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  1. #21
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    I know of a woman whose husband sexually abused their daughters and he was still granted access to them I don't think women have enough rights when it comes to legitimate fears of the father regarding the safety of their children

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  3. #22
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    Summerby & Cadogen [2011] FamCAFC 205 here is the judgement to read for yourself. Chech it out at austii.

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    It breaks my heart on so many levels.

  5. #24
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    So...there is more to the story than was reported!

  6. #25
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    Update : yet again another reason to research before believing what you read in the media

    Abstract of the judgement in this case (it may be long and jargon used but upshot is that there were good reasons to deny the father contact with the child and in this case the best interests of the child was to deny contact with the father rather than deny contact with the mother which would cause more emotional harm for the child ):

    In Summerby & Cadogen [2011] FamCAFC 205 (20 October 2011) the father appealed to the Full Court (Thackray, Strickland and Young JJ) against an order made by Wilson FM that the father was to have no further contact with his five year old daughter. The appeal was opposed by the mother but supported by the Independent Children’s Lawyer. When the child was three the father denied the mother entry to their home, whereupon the mother took up residence with a male friend with whom she began a new relationship. The father was for some months spending three weekends per month with the child under an interim order following which Wilson FM conducted what was to become a 14 day trial spread over two years.

    Allegations of child sexual abuse made against the mother’s new partner, ultimately found to have been fabricated by the father who had coached the child to make the allegations, led to the mother’s decision to begin withholding the child from the father. Orders for the father to spend time with the child were either not complied with or complied with reluctantly by the mother. Contravention proceedings ensued, but during counselling (arranged by the father) the child ‘disclosed’ that it was her father who had abused her, not her stepfather. A child welfare authority obtained a child protection order, placing the child with her mother. The authority declined to intervene in the case. The mother went into hiding when the authority decided to allow the father supervised time with the child.

    Some short supervised visits were eventually negotiated until the child began saying that she did not wish to see her father. It was ordered by Wilson FM that the child live with the mother who was to have sole parental responsibility but no order was made for the father to spend time with the child. The mother was found to have contravened orders ten times and ordered to pay some of the father’s costs. No other penalty was imposed.

    The father’s appeal failed on all counts. As to the ground that Wilson FM failed to have sufficient regard to the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents, the Full Court said at para 75:

    “In our view, his Honour’s discussion of the dilemma with which he was faced makes manifest that he had full regard to the importance to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents. However, faced with his findings that continuation of a meaningful relationship with the father would result in ongoing emotional abuse of the child; that alternative forms of order would ‘not work’; and that it was not in the child’s best interests to live with the father, his Honour decided to terminate contact. In our view not only was that decision open to him, on the basis of his findings it was arguably the only available decision – as his Honour said in … his reasons.”

    The Full Court also rejected the ground that there had been a failure to consider s 60CC factors, adding at para 87:

    “There is no appeal against his Honour’s finding that a change of residence would cause the child ‘significant emotional harm’, or against another finding that a change of residence would have ‘devastating consequences’. His Honour had to reach his decision knowing that the option of a change of residence was not open. Unpalatable as it clearly was, his Honour therefore had to take account of the fact that the child’s primary carer would ‘actively try and destroy the relationship’ with the other parent if contact was ordered. Given the ‘emotional abuse’ to which he found the child would be exposed in such circumstances, we consider his Honour was right not to take into account the conduct of the mother to any greater extent than he did.”

    The Full Court further rejected the ground that Wilson FM had failed to give appropriate weight to the recommendations of the family consultant, saying at paras 118 and 119:

    “His Honour … referred to those parts of the Family Consultant’s assessment with which he agreed, and the point at which his opinion differed from hers. He noted, when describing his point of departure, that he had ‘had the benefit of all of the evidence in this matter’, an advantage which was clearly denied the Family Consultant. In this regard it is important to recall what the Full Court said in Hall and Hall (1979) FLC 90-713 (at 78,819) about recommendations made by court counsellors:

    ‘[T]he counsellor’s assessment of the parties may often be based upon facts which the counsellor has accepted but which turn out to be wrong; or favourable or unfavourable views formed by the counsellor from interviewing the parties without the opportunity to test in depth the credit of persons who may in court, and under cross-examination, or in the face of evidence of other witnesses, prove to be of a different character from that which the counsellor has accepted.’

    The Federal Magistrate was not obliged to accept the Family Consultant’s recommendations.”

    The Full Court concluded at para 127:

    “As we have found no merit in any of the grounds, [the a]ppeal … will be dismissed. We think it proper, however, to record that our decision should not be interpreted as condoning the mother’s conduct. We adopt the same view as his Honour expressed:

    ‘If it is kept uppermost in the consideration of what parenting orders to make, that [the child’s] best interests are the paramount consideration, it is immediately apparent that parenting orders ought not be made to assuage concern about injustice to one parent or the other, nor to redress what may be perceived to be some unfairness in the outcome. Nor should parenting orders be made as a form of retribution or penalty against one parent for what might be regarded as unacceptable behaviour on that parent’s part, if otherwise the best interests of the child warrant that parent having the primary or sole care for the child.”

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  8. #26
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    poor little girl

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    Thanks Louellyn.

  10. #28
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    Witwicky is offline A closed mouth gathers no foot.
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    That poor girl Heartbreaking

  11. #29
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    Knew there was more to it.

    The court made the right decision .

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  13. #30
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    People under estimate the impact of false allegations on children Let alone coaching! Which is emotional abuse in itself!!

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