Aus single parents: visit/access advice needed.

Long story short: my daughter is the proud mum of her 18month old little boy. The Daddy originally wanted nothing to do with her/the pregnancy, turned up for a little while in the first months, then chose to avoid contact etc etc. In the interim, he has had minimal contact with his son, and only then mainly when my daughter has made the 700km round trip to Melbourne to ‘give’ him access rights.

Back-story: The Daddy is (we’ve found out) a pretty serious drug user: not just dope, but includes cocaine and other more harmful stuff. He is a VERY well-paid self-employed tradesman, but is loathe to pay child-support. IOW, his responsibility towards his son, and his personal attention have been severely lacking wot.
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Aaaanyway*, he has decided that he wants to have his little boy next weekend…for three days…unsupervised. His intent was to drive here (btw, he’s lost his licence for a DUI charge) pick up the little bloke, drive back to Melbourne, and deliver him BACK in three days. :rolleyes:

My daughter told him to naff off. There is NO WAY in hell she was going to let her little fella be away from her for 3 HOURS let alone 3 DAYS. She invited him to spend some time with the young’bloke on HIS territory, and that maybe, sometime in the future he’d then be up for a weekend away, but The Daddy just spat the dummy, whingeing about denial of access rights etc etc. :rolleyes:

So, The Daddy reckons he’s going to get himself a lawyer to restore his legal rights to access to his son. I just laughed, but then things have changed a bit since I was the single-parent-with-kids-with-access-issues.

Sooooo, my question is: can a non-custodial parent, especially one who has had minimal contact with their child, demand long-duration custody visits with an 18 month old?

Any suggestions or advice??

Hie thee to Legal Aid ASAP and get everything formalized through the courts. When my cousin had to fight his deadbeat ex for custody of their daughter, each accused the other of drug use. The judge ordered twice weekly supervised visitation of the child until the next hearing, and regular drug tests for both parents. My cousin was subsequently awarded full custody because his ex didn’t do the drug tests, didn’t show up for most of the visitations and didn’t even bother coming to court for the final ruling. Hopefully the deadbeat in your life won’t be able to maintain concentration long enough to get through the legal process.

Heh…thanks for turning up Cazzle (and btw, send me photos ASAP etc OK?? :D)

But this isn’t a custody battle, it’s just that The Daddy wants to take the kidlet to Melbourne for a long weekend. Access only. It’s bad on all scales…firstly he doesn’t have a license, secondly he’s very fond of inhaling/injesting drugs, and thirdly he hasn’t had ENOUGH contact with the kid for the kid to feel comfortable in his presence alone for any longer than maybe 30 minutes.

My daughter is really wanting The Daddy to maintain contact with the little boy, provided it takes place in a safe place (here), and that after enough visits, then maybe in a year or two (or three), then maybe he’ll be ready to spend a weekend alone with him…drug-free of course.

Just really wondering how the courts would respond to a ‘contact visit’ taking an 18month old child 350km away for 3 days without a recognisable person there to make them safe??

I’m guessing, NO FUCKING WAY?? :smiley:

I’m loathe to give any sort of input here, because you’re in another country, but…isn’t it a no-no to drive without a license there? Like, what would happen if she called the police and let them know he was driving without a license? Would they prevent him from driving the rest of the way to her home?

(Of course, I can’t resist: In the US, he’d have the legal right to take his son for the three days, since supposedly *he’s *the “recognizable person there to make them safe.” Unless she had already gone to court to have his parental rights severed because he’s a danger to the child, he has the same exact rights and responsibilities to their child that she does.)

Legal aid or legal advice for sure.

If it does go legal though, its likely he will be granted some level of access, as the current legal situation in Oz is to allow for ‘significant’ parental involvement where ‘practical’. Ie:

“The Act now requires the court, except in case of family violence or child abuse, to presume when making a parenting order that it is in the best interest of the child for their parents to have equal shared parenting responsibility. Other important provisions cover the willingness of each child’s parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent.”

http://familyseparation.humanservices.gov.au/legal_support/children_and_the_legal_system.php

For general info.

Otara

Visitation rights are asessed by the courts too, and can be denied by the courts too. And he may just be walking himself into paying child support, but you need to lawyer up, down and through the other side.