In an article published by the Daily Telegraph on 17 December 2012 titled “Drama queen wife loses custody case”, Janet Fife-Yeomans reports that a “mother who claimed her husband has been sexually abusing himself in front of their three children lost custody of them.”
Fife-Yeomans reports how a detective who investigated the claims said in a confidential email that the mother was “a drama queen who is out to get her ex-husband”. Unfortunately the email, which was meant to be confidential, later came to light.
The Family Court found that the mother had emotionally abused the children by encouraging their claims of sexual abuse. Police and child protection authorities found that the mother’s claims were unsubstantiated.
However, the detective was not criticised by the Court and Justice Murphy said of the incident “my impression was of an experienced, committed Police Officer doing a difficult job, offering a private comment to a work college. Sometimes unguarded opinions from people experienced in dealing with cases of this type say as much or more as their formal comments. In my case, such is the case here.”
In the matter the eldest child was encouraged by the mother to speak to Police and was rewarded for doing so with the promise of toys.
The Court found that the father did not pose a risk to the children and made Orders that the children live with the father and spend time with the mother five nights a fortnight.
When Courts decide who children should live with following their parents separation and how much time they should spend with the other parent, their primary consideration under the Family Law Act is what is in the children’s best interests. The Court must consider the right of a child to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents. However, the Court is also required to protect children from a risk of harm, for example, the risk of being sexually abused.
If you are currently trying to resolve parenting issues with your former spouse and would like further advice or assistance please feel free to contact us at Armstrong Legal on 9261 4555 to book an obligation free initial appointment.