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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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I am 62 years of age and use a wheelchair due to post polio

Customer Question

Hello I am 62 years of age and use a wheelchair due to post polio syndrome. I have two sons and raised them by myself after my husband died when they were eight and ten. For the past two years my youngest son has been in a relationship with a girl and has lived with her and her two sons for this period of time. Six months ago Deb asked me if I would move in with them into a property with a granny flat. I was happy to do this. At the time I lived alone and was quite happy. Because we both had tenancies that were yet to expire there was some overlap. I paid the bond of 2000 on the house as well as five weeks full rent of 500 dollars until the other tenancies were re tenanted. All was well for some months. I had over the two years supported Deb and her sons with money, gifts etc as she was a sole parent and was divorcing her ex husband. I also referred her to Womens Legal Service when she needed help with the separation and property settlement. Deb had painted quite a severe picture of her ex husband. Deb had a long history of seeking constant medical attention for her and the boys for a range of issues and this continued throughout her relationship with Peter. Last year in December, a week before the property settlement, Deb's exhusband suicided. Deb was advised to seek the property settlement through her husbands superannuation and advised to seek death benefits. But to do this she needed to be a dependant of her previous husband and not in a relationship where she was being supported by another. Deb has shown me court documents and other information where prior to her husbands death she acknowledged my sons support to her and the boys and they have been in a defactor relationship for two years. When Deb discovered this superannuation requirement she started to withdraw from me and my son. She removed any information about their relationship on her facebook page and she stopped engaging me about the settlement. I had loaned Deb a lot of money and she was originally going to pay me back through the property settlement. Just before Christmas her mother visited and advised me that she didnt think the boys would be going to the school down the road. When I asked Deb about that she just waived it aside. Saturday week ago Deb announced to Peter that she didnt think it was working out. The next day her mother was due to return from the Coast and she moved in with Deb and the boys at the top of the house. Peter felt somewhat relieved because Debs behaviour had been alloof and distant for over a month. He was unaware that she was going to move out quickly. She and her mother started packing up the house over a period of five days. On the fifth day I was sitting on my landing when Removalists turned up and they started to roll away Peter's new mower. I said' Oh sorry that is our mower'. Deb was up near me near the landing. Peter was downstairs and walked around the end of the granny flat and asked the removalists for the mower. Deb started yelling at me and then walked back in the house. I felt so intimidated. Deb and her mother and the children then left the house. Not long after that police turned up and interviewed Peter. I was not aware that they had been called by Deb's mother - who was not out in the yard at the time this happened. I was not interviewed but apparently Deb and her mother were. Whilst it was so quick and alarming it was a shock to have the police come and talk to my son when I was really the one confronted and he was concerned that I was being attacked. I was certainly confused as I have had a lot of love for Deb and the Boys and we were both distressed that during the five days of packing Deb had carefully gone through all of the gifts and presents to her and the boys and left them behind. It was heartbreaking to think this was done to the children and certainly not in line with the love and care we had given her. Deb had gone to the real estate on the monday after her mother came and asked to be released from the lease. At this stage we said that we felt Deb should pay the rest of the two months lease and help with the cleaning. There was no need for Deb to leave quickly. There was no need for any exit at this time. Today, we received an email from the Real Estate Agent that she had seen the police report and had been told by Deb that if we didnt release her from the lease she would pursue a domestic violence order through the Court and Deb would be removed from the lease. We are gutted. There has been no domestic violence here but I cant help thinking now that this whole thing has been stage managed to suggest this. We dont know what to do. Peter feels we should not agree and pursue a legal approach. I feel in the current climate of things and having seen how Deb selectively gathered her ex husbands texts and facebook entries and other 'evidence' that she has become quite expert at this. I was the one really attacked and am so vulnerable in this.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  kmslaw replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is***** am a solicitor in NSW who will help with your inquiry today. Do you have a copy of the residential tenancy agreement, or lease that your son has signed with respect to the property? That way I can advise you on what you can do about this situation. Just scan it and attach it to this page so that I can have a look.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello kylie the lease is not really the biggest issue. It is tge false allegation of domestic violence and the need to get some assistance for myself and my son. I will pay out the lease given the concerns but what do we do when someone has made these false allegations. My son is my carer and i need to find accessible accommodation.
Expert:  kmslaw replied 10 months ago.

Hello. If someone makes false allegations against you, you would most likely have an action for defamation but do you really want to go to the Supreme Court to allege defamation? You wouldn't get much of a payout for compensation for this is if the only person they have mentioned this to is the real estate agent. You need much wider defaming for a large monetary settlement.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Kylie we just want to get on with our lives. So you cannot give us any assistance about what we can do.
Expert:  kmslaw replied 10 months ago.

I have just given you assistance. I've told you that it's really not worth going for defamation if you want any substantial monetary sum. But going for defamation is the only way to publicly clear your name. It costs a lot of money to run a defamation suit. Do you have that sort of money? Or if you are entitled to Legal Aid you could try that, but if it's not a wide defaming then Legal Aid may not support funding for that suit.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Kylie i am very disapointed in your response.we dont want compensation. We want some hel0 to negotiate this present situation. We dont know who has been told what. Ok i am tired and clearly there is no help here with what we need.
Expert:  kmslaw replied 10 months ago.

I don't understand what you mean by "negotiate this present situation". Are you looking for someone to ask Deb not to defame you anymore? An injunction to stop her from doing so? Or are you looking for someone to find you another property to live in? I'm offended that you don't think I'm helping you because I am applying my legal skill, which I studied for 6 years to give you this response.