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.