Thompson & Hawkes 2014 FCCA 390

A father asked to review orders for his 3 year old daughter 15 months after orders were issued.  The father claimed changed circumstances saying that he had formed a new relationship (re-partnered), his daughter was of school age, and he had completed a course of therapy although a treatment report he submitted did not document changes in his behaviours.

Evidence in the first hearing indicated that the father spoke about his daughter as being the only thing he had, the father encouraging his daughter to miss day-care to spend time with him, the father having difficulty separating from the child, and the father carrying the child on his hip rather than allowing her to walk independently (parenting style dependent).

The appeal judge noted that the trial judge had not made forward plans to adjust contact arrangements as time went on (graduated approach).  The appeal judge ruled that a review and  prolonged proceedings were not in the best interests of the child, and dismissed the application.