Selkin & Artliff-Selkin 2013 FamCAFC 19

A couple had an order for shared care. The mother then applied to relocate with three children aged 10, 8 and 5 years to a town 78km away. The trial judge allowed the relocation. The father appealed saying that the judge had elevated the mother’s interests above the interests of the children.

The mother had re-partnered, and had moved into the house of her new partner. The father asked that the children remain within 30km of their school.  The judge found that relocation by an hour’s drive was practicable and did not interfere with the father’s ability to have a meaningful relationship with his children.

The judge found that the father had demonstrated poor judgment and lacked insight about the effects of his behaviour on the children by exposing the children to his negative views about the mother and her new partner (adult disputes), but this did not produce a significant risk while the children were in the care of the father (impact on child). The father had disseminated personal information about the mother to third parties following their separation. The judge found that the dissemination of personal information was a factor in the mother wanting to relocate away from the area where this occurred, as the mother wanted to relocate to protect the children from frequent arguments (capacity to protect).

The judge found that the mother had lacked insight into the impact on her children of introducing a new partner into her life at the time of separation, but this was not sufficient to change the orders.


Delegated Decision Making

The father had delayed arranging dental treatment for the children.

A judge made orders for parents to have equal shared parental responsibility except on the topic of the children’s health where the mother was delegated sole parental responsibility as the father had failed to respond in a timely manner to the child’s need for dental treatment (decision delegated).