From across the seas comes a report from The Telegraph newspaper in the UK about a case where a mother has recently lost an appeal against a Court’s decision to allow her 5 year old son to have contact with his father.
One of the mother’s main concerns about the boy having contact was that the father would not follow his son’s vegetarian diet and would feed him meat. The mother, herself, was a vegetarian. The mother also had concerns that the father had put their son in danger by not ensuring he wore a seatbelt. She further alleged that the father had called his son by another name.
At first instance, the Court allowed the father to have contact with his son and put the mother on notice that in the event that she did not comply with the Court Order, then the Court would order a change of residence so that the boy lived with his father.
On appeal, the mother argued that the family judge was wrong to have made a ‘latent threat’ to remove the boy from the mother’s care. However, the Court of Appeal said there was nothing wrong with the contact order and the judge had been entitled “to take the plunge” to reintroduce contact.
The sad reality is that there is an increasing, and worrying, trend in Australian Family Law Courts’ decisions where one parent has been unable to foster a child’s relationship with the other parent, resulting in the Court ordering a transfer of residence of the child. The philosophy behind this course of action is that the child will have a better chance of having a relationship with both parents by residing with the parent who will foster the child’s relationship with the other parent.
There are no positives in such a situation and it is vital that parents understand how important it is for them to be pro-active in encouraging their children to have a loving relationship with the other parent, notwithstanding the adult issues between the parents.
If you are facing a dispute that may involve the change of residence of a child feel free to contact us at Armstrong legal on 9261 4555 for your initial obligation free appointment.