Grandhouse & Grandhouse 2010 FamCA 921

The mother had a history of making allegations against various people, including against the father, with one conviction being recorded.  The parents made counter-allegations of violence and abuse.  A consultant reported that the mother apparently gained an element of satisfaction from recounting allegations that painted the father in a poor light, and about incidents that had caused the mother sadness.  The mother offered mitigating excuses when explaining her own behaviours (attributions externalising).  The consultant considered it highly likely that the mother was prone to exaggeration or to analysing past events to fit beliefs she already held (credibility).  When the mother spoke to health professionals about the child, the mother provided a detailed account of how the father behaved.  If the Court found that the mother’s allegations were not substantiated then serious concerns would be raised about the mother’s ability to place the needs of the child above her own needs (prioritise child’s needs).

The judge recommended that the mother consult with a treating psychologist of her choice and  undertake a course of therapy as the mother lacked insight into the impact of her actions from having the child investigated for physical and sexual abuse had upon the child (therapy for parent).  Further, that therapy should aim to provide the mother with strategies to deal with any adverse statements which the child might make to the mother relative to the father or his family.