Reynolds & Reynolds 2014 FCCA 698

Parents of children aged 12 and 10 years had been separated with an order granting the father fortnightly access that was supervised until the children were aged 12 years.  The father had displayed family violence by kicking holes in walls and damaging a door, and these incidents were witnessed by the children who were wary of the father (personality aggressive).  The father acknowledged denigrating the mother and damaging property.  After two years the father requested that ongoing supervision of visits cease, citing changed circumstances as the father had attended an anger management programme.  A consultant found that the children continued to express fear about the father, and requested that visits continue to be supervised.   The mother reported that the father had shown persistent controlling and coercive behaviour towards her during their relationship (personality domineering).  There were no adverse reports from the supervising agency.

The judge found that the children not longer needed to be protected from the father (age of child).

The judge had ordered that each parent have sole parental responsibility to care for the daily welfare and development of the children while the child is living with that parent, and for each parent to advise the other parent of any need for treatment or medication that is required for the child, as soon as practicable.

The judge ordered that the children live with the mother and spend unsupervised time with the father, and that the mother have sole parental responsibility.