A recent decision of the Family Court has highlighted the importance of parents being child focused when they separate.
In this case, the court changed the primary residence of the child from the mother to the father. The reason was that the mother had carried on an unremitting campaign to undermine the child’s relationship with her father. The child loved both parents and was anxious as a result of her mother’s actions and words.
The Family Law Act focuses on the child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. The decision in this case was made to make sure that this principle was upheld.
The mother had for years interfered with her daughter’s time with her father who frequently did not see his daughter for months at a time. Having separated in 2007, the parents had been in on-going litigation over their daughter’s living arrangements since that time.
In addition to making an order for the daughter to live with her father, the court ordered that he have sole responsibility for decisions relating to health, medical matters and education. The mother was allowed to spend time with her daughter every second weekend and half of school holidays.
The message is very clear, make sure that you are focused on the child and not yourself.