Halston & Halston 2013 FMCAfam 16

A mother of children aged 7 and 5 years who lived with the mother was described as being very caring towards the children, and as being a devoted, patient and understanding parent.  The mother had excluded the father when making decisions about the children.  The mother had decided that the school was not meeting the needs of the children and ceased sending the children to school for a period of six weeks, and continued this approach after being asked by a professional to resume schooling (school attendance, parenting style permissive).

Assessors reported high conflict between the parents and that the children had been adversely affected by this conflict.  The mother was found to have attempted to exclude the father from the children’s lives.  When enrolling the children at school the mother had provided contacts for friends rather than for the father.  The judge found that the mother had exaggerated indications of domestic violence.

The judge found that the children were being harmed by the mother’s behaviours in not supporting a meaningful relationship with the father, and that change was needed to produce long term benefits for the children although changes were likely to produce short term difficulties for the children.  The judge ordered that the children live with the father and granted the father sole parental responsibility for the children.