Father Seems Better Placed

A case before the Family Court required the Judge to determine new parenting arrangements for three children on an interim basis.

The case concerned three children aged nine, seven and six. The parents commenced cohabitation in around 2005 and married in 2006 and a physical separation was effected when the mother and the children moved to Victoria in September 2013. Two of the children have special needs. Each of the children has been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy and significant issues and concerns have been raised by the father as to how the mother has managed and attended to the needs of the children.

A doctor who assessed the mother noted that the mother seems to live in her own world and that she has a vulnerable disposition and essentially lives in her own world and has struggled to reach the normal adult development milestones of independence and a formed identity.

Another expert indicated that the mother’s family did not perform to societal norms and that the mother is explosive and unpredictable and reactive and her family is also reactive.

The Judge stated that on the evidence she had heard over six days of hearings, she did not consider that the father posed an unacceptable risk to the children, and this view was partially based on the fact that the mother had previously consented to orders for the children to spend unsupervised time with the children.

The Judge concluded that it was appropriate that the father has the care of the children pending final orders being made and that he has sole parental responsibility for the children.  She believed that the children are at risk of physical harm if they were to remain in the mother’s care at that point in time, however, some communication with the children was appropriate.


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.