A hearing before the Family Court was noteworthy for the Judge’s comments on the parents of a child and their ability to properly care for their child. The Judge noted that there were concerns regarding the abilities of both of the grandmothers and their ability to allow the mother and father to care for the child. He noted also that the mother appeared to have a limited capacity to consistently engage with the child in a sensitive and responsive manner which raised concerns about her ability to meet the child’s needs and prioritise them above her own.
The Family Consultant was of the opinion that the father in allowing his mother to care for the child in lieu of him raised concerns regarding his understanding of the child’s needs and his ability to meet them.
A further issue was the mother’s relationship with her de facto and the risk of harm that he may have posed to the child was described as a central issue. It was also raised that the mother had allowed the child to have contact with her de facto contrary to a restraining order thus raising concerns about her ability to protect the child from future harm.
The Judge determined that the best interests of the child would not be met if orders were made as sought by the parties involved i.e. that the parents have equal and shared parental responsibility for the child, that initially the child live with the father and spend time with the mother. Accordingly the Judge invited the Department of Family and Community Services to join the proceedings on an urgent basis.
This article remains the property of Kate Austin Family Lawyers and can only provide basic information. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. This information cannot be relied on as a substitute for legal information and it is only general by nature. This information was correct at the time of writing but changes in legislation or procedure may change.