Collins & Ricardo 2015 FamCA 7

A father applied to have unsupervised access with his child aged 6 years.  The father submitted reports from two assessing psychologists in support of his application.

A report by one psychologist indicated that the father “does not have any substance abuse problems and falls within the very low risk range of the population in relation to developing a substance abuse problem”. However a urinalysis certificate for the father showed clear results for specified drugs.

Another psychologist opined that the father “is not suffering from any diagnosable psychological disorder according to the DSM4”.

A psychiatrist opined that the results of both psychological assessments based on interviews and personality testing will not support any psychiatric diagnosis and he expressed an opinion that comments made by one psychologist were of the nature of a description of her perceptions of the father’s presentation to her rather than representing a formal diagnosis of personality disorder (psychiatric assessment, personality concerns).

The judge found that the material provided by the psychologists who had seen the father did not assist in assessing the likely impact on child of the changes to parenting arrangements that were sought by the father, and that the evidence provided by the father did not assist the judge to determine what orders were in the child’s best interests (expert evidence unsatisfactory).