Vance & Carlyle 2014 FamCA 651
Parents separated when the child was aged 9 months. The child lived with the mother and did not see the father for the next year, and then commenced fortnightly visits at a contact centre. The child was assessed as attached to the mother but as having no real attachment to the father (attachment nil).
The father’s interest in the child was viewed as being contingent or conditional as the father questioned his paternity, and stated that he would not support the child financially if tests showed that he was not the father (parental attitude). The father expressed interest in renewing a relationship with the mother and brought gifts to the contact centre for the mother despite being advised not to do this (reconcile).
The father was criticised for discussing an adult topic with a child aged 3 years. When meeting in an agency contact centre the father was recorded as complaining that they had to meet there because of what the mother had done, about the father having to do the right thing, about the child getting a new mummy, the mother taking out an AVO, the father asked repeatedly what the mother fed the child (report on), that the mother could reconcile their relationship if she wanted to, and the father talked about his own financial situation.