Child’s Living Arrangements Change After Parent's Poor Conduct


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Child’s Living Arrangements Change After Parent's Poor Conduct

A recent case heard in the Sydney registry of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia resulted in the living arrangements for a 12-year-old child being altered.

The child had lived with her mother since the parents separated in 2001.

As a result of the mother’s “maintaining the rage” and her inability to separate herself and her feelings in respect of the father and put the needs of the child first, an Order was made on an interim basis that the child live with the father and that the father have sole parental responsibility for the child.

It was held that it was in the child’s best interests to spend more time with her father in accordance with her wishes and give her the benefit of developing and maintaining a meaningful relationship with her father.

The Court noted that although the change from one parent’s household to the other would be a major change, the child would adjust to the change.

Putting the child’s best interests first

This case is an important reminder that the child’s best interests are paramount. Although the child had lived primarily with her mother for some 12 years, the Court may still make an Order that the child’s living arrangement change due to a party’s poor conduct and failure to facilitate a meaningful relationship between the child and the other party.