Wilkie & Krivkin 2015 FamCA 651

A child was aged 3 years.  The father was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder and an expert opined that the father remained at risk of relapse.  The father had been charged with fighting.  The father reported gambling to distract himself from thinking about other things.  An expert reported that the father had Cluster C personality traits.  The father had been detained to hospital with manic symptoms, and had been on a community treatment order CTO for a year following suicidal ideation (self-harm).

An assessor described the mother as having a rather passive and acquiescing personality style, and as being somewhat fearful of the father based on his aggressive, verbally denigrating and verbally intimidating behaviour towards her in the past as she had found his behaviour to be unpredictable.  The mother had moved inter-state to be with her family and she was concerned about the father’s initial proposal that she relocate back to where he lived.  The father was described by the assessor as being likely to emotionally manipulate the mother.  The father changed his proposal for the mother to relocate but did not inform the mother for several months.  The judge found that the father’s failure to tell the mother that he no longer pressed for relocation, in the absence of any explanation by him of his reasoning process, caused great concerns about his willingness to engage in emotional manipulation of the mother.

The mother asked for supervision of all time when the child was with the father.   The judge found that supervision was necessary to afford the child protection from possible physical or psychological harm.  The judge ordered supervised time with the father with no overnight stays.  The judge ordered that the mother have sole parental responsibility for the child.