Adam's Story

"A post on Facebook said, “Jane is saying she’s going to kill her (our) children, then herself". Terrified, I called the police. They called back to say they’d found them but wouldn’t tell me where they were and that I could be an abuser. A week later I called back; I was concerned about my son’s welfare. I was told, “If you ring again, we’ll charge you with harassing the police”. She’s being represented by a women’s legal service; they’ve provided her with full funding for property settlement despite her income of nearly $100k and having kept everything. This isn’t about money. She wants to destroy me."

Adam is a dad in his 40's living in TAS. This is his story in his words. Alterations have been made solely to preserve confidentiality.

“I’d been through a marriage breakup before which was as healthy as breakups can possibly be. We fell out of love after nearly decades and three children.

We were amicable and put our children first.

While grieving, I met my second wife.

After a few months I moved in.

Later we got engaged, married and had one child.

After a while she resented my children from my first marriage and didn’t like me talking, or spending any time with them.

When my daughter (from my first marriage) asked me to attend her graduation, I was ecstatic but nervous.

I knew what the consequences were - weeks of silent treatment and neglect.

I spent an hour there and couldn’t enjoy it. When I returned home, all of my clothes were thrown across the deck, I was locked out.

We separated for a while.

This became a pattern.

Another time, my other daughter wanted to stay with me but my wife said, “No, she’s not coming to this house!”

I picked my daughter up from a party and dropped her to her mother’s.

Once home my wife said, “Did you go to your ex wife’s house?”

I said, “Yes, but only to drop my daughter back”.

Again, I was thrown out of my own home.

Whenever my children from my first marriage came up in conversation she said my priority should always be her, and our son.

She constantly found ways of punishing me, making me feel I was a poor husband.

I believed her.

Her 22-year-old son approached me for a driving lesson, I said I would but he should check with his mum first. She was so angry that I had said yes she left me at work, I had to sleep on the shop floor.

One Mother’s Day, I was meant to be volunteering at my church as I’d done for many years.

Before I left, she said, “If you go to church, don’t bother coming back”.

A lot of people were relying on me.

When I got back home she began to lock every door in the house until I was locked in one room.

My clothes were bagged and put on the highway for all to see. I was forced to go live with my parents at age 44.

I went to a lawyer and proposed I take the business along with a pile of debt. It was a good financial offer, even the lawyer said was over generous, but I wanted her to accept it and have some money for herself and our child.

She refused.

Soon after that she disappeared.

She kidnapped my boy.

The next five months were dreadful.

A post on Facebook from one of her friends said, “Jane is saying she’s going to kill her children, then herself”.

Terrified, I called the police, not knowing what else to do. I sent them the Facebook post.

They called back to say they’d found them but wouldn’t tell me where they were and that I could be an abuser.

A week later I called back and explained I was still concerned about my son’s welfare.

I was told, “If you ring again, we’ll charge you with harassing the police”. I was shocked at the constable’s response.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was absolutely beside myself with worry.

Then I met my current partner.

Months later and several thousand dollars I got the court to agree to a substituted service and served her mother to serve her.

Games.

We finally went to court.

More games were played where she would go to the wrong court (at the other end of the state) or get sick certificates.

All this time I was paying lawyer’s accommodation costs, staff to cover my work, court fees and still yet to see my son.

There was no ramification for her games.

On several occasions she used the protection room, pretending to be scared, manipulating the courts and lying. No evidence needed.

I got orders for access, eventually, but she just broke them.

Even with evidence, lawyers got her off “with reasonable doubt”.

Six fortnights in a row she claimed she was going to the right McDonalds for me to collect my son.

I tried to message and call her.

In court, judge said, “she’s not obligated to respond to your texts and calls”.

Total of 16 contraventions.

It feels impossible to do anything in court without a lawyer.

This cost me around $35,000 - and a lot of heartache.

I borrowed money from my parents and my current partner. When I first started dating my current partner I believed laws would protect me, and her.

Every time I feel life is starting to turn a corner, my ex strikes again.

My divorce came and went, but just before the deadline she declared she wanted a property settlement. I couldn’t believe it.

I got an old trailer full of rubbish that she demanded I take through my parents, nothing else of substantial worth.

She had the house with all marital assets, businesses… and my child.

She had everything - over $350,000 worth.

Now, she wants another $146,000 plus 60% of my Super.

She left me over four years ago - I should be free of her!

She’s being represented by a women’s legal service; they’ve provided her with full funding for property settlement despite her income of nearly 100k and having kept everything.

This isn’t about money.

She wants to destroy me.

Her having funding covered by a women’s only legal service makes it a terribly unfair playing field.

Multiple amended affidavits with some as long as 220 points.

I’ve spent over $90,000 on lawyers.

There was a trial earlier this year and her legal team had it postponed as they suspected I was hiding assets. No evidence. Just speculation.

My partner was brought in as third party to proceedings, twice.

We spent $13,000 to get her out the first time.

This also means that my partner’s properties and possessions (which she had prior to me) are injuncted during the process, which is nearly two years. Without evidence.

The lawyer charged me $15,000 for the trial even though it didn’t happen.

I found DIDS online; support is incredible and definitely helped me talk about my suicidal thoughts.

If I’d have gone sooner I wouldn’t have been so naive as to how corrupt the system is and all the tricks these women’s legal services use.

Now, I want to help other men going through tough breakups.”

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