Nick: “I haven’t seen my children 10 years.”

Nick is a dad in his 60’s in VIC.
“[We] married in 2005. I already had several properties and a business. She had one house.
[In] 2009, she moved with the children, without telling me. At first, I had regular contact. There were no allegations of abuse. I was unexpectedly issued a DV intervention order. I immediately applied to the Family Court, but before our first appearance, she withdrew the order. She asked we reconcile. I agreed.
One month later we separated. Then, she made another false allegation. The allegations over the years became increasingly sick. Not one has been investigated, substantiated or proved. On one occasion, it was alleged I was driving by her home. It did not happen. I was issued another [restraining] order.
I was put through the stress of dealing with [the] Child Support [Agency who] assumed I earned $200,000 because that’s what my ex told them. It was the GFC. I was broke, on the dole. I have applied for legal aid three times. All denied.
I [just] wanted an equal share of [equity], which was my super fund. The applications were ignored. Our properties were repossessed or given to my ex wife. After a lifetime of working I have nothing. I rent a room. For a time I [lived] in my car. My super [was given] to my ex wife. I will now be on a Centrelink Pension. I received nothing from the settlement.
I haven’t seen my children for ten years. For my children, I fear there will be long-term psychological issues.  The family law system is broken. I can’t see how what I’ve experienced [is] anything other than abuse.”
These lived experience stories are part of our www.dadsalive.org campaign; keeping dads alive and in their kids lives.
If you need support, reach out to us at www.dids.org.au or call our helpline 1300 853 437, Mon-Sat, 09.00-17.00 AEST.

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