Father has demonstrated a variable commitment to engaging in the proceedings
In a case before the Family Court it was ordered that the father was not to communicate with, telephone, contact or attempt to contact the child except with the consent of the mother.
The Judge outlined the background to the proceedings by stating that “there are allegations of what can only be described as extreme family violence, child abuse and threats to kill or commit suicide by the father during the course of the parties’ relationship.” The proceedings have been continuing for some time as they were initiated by the mother in November 2020. Since then the father has simply not appeared on the further case management occasions or has failed to file material. There was evidence that the father had determined that he would not participate in the proceedings and indications from the father himself that he would withdraw from the proceedings. The Judge said that within the rules of procedural fairness there was an indispensable requirement of a court system of natural justice that a party affected by a decision have the opportunity to be heard before the decision is made. In this case the Judge said that the father had had ample opportunity to be heard in the proceedings but had elected not to do so.
In summarising the situation the Judge said he was satisfied that the orders proposed by the Independent children’s Lawyer for the child, and supported by the mother, were orders which best met the child’s best interests. Accordingly his election not to participate in the proceedings means that the very significant and serious allegations mounted by the mother in relation to his capacity to provided parenting for the child, are to be accepted.
The Judge ordered that the mother have sole parental responsibility for the child and that the child live with the mother.
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