Alienated Father

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roger68
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Joined: 04/01/2011

I am the father of nine year old twin girls born in June 2008. I have been alienated from my children, by their mother, with virtually no contact with them for seven and a half years. Five of those seven and a half years has been spent in the Federal Court system trying to obtain shared parenting orders or a change of residence (Two years in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia - 2012 to 2013 - and three years in the Federal Family Court of Australia - 2014 to 2016).

I would like to emphasize at this moment, that I have a very close-knit extended family and a network of close friends whom I have known for over thirty years. The significance here is, the issue is not just about me and my relationship with my children, but also the relationship between my children and their extended paternal family and long term family friends.

I have posted below my situation in the way of a scenario which gives a bigger picture of what has occured even long before my children were born.

 

A fourteen year old girl lives on a semi-isolated forty acre property with her maternal grandmother and her aunt (being the girls mothers sister). No other person is known to have lived on this property at the time. An altercation occurred where the girl was beaten with a stick by the grandmother. The girl ran next door to alert the neighbors, police were called as well as the NSW Department of Community Services. The police filed a report and D.O.C.S. removed the girl from the aunt and grandmothers care and placed her into state care. This incident occurred in March or May 2001. Not long after, the grandmothers partner moved to the property to live there on a temporary basis and the aunt remained on the property and had two children (twin girls) of her own in June 2008. The twin girls are cousins to the fourteen year old girl.

The father and mother of the twin girls separated when the girls were eighteen months old and the mother refused any time for the girls to spend with their father. In February 2012, after being alienated from his twin girls for two years, the father made an application to the court for shared parenting orders or a change of residence. The mother accused the father of having a mental health issue and abusing her and the children.

The father sought counseling from five psychologists dating back to January 2010. Two of the psychologists were ordered by the court, a third was consulted at the request of his lawyers and the remaining two he attended at his own voluntary will. Written reports were received from four of the five psychologists and one was required to attend court for cross-examination in November 2015. The court also ordered a psychiatric assessment which was conducted in August 2013. This assessment was attended by the father, his parents (paternal grandparents), the twin girls, their mother and the maternal grandmother. The psychiatrist drafted three reports dated November 2013, May 2014 and September 2016 and was also cross-examined via phone link - as he resides and works in Sydney and the court hearing was in Canberra - on two occasions (November 2015 and September 2016). The father was even given a letter of reference from his general practitioner, dated December 2009, stating in his opinion the father is not a danger to himself or others and believes that he is fit to look after his twin daughters as part of shared custody. In his latest report (11-9-2016) the psychiatrist made the recommendation that he believes it would be appropriate for the children to be placed in the fathers care to achieve the best long-term outcome for their mental wellbeing.

An Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) was appointed by the court to assist in the matter.

The matter went to final hearing for seven days in October / November 2015 and then for a subsequent three days in June / September 2016. A subpoena was issued to NSW Police prior to final hearing for any reports regarding the matter. The report regarding the incident involving the maternal grandmother beating her granddaughter with a stick was issued to the court and was of great concern to the ICL and the judge in October / November 2015 and throughout the rest of the hearing. Both the maternal grandmother and the mother (aunt) were intensely scrutinized to great lengths under cross-examination regarding this report. It was at this point in time where the father, and the paternal family, of the two girls became aware of this incident that occured in 2001. The maternal grandmothers partner passed away in May 2016.

With the written and verbal statements provided by psychologists and the psychiatrist, along with the cross-examination of maternal and paternal family members, the ICL and the court were overwhelmingly convinced without a hint of doubt that any abuse towards the children and their mother did not occur. Needless to say the father was also vindicated of any mental health issues.

In December 2016 the court ordered that the mother is to have sole parental responsibility of the twin girls and the father is to only send photos, letters, cards and presents to the children as he sees appropriate. No orders were made for the father or the paternal family to spend time with the children. These orders are in force until June 2020 when the girls turn twelve years of age.

The situation, today, is a case of “Deja vu” - a mother / aunt and the maternal grandmother on a semi-isolated property with two nine year old girls. No one else around and no supervision, similar to the circumstances in 2001. According to the psychiatrist (aided by reports from psychologists, affidavits and court transcripts), the mother is causing long-term psychological damage to the children. It is also apparent that the mothers position appears to be endorsed by the Australian Family Court system. And now that the father has no access to his girls, it lessens the chances of any physical abuse being reported. The whereabouts of the fourteen year old niece/cousin (who will be turning thirty sometime this year) is unknown.

You are welcome to post your comments to this scenario.

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