Here is your chance to tell your story - what brought you to where you are now - a single mum!
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By Charlie Tide
I'm writing here to share my story, in hope that some clear advice and support will be shared in this hard and confusing terrain.

After many months of arguing, and attempting to parent with someone who has long term D&A issues, we ended up in court after I lashed out. I finally had had enough and was at my wits end. He called the police and had me charged with assault. Our daughter was just 8 months, and I was left alone. DOCS (FACS) officers came to visit, and witnessed how we spoke to me, and have been on my side writing letters of support and helping me through support programs.

Since our separation, he has been so cold and aggressive, demanding I wean her, demanding 50 50, coming to my door and threatening me when I went to book flights to Indonesia the same time he was in China, even taking her overnight without consent. I have begged to go to counselling, to mend this and co parent harmoniously. However after 8 months of the same BS, I'm realising it's only getting worse.

I have now booked flights to NZ, with my current partner for the Christmas holidays. He is now saying he will not consent. This is now the second trip that he is attempting to stop.

I'm unsure what to do.
In theory, I would love to co parent and have him be a part of our daughters life, and he can.
But right now there is so many threats and aggressive, that I feel it might be best to go to court.

Right now, he's been seeing her 3 days a week 11-3. Reduced from 9-4, as I felt this was too long since she's still young and breastfeeding happily. He also has a DUI so it's difficult for him to even get over here.

My questions are:

- If we went to court, am I likely to get sole custody / responsibility? I cannot see how this man who is unable to be responsible and supportive can have such power over the family situation of which he just abandoned...
- Do the Australia NZ Customs regularly ask for consent upon embarking on an international flight? Especially at smaller airports such as GC, Wellington, Nelson?
I understand there is The Hague Convention countries and the Non Hague countries, and thus do Australia still check regardless?
- Is it even illegal to leave the country with my daughter on a holiday with return tickets?

I look forward to hearing your advice
This has been very stressful and unexpected.
By Mum22
Hi Charlie, so sorry that you find yourself on this forum, but welcome xx

It is more likely that if you go through Court you would get equal parental responsibility (new term for Guardianship) for long term issues ( health, education religion), & each of you get responsibility for your child when she spends time with you ( you do what you want when she's with you, & vice versa).

I highly doubt that he would get 50/50 while your child is so young & breastfeeding. IGNORE every single jibe he ever makes about B/Fing being your way to stop overnights etc - B/Fing is the best that you are doing for your baby & keep dong it for as long as you can/want & don't let ANYONE ever stop you. My ex took me to Court when our son was a few months old & I was able to BF until he was well over 2 years old.

The current situation is appropriate, a few hours a few times each week. Since he has restrictions on his travel, well, his problem not yours.

If you want to be able to take baby overseas, it is more likely that a Judge would rule he could too, but perhaps from a certain age...& only when spending regular overnight time with dad. One would think that wouldn't be until about school age.

Technically, you can take your child out of the country with written approval from the other parent. Without that approval, you may well get stopped at the airport. I think you would be best to gain Court approval for overseas trips with bub.
It's also likely that once you get Court Orders, the dad totally ignores them, either disappearing, or simply not complying. I'll bet he's not a big fan of your new boyfriend either?

Weather this storm, it does get better & easier or at lease you get stronger & able to cope with anything & everything that single parenting throws at you.
I wish you well Charlie xx