Chapter One: The Aussie Blokes Guide to Divorce

I’ve written this web site to explain to blokes who have recently separated a bit about the system that they are about to enter. I’ve just been through The Family Court. The Family Court and a lot of the government services around it are grossly inefficient systems that are madly biased towards the female partner. If you have an AVO or worse a criminal charge for stalk/intimidate you’ll find that the bias is overwhelming. It can seem grossly unfair but a simple AVO (and you can get one for swearing at your ex partner over the phone) can be used as a highly effective tool to stop you being a part of your children’s lives. Forever. If your ex has a nasty streak/borderline personality disorder the AVO may only be the start of a campaign that she launches against you but it’s a bloody good start. An angry woman who is a capable liar can cause a lot of damage to a well-intentioned father, and she will have the blind backing of a lot of government funded services.

The Family Court and a lot of the government backed services involved in family separation deal with a high rate of domestic violence, most of it genuine. However, in my experience these services, practically speaking, facilitate opportunistic partners making false complaints. I never once came across any service that had checks and balances to see if the complainant was genuine. There’s most certainly no punishment given to those complainants found to be lying. In my case a child protection service called Jannawi actively tried to place a false memory in my daughters minds by asking the if I had “touched them inappropriately”. At the time they were 5 & 6 years old. Nothing came of that. FACS became involved, they investigated, found that nothing had happened between me and my children. FACS did NOT investigate my claims against Jannawi. This had no impact on my ex partner’s claim that I had also been a perpetrator of DV. The suggestion that I had diddled my own daughters was dismissed but the suggestion that I had been a perpetrator of DV remained intact despite that FACS had established that my ex was a liar.

If you build a system that with no safeguards to prevent false complaints of DV or sexual misconduct with your own children some people are going to take advantage of that system to better their position in a divorce settlement.

If there are no punitive measures for those who are caught lying about DV or sexually inappropriate behaviour then even more people will take advantage of that opportunity. Those making the complaints have, in my experience, nothing to lose. When you’re selling the family home there’s nothing like withholding access to a man’s children to help you negotiate a bigger piece of the pie.

How to use this Website

I’ve written this in my common vernacular. Typically I don’t swear when I write but I swear when I talk. I’ve used the swear words here to point out just how inoffensive the SMSs that led to my one and only criminal charge would have been to Lea, my ex. I’ve tried to keep it short and a bit funny. The website is broken up into various parts. There’s 18 chapters. I wanted to write a web page that you could read after drinking two bottles of wine and having half a bar of Xanax because that’s how I lived through the first 9 months of lonely evenings after my separation.  Unquestionably the worst part of divorce is the unrelenting sense of loneliness.

Each chapter has a summary in point form that is most likely all that you have to read. It was in bullet form but my editor saw to that. Who the fuck knew that having long worded bullets was a thing, a very bad bad thing. Most of you will probably trust me but if you’re bored, incarcerated of you just have to see the GIPA (Freedom Of Information for those who grew up before man buns were a thing) documents proving that FACS did indeed grill me for 20 minutes about a conversation I had with my wife 9 years earlier by all means go ahead and read everything. In keeping with my policy of making a website so simple it makes Dr Suess look like War and Peace I have included a line in bold in each chapter which represents when the information is about to get very detailed. When you come across a sentence in bold that says “read on if you’re bored” or something like that it’s about to get very “wordy”. If you’re time poor you can simply go to the next chapter That should make the site possible to navigate for any reader with any amount of Xanax in their bloodstream.

To protect my children-and from fear of litigation and further charges I’ve changed the names and redacted (fancy word for rubbed out) any material that will point at me or my family. I’m sick of courtrooms and my kids have suffered enough.

Pernicious lies VS Mental Health

When a long term relationship breaks up people tend to “lose their shit”. Their grip on reality may become tenuous for a while. Some people become introverted and, trying to reduce the acrimony that comes with divorce, seek to appease those around them. They become complicit and agreeable-even if they wouldn’t normally be that way. Some people go in the other direction. Without the emotional base that they’ve had for a decade, they are adrift. You might find that your partner feels scared, protective of her children and goes into a sort of “hyper protective” mode. They may enter a heightened emotional state and start believing that they and their children are in danger. This condition is more prevalent with people who have suffered relational trauma in the past. Poor relationships with their parents and family members or carers can cause a trauma which manifests in times of emotional uncertainty. You may find yourself with an ex partner that actually believes that she is a victim of DV and that your children are in danger of your sexual activity or violence. There may be no proof of that behaviour but if your partner believes her own story then a lot of government agencies will also be easily convinced.

I’ve spoken to over a dozen counselors about this and they all tell me that they can usually tell when someone is lying. The lack of physical evidence, the money from the sale of the family home about to be divided up are some of the tell tale signs. Anyone with half a brain can usually see  the cracks in such a person’s story, if they bother to look. Again, in my experience, no one does.

Furthermore, no proof doesn’t mean that someone is lying about being a victim. It may be that their grub of a partner has done this so often he doesn’t leave clues.  

We do have a problem with DV in our society, from both genders. It’s terrible for your kids if they’re taken from you by a woman who lied to the police and the courts but I’d say it’s worse having your head smashed in with a hammer by an angry ex lover.

Don’t let her take out an AVO on you.

If you understand what I’ve written so far and you’re prepared to walk away (literally) from any argument you’re having with your ex that’s getting heated then good and well. It would be even better if you can arrange it so all your communication is in writing (SMS or email) and you never actually see her face-to-face whilst you sort out the divorce. If you can’t manage that you may want to read my story to reinforce why I tell people…

Never send your ex a message/email that you wouldn’t want a very conservative judge to read. That’s enough to get you an AVO.

Whenever I’ve told a lawyer that I’m writing this web site they look at me and say “Why bother?” I think few people (with the exception of the lawyers) understand how easy an AVO is to get and how much damage an AVO can do. They’re even less likely to understand that using the words “cunt” and “cock” in a few SMSs can get you convicted of Stalk/Intimidate, a charge that makes you sound like a sex offender. That’s exactly what happened to me. There’s a lot of lawyers making money out of representing people like me, people who had no idea that they were breaking the law. Personally I don’t think lawyers like educating the public on these matters. There’s too much money to be made, by the lawyers.

Find a way to express your anger that doesn’t involve your ex. You may need to be very pro-active about this. Get support. If you don’t do it now, you could wind up with an AVO.

As I write this I’m a few months away from our last court battle. The house has been sold, the money distributed, the custody agreed upon. The children have settled down a bit. I’ve even been to dinner three times with my ex, Lea and the kids. My last court battle, worth just under $10,000 to me is about having a say in the health care of my three children. I want to have 50 per cent share. Lea is the Primary Carer, she wants 100 percent. Recently for reasons known only to herself (if that) she recently took our son off Prozac cold turkey. He was on a full dose (10mg for a 9 year old boy) and he went from that to zero when in his mother’s care. That’s not a healthy thing to do. The ramifications of not winding down your dose of Prozac after prolonged use can be bad (Google it). You can see how having a say in my son’s health is important.

My ex, Lea, makes long range decisions about our children’s health that are just as bad as the Prozac decision.

Despite it being critical that I have a say in my children’s healthcare my lawyer and my barrister have both advised me that I will probably lose the day when I next go to court. The one day was going to cost me $10,000. You don’t get a lot for $10,000 in the Family Court. The only reason for my impending loss is that I have had an AVO taken out on me by my ex. The angriest thing I did to get that AVO was swear at her in one series of SMSs when drunk, once. I really mean it when I say get help. You are not on an even playing field and your children are at stake. That was 2015, it’s now 2018 and the AVO has expired. I’ve never laid a hand on Lea, or any other woman. Until this incident I had no criminal record at all. It is very possible that my ex wife Lea is going to be able to legally torture my children for another 8 or more years because I swore at her in an SMS due to frustration that I encountered shortly after she slept with our son’s soccer coach….I’m not exaggerating.

If your ex rings the Police and tells them that she’s scared of you then she can take out an AVO on you. If she gets an AVO it can stop you seeing your children 50 per cent of the time. You might wind up like me. With just 34 per cent custody largely because you sent 4 angry SMSs.

Control your anger = see your children.