Lyons & Adler 2014 FamCAFC 6

When parents were separated, a mother on two occasions asked the father to take on increased care of their two children as she experienced difficulty parenting the son who had learning difficulties (unable to cope).

One child aged 11 years had mild cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and also attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for which he took ritalin.  The ritalin was prescribed to improve concentration during the school day and was optional on weekends and holidays.  The father chose not to give ritalin on weekends or holidays while the mother continued to give ritalin during weekends and school holidays.

The separated parents lived 90 minutes drive away from each other.  A judge ruled that it was not practicable for their children to spend equal or substantial and significant time with each parent due to the distance apart.

A judge placed the children in the care of the father. The mother later appealed this decision saying there were changed circumstances as she was in a new relationship, the mother’s work was more settled, and the son was receiving increased support (re-partnered).   The judge ruled this was not a sufficient change in circumstances to lead to a review of the orders.