Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Dads behaviour

Community Member

My ex is now demanding to be involved in our sons daycare which took me forever to organise had he is not paying nor helping at all.
We separated before birth and his father was on an IVO due to stalking abuse and serious harassment.
Our differences are irreconcilable. 
He's spent the last year deliberately undermining the parenting order and abusing me for his own choices denying it and blaming me for EVERYTHING. He picks fights in front of our son and belittles me with vulgar language.
He has repeatedly tried to set traps to financially destabilise me the most recent was quitting his job so he doesn't have to pay child support.
He makes agreements outside of the plan and doesn't tell me, always starts fights over asking for extra time drops DS off early picks him up late with no warning, books appointments and doesnt show or to get out of commitment time and never offer's make up days. He spends himself broke on $300 glasses, headphones ect this man is 54 years old, and cant pay $30 a month in child support. He snoops my house and bins so I cant have him inside have to fight to keep him out of my house.
I pay for EVERYTHING and put in all the work. 
He refuses to contribute to anything even christmas.
Worked so hard just to get DS into daycare so i can find work as I have been suffocated for nearly 3 years and kept deliberately financially restrained by his father.
If he has a problem he doesn't tell me, he just cuts off the payments because he's angry and he cant be trusted at all and sends verbal abuse.
He refused to properly commit to our parenting agreement and for 10 months he has belittled me, undermined me seriously and tried to use our son as a pick up tool.
DS is always starving, Feverish, smelly with dihorrea and aggressive when he returns from his dads sometimes for days often with injury.
His dad never helps and often taunts that he "should be the Mum" even though i don't put a foot wrong. Its so offensive. He has two other kids in their 20's who are in trouble.
Now dad is demanding to have involvement in daycare but daycare is also part of my parenting group and other things that i want to remain private.
I need that support.
If he attends he will defiantly try to undermine me and it will be uncomfortable as well as overstepping. 

9 Replies 9

Community Member

Hi snailpace,


Welcome to the forums and thank you for your post. I'm so sorry to hear about this very tight/difficult situation you are in with your ex. It sounds nightmarish. 


Unfortunately I don't know much about shared custody or parenting as I have experienced neither. However if you find your ex is breaching his IVO and that your son is returning from his custody with injury it may be best to have a chat with him/his caseworker. I understand this would be incredibly difficult however. 


Other than this I can't unfortunately provide much support/advice other than to let you know that we're here to listen. You sound like an incredibly selfless and caring mother. I hope you are taking care of yourself. 


Please keep us updated on how you are going and I hope things improve soon.



Community Member

Hi thank you for your reply. I will update, its going to get really chaotic and i need any supporti  can get.
Limited words make it hard to write details, as well as stress related to coping with constant conflict, my sons father likes to keep it up. 
Where we are at now?
His father txt me a tonne of abuse again today after i messaged him to let him know about our sons educational start times days and arrangements about orientation, he sent me floods of unrelenting gaslighting abuse and accusations. I dont do this in return at all and rarely slip.

I have already taken steps to mediate a second time.
The first time we made an agreement that was not legal but word binding with the mediator. I gave it a change parent to parent byt since 12 months has passed and he has barely shown up %40 of the time and i often cop swaths of abuse via email or txt from him blaming me for why he's not coming and deliberately undermines our agreements.
Our son has constant injuries after returning from overnights, i have pictures and documentation. Its because his father refuses to child proof or purchase him anything.
He also makes arrangements and doesnt show up then blows up my phone with abuse if I ask if he's coming as arranged.
Then he starts love bombing me then when i refuse to engage he abuses and neglects his son.
It goes on and on.
He blackmailed me to start mediation again and now is refusing to go.
I need to get the case to court so that he cant do this anymore its physically and mentally draining but after all the abuse I have learned to ignore that aspect.
He also gives me sabotaging advice such as advising me to abuse our son. 
I have all the evidence i need of this abuse, constant belittling and refusing to assist name calling blaming and false arrangements. He entraps me in places and screams in my face, often unexpectedly about how i am a b and f'd in the head in front of our son.
I am about to take this to court and he is vindictively acting out again and will likely avoid visitation, he does this every 3 weeks.
I have done everything i can to support him as a father and can't do it anymore. 
I need advice from anyone dealing with narcissistic coparents especially.

Dear snailpace,
Thank you for continuing to trust our forum community with your concerns and for having the courage to seek support. Please know that no one deserves to feel abused or manipulated, no matter what your ex-partners says, it is not your fault. This is a safe space where you can discuss your concerns freely without fear or judgement.
We are concerned for the safety of you and your son and hope that you would contact the police on 000 if you felt at risk or in danger. You have mentioned that your son often comes back injured and displaying signs that his health has been neglected whilst in the care of your ex.
Have you contacted your local police station to report these concerns, providing the stated pictures and documentation? We encourage you to engage with local police to report your concerns about your son and the ongoing verbal abuse you have had to endure.
These experiences and ongoing worry must feel overwhelming, your mental wellbeing is important, and we believe professional support can really help. Have you considered discussing how all these pressures are affecting you with your GP? GPs are a great first step in establishing ongoing support.
Two services that would be excellent at providing the specialized advice required would be 1800Reespect and Relationships Australia, both offer amazing support for those experiencing relationship and family abuse, deterioration, and hardship struggles.
Visit Relationships Australia or call 1300 364 277.
Visit 1800Respect or call 1800 737 732.
Beyond Blue are available 24/7 for calls and chats via this link , our counselors are here to offer support and guidance with distressing concerns.
Please always remember to contact Emergency Services on 000 if you or your son feel unsafe or at risk.
Thank you again for returning to provide this update.
Warm regards
Sophie M

Hi SP, welcome


I see Bob our CC and Sophie have replied with care.


I've worked in the legal and Quasi law enforcement fields among many others. The others are correct you shouldnt tolerate abuse like this. I have some advice in the field of law and evidence for you so you'll focus on what matters if things escalate- eg future court appearances.


Evidence is concrete, if it doesnt fall in the area of actual evidence it wont be considered. Eg you son returns with injury. Photos with date and time taken eg within minutes of his return is crucial. Photos taken hours later when bruises appear clears for example could be dismissed as the court could assume it was from a fall in your own home. See how important good evidence can be?


Police- use them! You endeavour through police and other means eg court orders, AVO, seeking visitations with your son with supervision, do anything you can to ensure the safety of your son and the quality of life you seek. However-


Life in a world whereby the other parent has rights isnt that straight forward. The law, human services has limits (although Child Protection could be your best avenue to contact). Therefore it is better to dance with the devil so to speak than to fight him. How?


It could involve a change of approach and it wont be easy. eg Accept the following-


  • you'll never get child support and he'll remain a dead beat dad (but always pursue it as if he receives any tax return it will go to you)
  • he'll always be late for pick up drop off, plan your life so it doesnt matter
  • Insist on text message instead of verbal - then you have a log to show police. You are not obliged to talk to him and if you do it will increase tensions.
  • that he is the father and has rights to be the dad. 
  • that he should answer to injuries on his son but through child protection/police. 
  • If he continues to be a poor father then eventually your son will realise and not want to go to visit him (but of course dont demonise his father)

I hope you fins peace.


Community Member

Hi Snailpace,


Thank you for your update. I'm sorry again for the situation you are in. My apologies as last time I don't think I provided much useful advice or support. As Sophie M has mentioned, 1800respect is a fantastic resource and they provide practical counselling and support for anyone stuck in abusive relationships such as yours. They will be able to provide with far better advice than I can. A link to their website and phone number here: https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 


Please continue to keep us updated and I hope this helps.



An update:
How do you deal with someone you can't leave, have to constantly tip toe around to avoid conflict while still protecting the child?
I mentioned sabotaging advice, on or son's second birthday his father advised me to "throw him in a cold shower" when he has tantrums.
He wasn't joking.
He has recently trapped me in his car and cornered me into a monolog fight / shouting lecture making all kinds of false allegations often contradicting himself but just going hammer and tong into my ear for 15 minutes with our son in the back seat. I was unable to speak he was yelling the entire time calling me names and taunting me.
It has always been totally unhinged.

Recently also he threatened that if i didnt organise Mediation, he would do it and if he "had to " do it, he was going for 50/50. He makes constant threats such as and has even done so in public in a shoping centre with many people, screaming in my face in the checkout isle.
He's also done it outside the shopping centre both times while I was pregnant and once threw a basket across woolworths because he couldn't get steak and when we got home blocked me from going home to my own apartment. 
He was monitoring my phone and always knew where my laptop was. He began asking with hostility who I was talking to online and openly disliked my parents while showing the opposite facade to them, they want no involvement but he keeps trying to trick me into getting them involved.
He started dating another woman and even though we agreed it was too early to introduce our son to his new partner, he did it behind my back and they slept in ex's bed together with my son in the room.
He invited me over for dinner while I was pregnant I agreed to come for 1hr if it was peaceful however he misheard something i said and when i corrected it he exploded an chased me. After that and even during the proceeding IVO, he send many threats, stalked me, tried to add my 


Community Member

Hi snailpace,


Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear things continue to be unbearable for you. It sounds like this relationship has been a nightmare for you and your son. 


As mentioned 1800respect is great resource when it comes to surviving toxic/abusive relationships. They can also help with things like a safety plan or escape plan. Additionally, you could also potentially approach the court about changing parenting arrangements so that you can have less contact with your partner. I know they also have things like Family Dispute Resolution but that's only from limited knowledge. It would be best to consult a lawyer about those sorts of things. If you don't have a lawyer let us know as there are usually free legal services available for these sorts of issues.


It must be very difficult for you but I hope things get easier soon.  



Community Member

Our son's father has made to me, a serious allegation about his Daycare. 
He claims that when he picked "johnny" up, he believed he had "heat stroke".

I asked him if he observed the signs, why didn't he immediately approach the room co-ordinator? And he brushed it off telling me that our son downed two entire camel-backs of water as if he was seriously dehydrated and he was red in the face and lacked vibrance. 

Our son has been behaving oddly since he got home. More tantrums than ever and random bouts of sadness that i feel deep. 
I feel now that I am left in the predicament of approaching daycare for the other side of the story as a concerned mother. He only just got into this daycare and it's taken me years now to get a place so i can start working on myself a bit too and hopefully get work ready again after an awful separation. 

His father had previous to this incident, been abusing me verbally via txt, relentlessly accusing me of parental alienation while not showing up to visitation, arranging his own terms for visitation then not showing up to any of them and constantly baiting for fights. 
Making threats and attempting to blackmail me.

He knows I can't get our son into daycare anywhere else and has planted this seed of doubt now that ... is just so diabolical OR our son was actually returned in a dangerous state.

I am having anxiety over this and hoped someone could offer some advice, even put yourself in my shoes, what would you do about this?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Snailpace~

I'm sorry you are faced wiht this horrible ongoing situation in your life-  and I'm sorry for your son too.


You seem as if you are in doubt over the childcare place, however I see no reason why you shuld be.


Please let me quote your own words back to you

"he will defiantly try to undermine me and it will be uncomfortable as well as overstepping. "

So you were exactly right. From everything you have said about your son's father he is obsessed, toxic, uncooperative, manipulative, dishonest  and vicious. In addition when you son has come back from being with him he is in unkempt physical condition and upset.


His father's purpose is to ferment further trouble, he is pushing you buttons and succeeding. It takes a great deal of determination (and bitter experience) to ignore what he says, and not allow doubt to creep in. However do you seriously think it is the child care, or is it him?


If in fact you cannot get this out of you mind there is nothing wrong with dropping in to the childcare as a mum and simply having a chat. I would expect you will form your own impression without mentioning dehydration or being accusatory.


I hope you are not having to cope wiht this all alone. I may have missed this from what you wrote before - my apologies if so - but is there  anyone you can talk wiht frankly that cares about you? A family member or friend perhaps?


You may have already have done this more than once,  contacting 1800RESPECT as previously suggested. Do you think you might gain some comfort from contacting them now?


One of the very sad effects of being abused, as you are being , may be to lose confidence and unjustifiably blame oneself, to be prey to doubt. It can take constant assistance to overcome this and see things as they really are. That is why I ask about the support you have or maybe can get.


You know you are welcome here anytime.