Helbig & Rowe 2014 FamCAFC 179

A trial judge ordered a family assessment by an independent expert but ruled that counselling notes about the father not be provided to the expert.  The mother appealed, arguing that the father posed an unacceptable risk to the children and that the counselling notes provided evidence of this. It had been agreed that the children have regular unsupervised contact with the father.

Evidence was presented to the appeal court that the father acknowledged in the counselling notes that he had a long history of viewing pornography and masturbating, including in front of his children.

The appeal court noted that the independent expert had other avenues to obtain material relevant to investigations and did not allow the appeal.