Father having a relationship and time with children not in their best interests
Best interests of children:
- I have regard to all the matters in the family report. I am only going to read out some small sections of it. In paragraph 73, the report writer said this:
There is a great deal of material about the history of this matter but the most compelling evidence is the Final Court Order made on 23 July 2013. In this Order, Mr Joff was given an opportunity to seek help to make positive change. Four years later, it is clear that Mr Joff does not acknowledge his violent behaviour and has taken no responsibility for his past violence perpetrated on Ms Joff and the four children. In addition, on the day of the interview, Mr Joff was stalking Ms Joff and the children. Mr Joff demonstrated that he has no insight into the impact of his violent behaviour on the children but views himself as a victim of the ‘system, the judge, the Police and the DHHS who are destroying him.’
- At paragraph 75, the report continued, and I am going to read through to paragraph 77 and then paragraph 79:
DHHS have had extensive involvement which commenced in 1999 with some involvement, at this time as a result of Mr Joff’s violence. Then following 2002, there was no further involvement after the separation, up until 2011. At this time the DHHS involvement concerned Mr C, who was the partner of Ms Joff. Then through 2015 DHHS involvement concerned Ms Joff’s mental health. A Protection Application was issued on 4 March 2017 and I understand a Family Preservation Order was made which meant that DHHS have continued to have involvement and have monitored Ms Joff’s mental health. Through this involvement by DHHS, which included a supervised visit for the children with Mr Joff in 2016, also resulted in demonstrating that Mr Joff has not taken responsibility for his violence and that he was questioning the children about their school and where they lived, that he followed up with phone calls and attempted to make them feel guilty for not seeing him. The children informed DHHS that they did not wish to see Mr Joff again.
If the children had any curiosity about whether Mr Joff had made positive change prior to their supervised visit in 2016, their experience with Mr Joff during that visit and follow up telephone calls confirmed for the children that Mr Joff has not changed at all.
It is my view that Ms Joff should continue to have sole parental responsibilities for X, Y and Z as Mr Joff demonstrated he has not made any positive change. In addition, it is my view that Ms Joff may be placed at risk if she had to share these responsibilities. It is clear that Mr Joff has no insight into the children’s best interests.
- Paragraph 79, the report continued:
It is my view that, at this time, X, Y and Z should have no contact at all with Mr Joff at the present time and into the future. It is my view that Mr Joff remains a potential risk to the overall safety of Ms Joff and the children. It is my view that the following factors need to be seriously taken into account in assessing Mr Joff’s potential for extreme retaliation. Mr Joff has no feelings of remorse. He has no feelings of nurturing towards his children or of having any feelings of want and caring for the children, nor has he shown any feelings of remorse and guilt toward the children for exposing them to violence perpetrated on Ms Joff. He has been very violent toward Ms Joff. He has been physically abusive to the children. He is angry towards the Court, Police, the Government and DHHS blaming everyone else for his violent behaviour. He also blames his brain tumour. He has lost all control over Ms Joff and the children.
- The report went on to recommend, in plain terms, that Ms Joff have sole parental responsibility for the children, that they live with her, that the father have no spend time or communication with the children, and she went on to go so far as to recommend a permanent restraining order, protecting the children from Mr Joff. That is not, I should say on any view an order that the Court will make, because the more effective way, if there were to be such a matter, would be through the State Courts.
Read more here