Rogers & Bloom 2015 FamCA 27

The judge found that for a shared care arrangement (co-parent) to be considered viable, parents need to have the capacity to communicate, to resolve conflict, to have a modicum of trust and respect for the other party (communicate respect), and to have the capacity to remain child focused.   The parties in this case were assessed as not meeting these criteria so the children would be psychologically compromised if the shared care arrangement were to continue.

Expert Evidence

A report by a family consultant was subject to cross-examination to assess whether the report displayed bias towards one parent (partisan).  The father had re-partnered and the children commented to the consultant that the father allowed his new partner to carry out parenting tasks such as helping with homework, leading the consultant to conclude that the father was “somewhat unavailable to the boys.”

The consultant did not report that a former partner of the mother was known to have used drugs and was prone to significant violence, omitting relevant evidence (expert evidence unsatisfactory).