunday I refused to go into the bathroom because of the stink).
    He has a german roach problem, yet they have been removed because his mum got pest control in.
    His parents will soon be renovating the house, making it 2 storey.

    My positives are:
    In Brisbane I can afford to be a SAHM.
    I can afford my own place.
    Elouise will not be bounced from home to home each day/week/month etc.
    I will not need to rely on my parents or any of my friends or family from day to day.
    I will live in a stable home.
    I have been Elouise' main caregiver and I will continue to be.

    So of course we could not agree. The mediator rang me a little while ago to say that she will make the certificate (that says we tried mediation) so I can take it to a lawyer. The legal advice I had gotten beforehand was actually wrong and was in fact the opposite of what I'm entitled to. The mediator was trying to hint to me that but she couldn't do more than that as she's meant to be impartial and not allowed to give legal advice. So I saw legal aid after mediation and the lawyer (different lady to Monday) said that I can get Elouise back now and can keep her until the courts have come to an agreement about where she is to be placed. Bear in mind that proceedings can take anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to reach a conclusion. So I'm going to fight for Elouise, becaus I feel its in her best interest to live in one home at least for the next year or so, and have a stable home life without financial struggle and constant upheaval and uprooting. The mediator told me on the phone this afternoon "I think you'd be pleasantly surprised" regarding the court proceedings.

    So today I was completely distraught during mediation, about the things Terry was pulling out against me, and then I feel very confident about court.

    Btw I see a solicitor tomorrow! The legal aid lawyer picked up the phone within 2 minutes of seeing me to refer me to a solicitor. She said I qualify for legal aid and that I'm very likely to "win". Ie that I'll at least get Elouise now until the whole matter is resolved in court. So with the first lawyer saying that if I move to Brisbane and take Elouise, Terry can file to have her returned to him as she'll be too far from her dad. Yet the second legal aid lawyer said that it doesn't matter and what matters is who is the main caregiver and who will be the majority caregiver in the future (both me).

    So going rom a totally **** mediation to being confident in getting Elouise back, I feel pretty good now.

    Thanks for reading this saga and for all of your support and advice.

    Oh and he tells me that Ellie's rash is back. Thanks for telling me :rollseyes:. And yesterday she had 24 scoop of milk. Normally she has 3x4=12!!! "She was hungry, she's going through a growth spurt". I told him, offer her more water and more food, 3 meals and two snacks, because we're meant to wean her off the formula not increase it! And she was having a bottle every 3 hours! I can't believe it. I'm not saying I told you so, but I did mention that he'd have her back on snacking. I knew it would happen and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I bloody hope I get her back into routine. At least he is getting her to have 2x1.5hr naps and she is sleeping well.

  8. #26
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC


    I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this. I've never been in your situation but I would think it's VERY unlikely that the courts would remove Elouise from you, even temporarily. I know family courts are moving more towards shared care but I would think the onus would be on your ex to move to Brisbane, not vice-versa. As I say, I have never dealt with the law on this topic but that's just what my gut and brain both tell me.

    I once had a very wise boss whose attitude to situations like this (both at work and in personal lives) is to take each piece of your 'opponent's' argument and calmly and rationally pull it apart. I think this is what you're already doing so keep going with that. Once you have countered and crossed out each of his arguments, I'm sure you'll feel better.

    Having said that, you're in the early stages of mediation and you're at very early days in co-parenting Elouise. Often things take a while to work out so don't lose hope that there is an amicable solution and take heart from Hoobley's very sound advice. If you find things that you CAN agree on, it's often much easier to then work through what you disagree on.

    I haven't had time to read through all the posts so big apologies if this has already been covered, but is there any solution that you can come up with that you think deep down he would be relatively happy with?

  9. #27
    mummycate Guest

    We tried so hard to understand the other. I understand him and if need be I would move to Sydney, but I feel that I have to sacrifice so much and he doesn't but if that's what I have to do then I will do it. It will be a very hard struggle but to be the best mother I can be to my daughter, I will do it. But he doesn't seem to think that moving to Brisbane will help Elouise. He's shutting his eyes to reason and compromise. Which is not good.

  10. #28
    Registered User

    Aug 2007
    Newcastle, NSW, Australia

    Hi Catherine,
    I'm sorry to hear that things didnt go too well. How is Elouise coping?. Also do you have any family in Brisbane?.

  11. #29
    mummycate Guest

    Most of my family is in Brisbane and most of his are in Melbourne. But his "support network" in Sydney will be his parents when they return from Europe and his friends who he rarely sees and hardly ever calls. At least I'm not claiming I need to be with my friends and family. I need to live with my parents until I can afford my own place. And I guess I could afford Sydney its just going to take a really long time to find/get something. Which means I'm in limbo until then. He's really put me between a rock and a hard place. I saw the lawyer, she said I have a good chance of getting her but I could be forced to live close to Sydney or best case, in Sydney so terry has often access to Ellie. Which means I have to make all the effort and he does nothing. And to top it off my mother's father said some awful things to me in an email in response to my Christmas thankyou letter. So that really did not help my mood at all.

  12. #30
    Registered User

    Oct 2007

    Catherine im so sorry it has came to this, I cant imagine what your going through ATM. I really hope it works out in your favour though for both you & El's sake.

    I thought Terry was really nice etc, this is deff a side I didnt see. Have you tired talking to his mum?

  13. #31
    Registered User
    Follow Early Kids On Twitter

    Oct 2007
    Eastern Wheatbelt WA

    *sending you strength* to get through this

    Take Care

  14. #32
    mummycate Guest

    I'm afraid to talk to his mum. I really feel it would make things worse.

  15. #33
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    If he won't move to Brisbane the only workable solution I can think of is that he (or his parents) subsidises the difference in rent between what you would pay in Brisbane and what you would pay in Sydney ESPECIALLY if he will be living rent-free.

    Also, what's the deal with child support - I know he's going to uni but presumably he will still need to contribute to Elouise's upkeep?

  16. #34
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

    Jan 2005
    Funky Town, Vic

    Look, your "case" is sound, fair and reasonable. Who cares what he thinks, only worry about what the court will...

    hugs for the meantime ooooox

  17. #35
    Registered User

    Dec 2007

    Hi, I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through, so stressful I know. Do you have any orders in place which say you can live in QLD? Living on welfare is hard but I manage, and with a young baby, it is difficult to work and you are not always better off financially as a single mother.
    Brisbane is definetly a better option as you have a bigger support network, I hope he can manage to transfer, maybe you could agree that you will fly down every month for a long weekend, split the cost of fares until November.
    Renting is much more expensive in Sydney, I am paying 195 a week in clayfield for a tiny unit but you wouldn't get anything like that there.
    My lease expires in october so I will be looking for a single mum to share a house then..... get a much bigger and better place.
    Sounds like you have a good lawyer, what would happen if you just went to Brisbane?
    Good luck, I hope this week goes well for you

  18. #36
    Registered User

    Dec 2007

    Also what are his plans for after he finishes uni, is he going to stay in Sydney, what if he moves to Melbourne will you have to move there too? It sounds like you are the only one can give your daughter a stable environment at the moment, even if you are living with family, you will get on your feet. Hope everything goes your way.


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