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Restraining orders: How do you explain your absence to the kids

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    I am a father of 4 children, all boys aged 2, 4, 6 and 9. I am recently divorced from their mother. We were still on speaking terms and negotiated a care plan which fit around my busy work roster (as I have two jobs). I was paying my child maintenance every fortnight without any problems. But after a few months of this, out of the blue one day the police came to my door and told me I’d been accused of assault. I was dumbfounded. I have never hurt anybody in my life. I was hit with a restraining order immediately which prevented any contact with her or my 4 kids. As a result, she now claims almost $2,000 a month from me which is removed from my wages before I even see it. This was 6 months ago and I still haven’t saw my kids. I have been attending court in relation to the assault charge, but it is constantly adjourned. I have to drive an 8 hour round trip to Adelaide for each hearing, take time off work, pay thousands for solicitor’s fees only to be told it has been adjourned again. But the worst part is, I still haven’t seen my kids. Today’s hearing was adjourned until February next year which means I won’t see them over christmas, as well as all the birthdays I have missed this year. There are piles of birthday presents they are yet to open from me. The reason I joined this forum; one thing that bothers me is this; my eldest is 9, so he would be old enough to ask his mother where has dad gone? Why don’t we see dad anymore? Obviously she’s not going to tell him the truth, that she fabricated an assault charge so that she can bleed me dry financially, so I often wonder what she has told him to explain my absence. And when eventually I am reunited with my kids, what do I tell them when they ask me where I’ve been all this time? I can’t tell them the truth, it wouldn’t be fair on them if I started telling them that their own mother is pure evil. They will work that out for themselves when they are older, but its not my place to tell them that. So what does a father in my position usually tell his kids when he is reunited with them? How does he explain his ‘disappearance’ without bad-mouthing the other parent? The fact that I dont even know what she has told them about the reasons for my absence makes it even harder for me to know what to tell them. I do know what she has been telling her friends and family to explain my absence; it has been getting back to me through people I know that she has been telling people that I don’t see the kids because I no longer want to see the kids. This was a particularly horrible thing for me to find out as nothing could be further from the truth. I just hope she hasn’t told the kids something similar.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by AvatarCaswell.
    AvatarF Spencher

    Hi Caswell,

    You don’t really need the solicitors for all the preliminary hearings; only the trial.

    You can apply to attend the preliminary hearings electronically as well.

    If you’re not getting a good feeling from your lawyers at this early stage then it might be time for you to consider someone else and/or another strategy; as you don’t want to find out things in this area aren’t as good as they can be within only a few weeks/months before the trial.



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