“Bogus sex abuse claims cost mum custody” The Australian, 4.8.15

by Peter Magee on September 10, 2015

Peter Magee

I have found myself sitting across the table from clients and potential clients, often fathers, who wonder how their estranged partner (their former wife or girlfriend) can get away with withholding their children from them and making the most horrid accusations against them without proper evidence. It takes a while for the Court to hear a matter on a final basis and for these fathers to see justice. In the meantime, their spirit is slowly trampled by the wrongdoing of their former wife or girlfriend. What’s even more disturbing is the damage to the children that is allowed to continue when the wrongdoing parent is the primary carer for the children. For me, there is nothing more heinous in a parenting dispute than for a parent to falsely allege that the other parent has sexually abused their child. It is beyond me how a parent can even utter those words knowing that they are false.

An article in The Australian this month reported on a Judge’s ruling in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia where the mother’s conduct (which included making false sexual abuse allegations against the child’s father) resulted in the child being removed from that mother’s care and the primary care for the child being given to the father. This is the reality that litigants making such despicable false accusations against another parent can, and should, expect.

In another case recently heard in the Family Court of Australia, primary care and sole parental responsibility was given to a father of a child whose primary carer was previously the mother. In this case, the mother held the views that she could attend to all of the child’s needs through her own role. This suggested to the court appointed expert that the mother had “difficulty contemplating the child’s needs in a relationship with the father”. The facts of this case, primarily the mother’s conduct caused the Judge to make a finding that the mother lacked the insight required to make decisions for the child that were in his best interests.

This lawyer is glad to see that justice was served for the children in the cases referred to above. I commend the Judges in these cases for making the brave and bold decision to change the child’s primary residence in circumstances where it was in the child’s best interests to do so. I hope that judgments such as this will set an appropriate precedent in our Courts and will deter parents from alienating, or attempting to alienate, their child/ren from the other parent.

It is refreshing to see that when a case is finally heard, that the actions of the wrongdoing parent comes to light. Let these cases send a clear message to litigants who try to manipulate the Courts and the justice system to satisfy their own heinous agenda and/or alienate children from their parent. The consequences for doing so can be devastating for the wrong-doing parent, but justified.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you find yourself in a parenting dispute, we are here to help.

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