Gibb & Turnley 2015 FamCA 253


The case involved a boy aged 9 years who had lived with his mother.  The mother re-partnered and had two younger children.  The father expressed concern that the child was exposed to family violence in the mother’s house arising in part from the mother’s new partner.  The new partner had threatened the mother on several occasions and the mother called police to ensure that incidents did not escalate.  The mother was herself charged and convicted of assaulting her new partner.  The new partner stated that he became frustrated as the mother always did what the father wanted.  The child showed some signs of oppositional behaviour.

The mother criticised the father’s parenting capacity. The judge noted that the mother agreed that the child spend overnight stays with the father, and that this showed a concession that the father was a competent parent.

The mother was unable to isolate the child from the new partner.  The judge found that the mother was unable to protect the child from family violence (capacity to protect).

The judge ordered that the child live with the father and that the father have sole parental responsibility.