Relationship with father would not benefit children
- This matter has not been interpreted to mean that there is a presumption that children do receive a benefit from having a meaningful relationship with both parents. The Full Court in McCall & Clark (supra) continued at :
No doubt in the majority of cases there will be a positive benefit to a child of having a significant relationship with both parents, but there will also be some cases where there will be no positive benefit to be derived by a child by a court attempting to craft orders to foster a relationship with one parent if this would not be in the child’s best interests.
- The orders proposed by the mother do not provide for the children to spend any time with their father except with the agreement of the mother. Although it is possible that the mother may at some time in the future agree for the children to spend time with the father this is unlikely given the history of the parental relationship to date. However, the orders sought by the mother do allow for the possibility of the children having some relationship with the father if the mother considers that this could be done with safety.
- The recommendations made by the Family Consultant in her report of June 2017 with respect to the father’s time with the children depend upon the court’s findings in relation to the risk of harm posed by the father. For reasons I will come to when considering the need to protect the children from physical or psychological harm and the issue of family violence I am of the view that the father does pose an unacceptable risk of harm to the children. In the event of this finding the Family Consultant recommends that orders be made that do not provide for the children to spend time or communicate with the father.
- Having regard to all of the matters in relation to the best interests of children required to be considered I am of the view that this recommendation is appropriate and that it is not in the children’s best interests to have a relationship with their father.
- Although the orders proposed by the mother do provide that the children may spend time with the father with the agreement of the mother, as opposed to being totally silent as to this issue, I am satisfied that the mother would only give consent to this occurring if she was of the view that the children would receive some benefit from this contact. She does not seek any other orders with respect to the father’s time and I am satisfied that there will be no positive benefit to the children by the court attempting to craft any other orders to foster a relationship with their father.
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Queensland / New South Wales / Victoria