Khorsandi & Rashidi No 2. 2014

A family arrived in Australia as asylum seekers with children aged 7 and 6 years.  The parents separated and the father was absent from the family for 2 months.  When the father returned he applied to spend time with the children but the mother opposed this.

The mother followed Islamic beliefs while the father had converted to Christian beliefs (religious belief).  The mother expressed concern that the father may attempt to proselytise or convert the children to his new religion, and she gave this as one reason to oppose access.  The father gave an assurance that he would not proselytise to his children.

The judge noted that parental responsibility on non-major topics can be exercised either jointly or individually (collaborative parenting or parallel parenting).   When making an interim order the presumption of joint decision-making on major topics applies unless a Court considers this inappropriate in the circumstances.   The judge found that too many factors were unknown or in dispute to make a determination of this topic in the case, and deferred this topic until a trial heard full evidence.

The judge issued interim orders concerning the time children spent with each parent and protecting the children from any risk of violence.