Chranley & Smart 2012 FamCAFC 87

The case involved a 13 year old girl whose parents had been in litigation for 10 years.  An order had been made for joint parental responsibility, with the child living with her mother and spending time with the father.  However the child refused to spend time with the father saying that the father denigrated the mother (child’s wishes, reluctant to contact).  A family report indicated that the father refused to listen to the child’s views, and declined to engage in counselling.   A new order was made, supported by the ICL and a family report, granting sole parental responsibility to the mother and rescinding the order for the child to spend time with her father.  The father appealed.

The father submitted 100 allegations that the mother had contravened orders, and wanted these matters to be heard first.  The appeal court acknowledged that allegations of contraventions are usually heard before substantive matters, but supported the decision of the judge in this case to proceed promptly to substantive matters as being in the best interests of the child.  The appeal was dismissed.