DUSAN Jacenko's nightmare has finally ended.
After a nine-year battle for justice in the Sri Lankan courts, the Sunshine Coast man has been reunited with his partner and children almost six months after he sent them to Australia for their own safety.
After striking a deal with his estranged wife over unpaid maintenance, Mr Jacenko flew out of Sri Lanka on Friday and was surprising his family in Landsborough by lunchtime Saturday.
The reunion followed a nerve-racking few days as he negotiated a payout with his wife.
The Sri Lankan legal system had kept him trapped in a personal hell as court appearances were adjourned, magistrates refused to hear evidence and his wife successfully sought adjournments or rejected payout offers.
In the middle of the turmoil, Mr Jacenko's young family was threatened with violence, forcing him to send them to live with his family.
"Right up until Tuesday or Wednesday, I wasn't even sure things would work out," he said yesterday.
"It was nerve-racking - we didn't know what was happening.
"It was almost extortion by the Sri Lankan legal system and in the end all I could do was throw a lot of money at her.
"Ultimately that worked.
"I just gave her the money and got out of there as quickly as I could."
Back in Landsborough, Mr Jacenko's partner Thushari Ponnamperuma and children Jazz, 3, and Jayden, 2, were waiting on news when he walked through the door unannounced.
"I was changing my little one when I heard his voice and I said 'what!?'," Ms Ponnamperuma said.
"The kids were all over him - they've missed him so much. It's so fantastic to have him back.
"We are so excited for the future - we just want to settle down and look towards our future as a family."
Mr Jacenko spent 15 years in Sri Lanka and was heavily involved in humanitarian work after the 2005 tsunami.
He said he was still getting used to being back in Australia, where he was quickly realising so much had changed.
"I've only been back four or five times since I left and they were just for holidays.
"Now I'm doing things like signing up for Medicare and try to find work again and it's quite daunting. I went to Medicare the other day and everything was computerised.
"A lot has changed while I've been away.
"The first thing on the agenda is trying to find a job, but first I want to take a week or two just to reconnect with my family.
"The kids are all over me - I can't get away from them for a second.