Whatever The Doctor Ordered

A case before the Family Court concerned the parenting arrangements for a nine year old child.

The child was born in 2006 after the parents had a brief relationship that lasted approximately five months and the parties separated on a final basis before the child was born. The child was diagnosed with autism at aged three and as a result suffers from a myriad of medical issues.

The Judge maintained that there was no evidence that the mother had at any time sought any treatment for the child that was inappropriate. When there is disagreement between the parents which prevents the mother from arranging treatment for the child, the Judge ruled that the only way to address this impasse was to provide for the mother to have sole parental responsibility for the child’s medical treatment.

When any consultations with doctors occurs, the mother is to advise the father immediately of the details of the consultation and authorize the relevant medical practitioner to provide to the father any information which the father might request.

The orders relating to the child’s education provided that each party is restrained from changing the enrollment of the child away from the current school without prior written consent of the other party.

The mother contended that the father had refused to discuss education plans for the child with her after she had advised him by e-mail to discuss the child’s high school enrollment but the father maintained that the need was not urgent as the child would not be attending high school for another 4 years. The Judge concurred with this view.

The orders also provided that for a period of twelve months the child should spend supervised time with the father with a professional supervisor whose fees are to be paid by the father.


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.