Carriel & Lendrum 2013 FCCA 284

A mother applied to change a final order that had been made three years earlier involving a child now aged 7 years.  The final orders were that the child live with the father and spend supervised time with the mother.  Several further conditions were introduced as the mother had a prior history of substance abuse.

The mother submitted that changed circumstances had occurred including the following: she had participated in a drug rehabilitation programme for a year, had complied with court orders, had not taken illicit drugs or consumed alcohol for 30 months, continued to participate in treatment, submitted 158 tests showing an absence of illicit drugs, had re-established contact with her family, and the child had developed in maturity and expressed a wish to increase time with the mother (child’s wishes).  The father had agreed that ongoing supervision of access visits was no longer required.

The judge found that the mother’s case reflected her wish to spend more time with the child, rather than being child focused (parenting style self centred).  The judge found that the evidence presented was insufficient to warrant embarking on a further hearing.  The mother’s application was dismissed.