Lautner & Lautner 2013 FCCA 46

Children aged 12 and 10 years had lived with their mother and spent time with their father.  Both children told an assessor they would prefer to spend more time with their father (child’s wishes).  Both children reported that the mother yelled at them while the father was calmer.  The older child asked to spend time with his mother on alternate weekends as this would allow the mother more opportunities to go partying and dancing.  The mother objected that the children had been exposed to criticism of her lifestyle, but did not argue that the children had been coached (capacity to decide).

The judge found that both parents had discussed arrangements with the children causing a degree of distress to the children (adult topics).  The judge ordered the children to spend equal time with both parents on a week-about basis.