When My Thoughts Wander Back to Those Times
It was a beautiful balmy evening just after sunset, and with the smell of frangipani wafting through the air, it felt like I was immersed in a warm fragrant bath with a sense of total relaxation. I stopped in by this quaint little service station with a restaurant on the way back home near Newcastle, to fill up and have a little break. Two groups of young teenagers came in. They were all well-behaved and I thought of my own little children. How it was when we used to go on trips together, when I would take them to magical lands that they have never seen before and tell them tales about where witches lived and fairies hid. The fun we had singing in the car, telling stories, pointing out things in the country-side, and playing guessing games (with the smallest of the children persistently insisting that they have not said the same word twice and me trying to convince them otherwise), and the other games that we played to keep them from being bored and becoming too rambunctious. There were times after a break when one or the other of the boys didn’t want to come back into the car, because he had spotted another tree that he wanted to climb up first.
All that ended for me and my children on a miserable day in April 2012, suddenly and without prior announcement other than an increasing sense of coldness and gloom that I had hoped would pass. It didn’t. It was the silence before the storm. When the storm broke, it was the end of life as we knew it. From then on, at around 5.30 in the afternoon, everything changed. It was the death of our family, and the beginning of what seemed to be Hell for all four of us. My three children had to grow up fatherless.
For 8 months I did not see or heard from them at all. Then, for a little while, I saw them now and then, no more than 3 days in total, for the next 2 years. My oldest son is angry at everyone in the family. He had been made the substitute father against his wishes. He is not even 9, but he has the maturity of a 14 year old. No doubt he can’t wait till he is old enough to get away from that responsibility. He is all confused in his mind. All the children had been told lies about how bad I am, but they know deep down that none of them are true. What sets my oldest child apart is that he is an analyser. He tries to make sense of things but he can’t. If I am so bad as her mother and grandmother tell him, how come this is not borne out by his own experiences when he was still with me?! My youngest child who just turned 6, copes with his situation by letting his imagination tell him that he is a superhero who is in charge of the world around him. He likes to spend as much time at his friend’s house as possible. My oldest daughter, 10, is always sad and cries often. She really misses me and is angry at the world and her mother. No doubt she will leave too as soon as she can. Their mother often left the children home alone to pursue her vendetta against me. None of the children again have the joys we used to have when we still were a family, that of everyone being in the same room at the same time, or traveling together. … It is not an easy life for them now. They all needed psychological help since the breakup of our family. They never needed this when we were still together. My children clearly suffered the most. Even though they don’t seem to feel the intense pain of the losses they experienced, or at least don’t show it, they do have a sense of nostalgia. It seems that it is very difficult for them to vocalize their feelings about this, and I don’t press. They have the vocabulary but don’t know what terms to use to express the sense of loss of something they no longer have, a father while they grow into adults. … The second group of kids that had come in had gone again too. I didn’t even notice. There weren’t any leaders with either group. They had been on their own. They had been so quiet that I didn’t notice when they left. Could it be that they didn’t laugh like kids that age used to laugh? How many of them were without a father at home? How many of them were growing into adults without having a father to turn to for help and advice? Had they been so quiet and not boisterous at all because they all were grown up already, prematurely, with never experiencing what it is to be a child who grows into adulthood under the guidance and in the company of his father?
Hello to All. I am Jack*, an Australian trained dentist (born in Hungary in the 1960’s and residing in Australia since the 1970’s). I am now divorced from my wife of 17 years, and I have three beautiful children whom I have not heard a word from, let alone see, for nearly 5 years, because of my wonderful loving and caring wife and her family! I am also a dual citizen of Australia and Hungary, domiciled in Australia for nearly 40 years and an Australian tax payer for some 35 years. (*Names have been changed because section 121 of the Family Law Act empowers the courts to sentence anyone publishing any account of any proceedings, that identifies: (a) a party to the proceedings; (b) a person who is related to, or associated with, a party to the proceedings or is, or is alleged to be, in any other way concerned in the matter to which the proceedings relate; or (c) a witness in the proceeding, to up to 12 months imprisonment. How else could they hide their dirty work?! And this is in addition to them having judicial immunity where you can’t even sue these brave man of “justice”!).
Let my experiences in the Australian family court system be an example to the worldwide public on how fathers and their children are treated by the Australian justice system in our present time! You may well have very similar stories to tell about your experiences, no matter what country you are in. I want this website to be a forum for such experiences. Please tell us your story and let the court of public opinion be our judge! After all the system has let us down and failed to protect our and our children’s rights! As victims, when all has been taken from us, too many of us resort to some form of redress in desperation. In the worst case scenarios, the result is suicide or murder. Neither is the answer. We must fight the system through the court of public opinion. This is what this website is dedicated to. Please feel free to air your grievances. And who knows? We may just be able to bring about changes to a system that treats fathers worse than criminals and children as disposables. God help us in this!
My family law matter involving parenting and property was in final hearing before Justice XY* of the Family Court of Australia in Sydney, in the final quarter of 2013.
My wife Jill* (born , Sydney, Australia) was represented by Ms XX* and barrister Mr XY*. Our children were represented by an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) solicitor called Ms XX* and a Ms XXX*, a barrister who appeared as the advocate for the ICL. The expert witness (who was chosen by the wife’s solicitor) was the court appointed psychiatrist Dr XY*.
I was represented by solicitor Mr XY*.
The Final Judgment
Just prior to Christmas, 2013, Justice XY* of the Australian Family Court in Sydney, Australia delivered his final judgement. In this judgement, he ordered that my three children (AXX* 10, BXY* 8 and CXY 6), be prevented from leaving Australia, by being placed on the Australian Airport watchlist and also for the Hungarian Embassy in Canberra to be notified to not issue new passports to the children.This judgement was made despite my lawyer arguing that the children are citizens of both Australia and Hungary, that they hold valid Australian and Hungarian passports and that they cannot and should not be deprived of their right to visit and have contact with their Hungarian relatives as well as their Hungarian heritage and culture. It was further pointed out to Justice XY* that both Hungary and Australia are signatories to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, and were such child abduction to take place (hypothetically speaking, of course), the Hungarian Authorities would be obliged to extradite both the children and their father to the Australian authorities on request by these authorities. Justice XY* chose to disregard these arguments and issued a contrary judgment which is in clear violation of my children’s basic human rights – see for example:-
United Nations Charter on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13 (2) “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”;
Article 15 (2) “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality, nor denied the right to change his nationality”.
Also see: – The Convention on the Rights of the Child by U.N. General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November, 1989, Article 8 (1): “States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference”.
Article 8 (2): “Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity”.
Hence, Justice XY* is in clear contravention and breach of accepted international laws and standards by denying the basic human rights of my children who are dual nationals of both Hungary and Australia and who hold Hungarian passports to travel to Hungary, in order to experience their Hungarian culture and heritage, as well as to have direct contact with their family relations over there to which they are rightfully entitled to.
In addition, at the same time that Justice XY* ordered to have the Hungarian Embassy in Canberra be notified to not issue new passports to my children, he failed to compel my wife who had stolen the children’s Hungarian (as well as Australian) passports, to return these to the Hungarian Embassy or Consulate, despite these being the rightful property of the issuing Hungarian authorities.
Unfortunately, my complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on 26 January, 2014 did not achieve any results. The response I received on 31 January, 2014 from Penny De Paoli, a Complaint Information Officer of the National Information Service of the AHRC stated the following: “The decisions of judges are afforded judicial immunity when considering matters before a court, which means that they are protected from suits against them including claims of discrimination or human rights breaches. I appreciate the importance of this matter. However from your information, it appears the Commission’s Investigation and Conciliation Service may be unable to assist you.”
Justice XY* of the Family Court of Australia, Sydney, clearly relishes his role in the Family Court which grants him immunity from being accountable and follow what most decent human beings would view as basic God given rights for one’s children to have contact with their ancestral heritage, culture and family relations. And, please let us not forget that my children, no matter what the dispute maybe between their parents, are completely innocent and faultless in all these dealings, yet are being punished by such a blatant denial of their rights.
The Circus of Family Court – Extreme Gender Bias, Humiliation and Victimisation (If You Are a Male) by an Autocratic Judge
But, for Justice XY* this was just the beginning. His whole conduct towards me during the court hearing and in his final judgement was characterised by extreme bias, humiliation and vindictiveness with a fair dose of apathy thrown in.
All instances of the wife’s negative characterisation of my personality and character were freely tolerated and accepted as fact, while even the slightest hint of negativism coming from me about my wife’s and/or her family’s character (even supported by documentation in many cases), was condemned and rejected outright. This attitude, unfortunately, was shared by all those present in this circus, encouraged first and foremost by the expert witness Dr XY* on whose testimony the judge relied upon, but even the ICL representative Ms XXX* who was supposed to remain impartial, sided with the opposition to discredit me as a dad, a husband and as a human being. My wife could do no wrong and I could do no right. It did not matter to the Court, or Dr XY*, or the ICL that it was because of my wife’s assassination of my character in the first place, avidly supported in this strategy by her lawyer Ms XX*, that forced me into a degrading and unnatural one hour a fortnight supervised contact visits with the children at a Centre, after having been denied all forms of contact with them for some 8 months. It did not matter to these wise individuals of the court that my wife had emptied our joint bank accounts on separation, or that she stole our cash and my cheque book, or that on pretence to collect her own belongings from our home, stole most of my personal documents to use in my character assassination, as well as many of my personal possession. It also did not matter to the Court, or Dr. XY*, or the ICL that when my children saw me on rare occasions, they told me that “Mum says you are evil”, or that “Mum says you are a witch”, or that “Mum hates you”. It did not matter to the court that a week after our separation, when I went to the wife’s parent’s home where she was staying with our children, in order to see the children and give them some presents, I knocked on the front door and heard my middle son exclaim excitedly “its Daddy”, followed by “sshhhhh” from the adults inside who never opened the door. And it did not matter to the court, when this same son who was so excited in wanting to see me a week following the separation, was so alienated from me some 10 months later that he would not come to the one hour a fortnight supervised contact visits anymore and that he would spit on me from the top of a climbing pyramid and call me a criminal. It also did not matter to the court that my wife’s mother who was a pastor in a church, had been sacked from her church for contravening it’s constitution that she had agreed to abide by (see copy of letter below) and then subsequently went ahead and set up another sect at the school that my children now attended. It did not matter to the court that my wife fraudulently tried to join the church that her mother was just sacked from, using my family name as a smokescreen in the hope of not being recognised (she was, of course), in order to get in to the church as a voting member with the aim to hijack the constitution on her mother’s behalf (see copy of same letter).
It did not matter to the court that the court appointed expert witness Dr XY, described in his report this same mother-in-law as being “overtly and globally negative about the father”, that is me, and the influence that this has on the father’s relationship with his children. It did not matter to the court that the grandparents where my children were now staying, were living as antisocial recluses with a history of complete lack of understanding, compassion and forgiveness towards the closest of family members and the few friends that they had in their lives, with a resultant psychology and history to cut these people off at the slightests perceived transgressions from their own warped ideals. It did not matter to the court that my wife did exactly the same thing to me (which her brother also did to his wife – talk about a family pattern here!) and was now, in conjunction with her own parents, subjecting our children to the same dangerous antisocial life philosophy (After all, it was not me who was capable of removing the children from their father, from their home, from their school from their teachers and friends, as well as their hometown and engage in a vicious and unrelenting character assassination and parental alienation of our children’s father, that is me, for some two years now). It did not matter to the court that my wife had basically projected nearly everything by accusing me of things that she herself had done and was guilty of, and in some cases even worse (such as calmly and carelessly posing in front of a bullet riddled window in a Santa Fe café during a family trip to the US (see photographs below). And it did not matter to the court one bit that my children were now in a serious state of psychological trauma after their mother took them away, without any obvious concern as to their psychological well-being, from their father, their home, their school, their friends and even their town, and were now strongly in need of psychological counselling, which they never needed previously, while the family was still together!
Total Annihilation of the Fruits of My Life’s Work by the Stroke of an Evil Judge’s Pen
As if it was not enough to see my children being alienated from me and my character destroyed by my wife’s own projections, or by her petty accusations blown out of all proportions or quoted out of context, I had to endure Justice XY*’s final judgement with respect to property, sentencing me, as if I was a career criminal, to near total confiscation of our cash assets remaining from the forced sale of our home and after over $300,000 was spent on legal fees. As the end result, my wife received 95% ($327,320), and I ended up with 5% ($20, 946). It was never entered into consideration by the judge that most of the assets that we had with my wife were acquired through my own labours.
Like so many other migrants from behind the Iron Curtain, when I came to Australia as a 16 year old some 40 years ago, I came with a half empty suitcase. My sole accompaniment was my mother, who left behind my father, whom my mother divorced when I was 12, but whom I deeply loved. But of course, I also left behind my home, my culture and my friends and relatives, all of which are too high a price to pay under any circumstances, and which a 16 year old mind cannot really comprehend when it comes to long term outcomes. It was a pity that my mother who could and should have had the wisdom to judge such things, failed to do so and took me to the other side of the world, away from everything that I knew and loved up to that point, in order to blindly embark on a new life with totally unknown prospects. Soon after our arrival, my mother got cancer and she was in hospital for some 6 months, recovering from her botched operations. Afterwards, when she finally recovered, she met a man whom she married, and they moved away some 2,000km from me interstate to start a new life there, leaving me as a 17 year old to fend for myself. I did my hardest to make something of my life, first going to night-school to finish my high school education and working during daytime just to survive. High-school was followed by university where I spent seven long years to finish two degrees and I eventually became a dentist. By the time I met and married my wife in 1994, I already had a dental practice, a car and a townhouse which I had just purchased. My wife, at the time, had not that long ago just finished her university diploma to become a primary school teacher. She came to our marriage with a cheap car and a debt of some $10,000 in university fees which I ended up paying out for her. Following our wedding, my wife quit her teaching not long after, firstly because she had problems finding regular work in the area where I made home, and secondly, because she did not feel the need to work as I could support both of us. Later on, between 1996-1998, she decided to come and do some work at my surgery on a casual basis, I think this was out of boredom at home, but she quit this also, saying that this was not her vocation and she did not like being involved in dentistry. Following the initial 2-3 years of casual part time work, Jill* was not in paid employment at any time during our marriage, even though we didn’t even have our first child till 2003, some 9 years into our marriage.
It therefore came as the final blow, after what was already an extremely hard life on my own as a young man, which also included such treasured experiences as being badly beaten up by two Australian skin heads at a Melbourne railway station (ending up in hospital with a broken jaw and ribs) shortly after my arrival here, just because I didn’t speak English well enough, that Justice XY* would order 35 years of my hard labours to be taken away as well and for me to be made a destitute. The question that I must ask is, what crime did I commit to be given such a punishment?! I was never accused and convicted of any crime to be given such a harsh sentence. But as if it was not enough, Justice XY* further ordered that I am to pay my wife $250 per week maintenance as well, just because she announced in court that she no longer wants to be a primary school teacher but wants to become a psychologist. It did not matter to the court when I pointed out that she even let her teacher’s registration lapse because she found it a lot easier and comfortable to be supported by me than to go out and earn a living in her chosen profession, so how could the court expect her to complete a psychology degree that would take 6 years of study by her own admission! And if that was still not enough, her legal team even wants me to pay my wife’s legal costs to the tune of $45,000, plus $5,000 to the ICL who not only did nothing to encourage and foster a relationship between the children and I, but actually hindered it. From what am I to pay, I ask? I am already in debt up to my neck thanks to two years of ongoing litigation through the Family Court, I find it extremely hard to work from the stress of the last two years and by being told that I am not fit as a father, as a husband and as a human being. Oh, but to make money and to pay everyone as a thank you for destroying me and my relationship with my children, I am perfectly alright for that! Whilst I am left to pick up the pieces after having lost everything, including children, property (bar my car, $10,000 worth of furniture, $7,500 worth of what they called “collections” comprising mostly rocks I picked up myself from the ground, DVD’s and books, and $20, 946 in cash, this being 5% of our total cash assets, minus $45,000 claimed by the other side from me in legal fees, minus $5,000 claimed also from me by the ICL), as well as seeing a total annihilation of my character and self esteem, my wife can sit back and enjoy free accommodation on her parent’s 5 acre property, free money from the government, free money from me (95% of our total cash assets, totalling $327,320), payment of her legal fees by me, payment of $250.00 per week in spousal maintenance by me, as well as payment of the assessed weekly child support by me, while being surrounded by our children, and her parents and other relatives.
In addition, she will one day inherit her parent’s 5 acre property, all the while I am left to fend for myself and barely surviving as a destitute in rented accommodation, with no prospects of any inheritance whatsoever, as a result of having no living relatives in Australia other than my three small children.
And to think, that I came to this country 40 years ago from the desolation of the cold war as a poor political refugee from communist Hungary and toiled day and night as hard as I could, for this?!!!
It is even more ironic that our children, who have been subjected to every attempt possible to alienate them from me by my wife and her relatives and legal supports, left the last contact visit with tears in their eyes and with the words “Dad I don’t want to leave you”, all the while not wanting to let go of our mutual embrace. Even more ironic was the comment directed to me by the supervisor at the visit that “this was a case when it was the wrong person who was needing supervision”.
The question that inevitably arises then is that just what is it that would compel my wife and her family to embark on such relentless character assassination and parental alienation, without the slightest hint of compassion, forgiveness and empathy. This is a valid question and I will embark on its explanation in a later posting as I have a lot to say about this.
The Circus That is the Family Court With the Judge as Ringleader
But back to Justice XY* and his work with me and my family at the Family Court of Australia in Sydney. I won’t say much about the conduct of his court other than to say that the best fitting description for it was as a circus. A circus where I was tormented, humiliated and abused, to the amusement of His Honour and the wider audience. I had my name constantly deliberately mispronounced. I had abuse such as name calling by the opposition’s barrister tolerated. I had a group of inquisitive strangers being allowed into the court room during my testimony but not during my wife’s, despite protestations from my lawyer that this was unfair and that I was in the public eye as a dentist and that my intimate private details of my life should not be so broadcast. I had the court appointed expert, the psychiatrist Dr XY* (who, we must not forget, had been chosen by my wife’s solicitor) describe me in various derogatory terms, including my hobbies, life interests and work projects, all under the immunity afforded to them by the Court system. Of course, Dr XY*, like the judge and any of the other lawyers, also cannot be made accountable for his critical testimony which was being used as a basis on which to make legally permanent the severance of the bond between a father and his children, despite his evaluation of me consisting of a 10 minute interview with me at the end of his day, after making me wait from 11am till 5pm in his waiting room, and rehashing what my wife told him in, with his line of questioning being: “Is this true what your wife says?” To which my reply being: “No it’s not, let me explain”. To which his reply being: “We haven’t got time for that now”. And with that, concluding his interview with me and subsequently producing his report for the court. His interview with my wife being of a considerably more normal length of one hour in duration, and of a similar length with the children.
These were however not the only instances of victimisation I was subjected to by Justice XY* during the hearing of my family matter. At a hearing prior to the final one, in relation to what was extensive evidence of conflict of interest and prejudice presented to Justice XY* when a former solicitor of mine working on my family matter was accepted for employment by my wife’s lawyer (the same Ms XX*) while our family matter was ongoing, Justice XY* chose to dismiss my case on the basis that I could not show that my former lawyer had passed on information (behind closed doors, mind you), regarding my case, to the other side’s lawyer (that is Ms XX*), ultimately costing me $7,500 in legal fees to the other side, in addition to those of my own, as well as the time wasted and the disappointment. This already gave me an indication about Justice XY*’s character, and when I protested to my lawyer that I did not want this judge, under any circumstances, to judge my family matter, I was told that there was nothing that I could do about it!
So, here we are. A somewhat lengthy introduction to my experiences with the Australian Family Court System. This had to be told. Same as your experiences have to be told. We cannot have fathers and their children be destroyed by this uncaring and corrupt system. They care only about one thing. To get as much money out of us as possible. Justice XY* ordered to have the money released immediately to my wife (and graciously the leftover to me as well) once his final judgement had been handed down. They did not even wait for the deadline for any appeals to lapse! The money was in my wife’s hands in a matter of days. Thirty five years of my own hard labour – 95% of it. Yet when it comes to the relationship between me and my children, I am still waiting for any contact with them, nearly 3 months after the final judgment. This is justice today in the Australian Family Court system for fathers and their children!