Holly's Story

“He moved out and supported her, paying $2500 p/m plus rent, bills and school fees. She claimed Centrelink benefits as she didn’t declare the child support. He slept on the floor with just a pillow. He agreed to support her until she could find work. After 2 years she has still not looked for work.They had a parenting plan so he saw the children. It emerged that the biological father of my partners step daughter had left because she made false allegations against him. He too had been paying child support. She was furious when this came out. My partner has since seen his own child only a few times under supervision. The property was split. His ex wife took all the assets, my partner all the debt. He wanted a clean slate. His ex-wife still refuses to make a settlement. We’ve now spent $100,000 fighting this.

Then a VRO was served on my partner an hour before contact with the children. I also received a VRO with allegations of violence against his ex-wife. We’d never met! Contact with the children ceased. My partner is a medical professional and cannot have a VRO. I work in the legal profession; it had an enormous effect on me. She's refused to drop the false allegations. In the meantime, she was stalking him, calling him. I used all of my life savings to defend myself against the VRO. In the end I accepted it as I’d run out of money. This ruined me. I broke down. I’m depressed, my confidence gone. I don’t leave the house. I’m afraid of false allegations. My partner is broken. Many times I’ve had to pick him off the floor. There is no support. It’s too easy for DV protection orders to be issued with no consequence for perjury. It’s disgraceful that malicious allegations can be made so easily with NO proof. I think an ex-partner should be made to pay costs once allegations are proven false."

Holly is in her 30's and lives in WA. She is new partner to a dad dealing with an abusive ex wife.

This is her story in her words. Alterations have been made solely to preserve confidentiality.

“My partner and his ex-wife emigrated to Australia in 2010.

They came with no money and no assets.

There are 2 children; one is his biological child and the other was the child from her previous marriage.

He took on the role as a father figure to the child who wasn’t biologically his; he was told that her father abandoned her from a young age (this turned out to be untrue).

He privately schooled this child, went over and beyond and treated the child like his own.

The relationship between him and his ex-wife had deteriorated after the birth of their child but they were already in the process of moving to Australia and thought they could work on it in a new environment.

They separated in 2015. He moved out of the matrimonial home.

He financially supported his ex-wife and children by paying an agreed amount per month ($2500) plus rent, mobile phones, internet, clothing, school fees etc.

Plus the ex-wife received maximum Centrelink benefits, as she didn’t declare the child support – this is when trouble started.

He slept on the floor of a rented apartment with just a pillow and a fridge. His ex-wife formed a relationship with a man and moved with the children.

There was a written agreement between him and ex-wife until she could “get on her feet” and find work, that he would continue to support her and their family.

His ex-wife has not worked since the age of around 20.

She still continues not to work and says she’s studying…

The split was amicable.

After 2 years of supporting his ex-wife, he questioned why she hadn’t been looking for work… this made her angry.

I’ve been in a relationship with him now for 3 years.

They had a written parenting plan between themselves.

He saw the children at least 2 nights during the week and every 2nd weekend, they would stay with him. But it was usually whenever suited both parties.

This continued for a good year into our relationship as they all knew about me and there were no problems.

I’ve never met the ex but she was fine with the arrangements.

She also had been in a new relationship.

My children got along well with his.

Things worsened when the child who wasn’t biologically his asked my partner to assist in locating her biological father.

The child begged my partner not to tell her mother about this.

The truth then all came out.

The biological father had left because she kept making false allegations and alienated the child from him.

He informed my partner that he had also been paying child support for all those years.

The ex-wife was furious when this came out and things turned ugly; the CSA got involved.

In the meantime my partner wasn’t seeing the children.

He’s seen his own biological child a handful of times this year under supervised contact orders, at his expense.

At the supervised visits, the child is now rude and doesn’t even look at him in the face.

I’m constantly blamed for the demise of his relationship between the child who is not biologically his.

I had nothing to do with any of it but it’s constantly brought up in family court statements that I’m a problem…

My partner engaged a lawyer and filed for divorce. The property had already been split – his ex wife took all assets and my partner took all the debts.

He just wanted a clean slate.

His ex-wife still refuses to make any form of settlement.

We’ve spent around $100,000 now and we’re still at square one.

Then a VRO [DV intervention order] was served on my partner one evening, an hour before contact with the children.

I’ve also received a VRO with outrageous allegations of violence against his ex-wife and the children.

We’d never even met!

Contact with the children ceased immediately.

My partner is a medical professional and cannot have any form of DV order placed on him. You can imagine how stressful that’s been.

I work in the legal profession and this has also had enormous effect on me.

She has refused to drop the false allegations.

In the meantime, she was stalking him and making calls to his workplace.

I used all of my life savings and I had to sell my car.

In the end I accepted the VRO with no admission as I’d run out of money to defend myself.

This ruined me as a person.

I’ve never had issues with anyone before this.

I broke down in court and haven’t been the same since.

I’m depressed, my confidence has gone and I don’t leave the house.

I’m afraid of being accused of more false allegations.

My partner is a broken man. He sees a psychologist and is on anti-depressants.

He continues to work and I’ve supported him as much as I can.

There have been many times where I’ve had to pick him off the floor because a children’s show was on TV that his child loved.

He has to put on a happy face at work - then breaks down at home.

It’s horrible to watch.

I am also run into the ground.

There are NO support groups that I can find to support my new partner.

I do speak to my girlfriends about it but at the end of the day, they don’t understand what I’m going through.

It’s too easy for domestic violence orders to be issued with absolutely no consequences for perjury.

It’s a waste of resources and time, not to mention emotionally and financially damaging.

It’s disgraceful that malicious, false and damaging allegations can be made so easily by ex-partners with NO proof.

I think withholding children from their father because the ex-wife is pissed off at life and not happy with her child support payments is also disgusting.

My partner works 80 hours a week just to keep his head above water.

I think a lot of women withhold children from the father in order to receive maximum benefits.

The Family Court costs are over the top and ridiculous.

I think ex partners should be made to pay costs for both sides once allegations are proven false.”

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