Waddell & Whitton 2013 FMCAfam 253

A father of a 4 year old child was self-represented and conducted proceedings in such a persistent manner that the judge concluded that the father had single mindedly pursued his entitlements with a result that the interests of the child were presented as a secondary consideration rather than as the paramount consideration (personality self centred)  The father criticised the mother’s management of daily parenting topics and invited the Court to micro-manage the mother’s parenting, a task that Courts cannot undertake (parenting style undermining).

The judge found that the father had arrived unannounced at a medical appointment arranged urgently by the mother for the child, demanding that he attend the appointment as it had been scheduled during his time.  The father had asked the mother to stop breast feeding when the baby was ten months old so that he could commence overnight stays.  The judge found that these incidents showed that the father considered that his time took precedence over all other matters.  The judge found that the father had a personality trait of persistence/insistence that could be used to harass if the father put unnecessary pressure on the mother (personality insistent).

The mother said that she minimised communication with the father as he constantly berated her for shortfalls as a parent.  A consultant found that communication between the parents was marked by a high level of rancour and hostility and by low trust, and that the child was exposed to some disputes.

The judge found that communication between the parents was not adequate for shared parental responsibility, and granted sole parental responsibility to the mother.

The judge found that the father lacked capacity to change from his belligerent approach towards the mother, as he viewed parenthood as giving him an entitlement or a right to spend time with the child.  The court ordered that the child live with the mother and spend time with the father.