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  1. #11
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    Definitely has to be more to it.. sole custody usually isn't given out very easily. I'd like to think the mother has a valid reason for wanting to stop all contact between the daughter and father, not just spite and I hope that her daughter doesn't grow up resenting her for that.

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  3. #12
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    If it is as reported then I highly disapprove.

    I do think you would need to read the full judgement to see the reasons behind the judgement and if there was in fact more to this story (which can be found online in some cases with names changed).

    Considering the court is very hesitant to separate a child from people whom they have meaningful relationships with then I find it hard to believe that it is just as reported.

  4. #13
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    See if you can find the court documents, I remember a news article regarding a mother who was given permission by the family court to give her baby the name of her choice, the article sort of made it seem as though the court had bent over backward for her for something as simple as a name change and of course all the commenters were "oh the poor menz".

    I read the court document - the father had an extra marital affair with this woman and had manipulated not only her, but his wife, her older children (including tracking one down online and acting highly inappropriately), controlled both women, wanted the name of his choice as part of a power struggle and the biological mother had actually agreed to compromise but HE refused.

    News articles are often not telling all of the facts and I agree with PP that it's usually very difficult to get sole custody even when there are violence/control issues involved.

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  6. #14
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    If it is how it reads, then yeah, that's horrible. But you would think that there has to be more to it than that. Goodness, I certainly hope so! If this is the court pandering to the vindictiveness of the mother, then that is outrageous.

    Children have a right to have both parents in their life. Now, obviously, there are circumstances where, for the well being of the child, you don't want the other parent being involved. Violence, drugs, abuse etc. But things like that aside, the personal feelings of the parents SHOULD NOT COME INTO IT! Because someone is an ordinary wife/husband, doesn't mean they aren't good mothers/fathers. If this judgment is as it reads, it is a massive step back for dads. I hope there's more to it.

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    Being a family court case we'll never get all the detail however, part of the released judgement says (and I quote):

    The loss of the child's relationship with the father would be less harmful than the loss of the relationship with her mother.
    The court also found the father had a good relationship with the child, it was the relationship between the adults that was dysfunctional.

    This signals that we've gone back to Mum is best and if Mum chucks a tanty and refuses to work with the father and the court she'll get what she wants.

  8. #16
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    You can read the full court documents on the family court website

    If it's exactly how it reads, I agree. But I highly doubt it's as black and white as the article states.

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    I doubt it is that simple either. Someone very close to me has started court proceednigs re custody, and she has been clearly informed that there is no chance the father will be denied all access, even if he doesn't have legal representation.

    This man is violent towards her, threatens violence and abduction regarding the child, bad mouths the mother and has hit her many times in front of the child, many times when the child has been in her arms, and is a known drug dealer. The police have been involved for several years now, so everything is on record.

    He is about to be granted overnight visits, which of course his ex wife doesn't want. She took years to build up the strength to leave this person and now has the stress of worrying about the standard of care their child will receive and what sorts of people will be around while the kid stays overnight at the dad's.

    Supervised visitation was discussed, but no, his actions and circumstances aren't "unsafe enough" for the child. She fought against it too, but her concerns mean nothing because "father's rights" are more important than the kid's wellbeing.

    I find it difficult to believe that such a ruling would be handed down in Australia today just because the mother said so. Every piece of advice I and other separated parents I know have received is that you pretty much need evidence that your kid's life is at risk before their dad will be denied access, regardless of what the parents' relationship is like.

    Even in a situation I know of where that's the case- kid's life assessed as at risk- the other parent still gets supervised access a few hours a week.

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  11. #18
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    That's the issue MermaidSister. Have a read about it.

    Everything points to a healthy relationship between father and daughter. It was the relationship between the parents that was screwed up. Read my quote in post 15.

    The reason it's caused such a stink is precisely BECAUSE it goes against what people thought of as the current default position of shared care (or substantial and meaningful contact).

    Also, this was already heard a the full bench level, so the only chance of an appeal is to the High Court.

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    Until I read the entire judgement I won't form an opinion as to whether it happened as the article states or not as I can't know whether the ruling was as ridiculous as that article is slanted to have us believe.

    That being said, hypothetically, if the judgement confirms the article - ie the father was banned from contact because the mother chucked a hissy fit, I can only think that it is because the courts felt that the children would be at risk if contact was granted. The court may have felt that the kids might become victms of reactionary violence if the father got contact. I do not know if the mother had very real reasons for being so vehemently against contact - she may know a side of her ex that she couldn't prove to the courts so this was her last ditch effort to protect her children. Just because vioence isn't proven, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just because a father is good at making people believe he has a good relationship with his kids, doesn't mean that in reality he isn't a threat. Maybe the very strength of her refusal was enough to convince the courts that her children would be at risk if contact was established. I do worry that this has now set a precedence that can be further abused and used by vindictive people in family court though.

    The whole system is a mess, unfair judgments are made everyday and the resulting judgment isn't always in favour of the kids' best interests. That is evidenced by the number of injuries and deaths that occur at the hands of what should be loving parents. I lost respect for the family court a long time ago....but, unfortunately as much as I detest the way the system works I will admit I don't have any real suggestions on how to fix it.

  13. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benji View Post
    See if you can find the court documents, I remember a news article regarding a mother who was given permission by the family court to give her baby the name of her choice, the article sort of made it seem as though the court had bent over backward for her for something as simple as a name change and of course all the commenters were "oh the poor menz".

    I read the court document - the father had an extra marital affair with this woman and had manipulated not only her, but his wife, her older children (including tracking one down online and acting highly inappropriately), controlled both women, wanted the name of his choice as part of a power struggle and the biological mother had actually agreed to compromise but HE refused.

    News articles are often not telling all of the facts and I agree with PP that it's usually very difficult to get sole custody even when there are violence/control issues involved.
    I also remember a story awhile back, I think it might even have been on BH or another parenting site (it was at least 3 or so years back though) which was an incredibly biased "father's rights" article raising hell about how a mother got a court order to send the children to a catholic school rather than a muslim school. There was this big hoo ha about how mothers get every demand they want while the poor dad has to swallow it (and pay for it). Turns out the muslim school the father wanted to send the kids to was in a very radical muslim area and the mother, having changed her religion when she divorced her husband, was at a real risk of violence and/or losing her life if she drove into that area to take her kids to the school. The issue was NOT about the mother having more rights to choose issues such as schooling than the father, rather that it was a real risk to her safety if the courts enforced an order that the kids attend this particular muslim school. The mother was ok with the father choosing a different school that was not in such a dangerous area, but the father refused to back down and ended up taking the mother to court after she went ahead and enrolled the kids in this catholic school. Such media beat-up.

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