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I need your help mums. Last year a custody case my ex partner put on me cost a significant amount of money. I wasn’t eligible for legal aid. My ex partner gate the case looked unfavourable for a win on his behalf, wrote a letter to my lawyer stating he wanted our son to live with me full time. Of course I was over the moon. I borrowed money from my mother to pay for the court case as my ex partner is wealthy and I am not, despite working full time. I can’t get my super out as I don’t have a home loan and I my child is 8. I can’t really borrow any more money from the bank. I have asked my lawyer about getting money back for the initial court costs but he says it’s not possible. My mother is now wanting the money as they are building a new house. I really don’t know what to do. The whole thing seems unfair that someone with a huge income x 2 can take someone on a low income to court and through the system costing into the tens of thousands and get away with it. I feel helpless and lost as there seems to be no solution. Ladies if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them as I’m desperate to pay my mother. My mother is now wanting her money back.


Posted anonymously, 2nd August 2014


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  • It is a terrible dilemma because as always money gives him power and is very unfair . My brother complained yesterday how child support can take money to the payers so the more income you have the more you pay child support. It is a never win situation when it comes to kids. Perhaps contact a financial counsellor through the Salvos, or Vinnies and see if they can recommend any organisation that are able to lend you money without the hefty fees. Maybe ask your mum if she can accept a bit of payment every week from you in the meantime to shorten the loan .

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  • What a horrible situation to have been in and to still be in. Only suggestion I have is a payment plan. All depends how quickly mum wants her money back

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  • I can’t help much other than suggesting a debt consolidation loan. If you are in Perth, you can pm me on FB. I don’t have much, hubby and I are struggling atm, but I can help by looking over your paperwork and whilst I am no lawyer, I did study law. I can also help with just a shoulder to cry on if needed and I will pray for you. It’s ok if you are not Catholic, you don’t have to be. I can also help with tips for money saving recipes and ideas, if you like.
    I wish you and your son a bright future away from the poisonous attitude of your ex.
    If you wish to pm me but can’t find me, just reply to this comment and lmk
    Good luck

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  • This scares me my ex partner keeps telling me he is going to take me to court to get access to his son and although I have never said he cant see him I don’t want him taking him for wkends as bubby is not even 2, he says his older kids 12 & 11 have a right to see him which I understand what he is saying but all of our problems have been over his children he left me pregnant many times because of his children and has left many times after our childs birth because of his children and I have always felt he has put these children before our baby son constantly and wont allow him to have him while he has his other children for wkends, oh gosh long story but wondering if he takes me to court do I have to pay? Im not that worried yet because he has no money either but if he got his hands on some this scares me!!


    • My advice is don’t get legal aide until you really need, as you can’t get it again or so I was lead to believe, but just check on that – things change all the time. If you are working and family matters etc are not covered – it really, really sucks for the average person on a single income. My ex partner is wealthy, but he is morally and emotionally bankrupt and I bring our son up in a warm, stress free environment. That’s terrible being left whilst pregnant. I’m glad I wrote this post, as I was asking for ideas at the time but I think I have more of a plan in place now thanks to the advice on here and then sort of combining it with an action plan I was thinking of. I’m I wrote it though because it has made me aware there are others out there like me who have been put through the ringer by their ex spouses. People have this perception that it’s always the woman who walks off financially better and believe me in my case I was much worse off.



      • If you agree to your ex having your son then a parenting plan will be put in place, the courts will always try and sort things out before it actually gets to the court room.
        Good luck fingers crossed he understands what your saying about overnight stays.

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  • I really dont have any advice on how to get some money back, but i can relate to the heart ache and suffering you go through when going through a custody battle. My ex husband also agreed to letting me take our children from the uk to adelaide so it was just a matter of the courts rubber sealing it so to speak, but at the hearing he changed his mind and ended up in a 8 week court hearing i won in the end but just what goes through these mens heads.
    Surely they know you cant really afford court cases as in the end its taking the money away from the children.
    Good luck i really hope you can sort something out soon.


    • Oh my goodness. That’s terrible. He did exactly the same thing in reverse as my ex partner. Ours went on for a year and then he changed his mind because for him it was all or nothing. I think basically with these guys it’s selfishness and an inability to look outside of themselves and their own wants and needs and put the children’s well being (as in its heart wrenching and stressful for them to go through a court battle) and making the mum suffer by financially abusing them in this manner and in turn yes the children suffer and miss out.

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  • I would look into a budgeting company or a consolidation loan. You might pay extra in fees/interest but at least they’ll pay your mum out.


    • That is actually a good alternative. I’m going to try going through the department of human services as they have this seemingly grey area where “extenuating circumstances” are considered. I will probably get rejected but I will give that a go to try and access my super and then try your idea.

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  • I really appreciate everyone’s supportive comments. It helps me. Thank you ash blonde. Unfortunately it wasn’t a divorce, we had been separated and not married for five years. He just decided after that long to make up a whole heap of rubbish and try and prove that our son was better off with him because he and at the time his fiancĂ© were “academics” with loads of money. He got away with taking me through the system and forcing me to pay to retain my son. I really thank you for your lovely kind words. It was also comforting to read your comments about ADHD and your partner not believing there was an issue. I went through the same thing. It makes it doubly hard when a person is opposing you and you are trying to find ways to help your child. I think (and it’s wrong) that sometimes men think there is some sort of shame in being diagnosed with ADHD, when the only shame is their egos getting in the way. Thanks again.

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  • Not sure what to advise, as you haven’t given an indication of how much money you owe your parents. If there is absolutely no way that you can access your superannuation under “hardship clause”, and you can’t borrow money from the bank, then I’d see if your ex will help. If not, your parents will have to accept that you can’t get blood out of a stone, and you’ll pay them back a bit every pay. They assumedly knew your situation when they lent you the money, so you would hope that they will understand that you have no way to pay it back in one lump sum. Good luck!

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  • I would hope the father of your child could seriously help out, hopefully the family court can resolve it!


    • His father delighted in seeing me spend $20,000- $30,000 on legal fees and then changed his mind on purpose a week or so before the final hearing and sent the letter to my lawyer. It was signed a couple of days before the court date. He currently is taking advantage of his 3 month period that it can take for child support to collect money. He earns $100,000 and I’m sure he would do lecturing on the side. The household earns probably close to $200,000 between them. I’m just glad he ability to mentally abuse my son is reduced. He still does it to some extent over the phone and my son still gets anticipatory anxiety even now that he is only with his father and new wife every fortnight. We have been separated for 6 years and it had been 5 years last year when he decided he would try and take my son full time. There’s lots more I could say but I will end by saying I’m such an easy going and caring person ordinarily and can’t fathom how people could be so diabolical and cause a child so much stress. I owe my mother $10,000 and at the time I didn’t realise that I had until my child turned 8 to get my super out. I was just a couple of months away from his birthday and with all the stress and fear of losing my child to a couple of white collar criminals I hadn’t put in the application until after he turned 8 and halfway through the case. My grandma doesn’t expect to be paid back but I have borrowed a few thousand from her and would like to pay it back. I work full time and sometimes I wonder where the justice is for everyday regular people. I’m so sorry to say this bit this is why I’m disgusted that Australian lawyers are currently attempting to sue the government because they apparently didn’t abide by the law and provide asylum. I couldn’t even attain legal asylum in my own country from a tyrant and massive costs. Every place I tried to contact said I’m sorry you don’t fit the criteria. Hurts a lot that people can get away with a year of putting a boy with the kindest heart and ADHD and other things like allergies and asthma, eczema etc and his mother through such an ordeal. I was made to pay thousands to sit before a psychologist and undertake rigorous testing and such personal invasive questions so they can get an idea of your character. Thanks for listening to my rant. I’m just grateful for every day we have each other and food and electricity etc.



      • I’m so sorry for your extremely unpleasant divorce. I truly believe your ex isn’t worthy of been called a father because a father is supposed to be loving & caring. I hope someone kind comes along & you can find some happiness again but in the meantime you will hold your son’s love forever & he is definitely feeling the security you are providing.

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  • I’m really sorry, but so far as I know, there is no way of recovering your costs. Perhaps you could develop a payment plan with your Mum?

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