Fagundes & Fagundes No 4 2012 FMCAfam 1542

The case involved children aged 12 and 8 years who had lived with the mother.  The older child expressed a desire to live with the father while the younger child wanted to continue living with the mother.  The consultant recommended that the siblings remain together, and this was the wish of both children.  The primary attachment of the younger child had been assessed as being to the mother, but questions were raised as to whether this attachment had changed over time.

The judge quoted from a former judgment that split custody seems undesirable, because it not only breaks the continuity of a relationship with an adult, but also breaks the continuity of sibling relationships.    It was proposed that the younger child’s attachment to the mother had abated and that the sibling relationship was now more significant than the attachment to a parent.

The judge ordered that both children live with the father and spend time with the mother, with both parents having shared parental responsibility.