Ahrens & Ahrens 2013 FMCAfam 273

A mother separated due to complaints of family violence.  The mother reported that the father was both controlling and emotionally abusive towards her in the presence of children aged 9 and 10 years, and that he berated the children and called them names.  The mother reported that the father’s behaviour worsened when he drank excessively.  The father denied these allegations.  The children spoke to the consultant about actions by the father similar to those raised by the mother.

The judge found that there were reasonable grounds to conclude that the father had engaged in abuse of the children or in family violence.  The children’s relationship with the father was overshadowed by the father’s anger and emotional issues and the children’s apprehension and fear when they were with him.  The judge expressed significant reservation as to the father’s capacity to meet the emotional needs of the children.  The father demonstrated little capacity to reflect and to consider the needs of his children or to consider the impact of his actions on the children (impact on child).

The judge issued interim orders for the children to live with the mother.  The father was ordered to enrol in an anger management programme and for his contact with the children to be supervised following completion of that programme.