Smedley & Snowden 2014 FCCA 762

Evidence was presented that the mother of a 9 year old boy had a long standing schizoaffective disorder following a post-partum psychosis, where the condition was managed by medication provided by a multi-disciplinary team, and that the mother had residual symptoms of hearing voices on a monthly basis.  Evidence was given that these symptoms did not interfere with the mother’s parenting capacity.

The father had used cannabis for 30 years, and had used family violence that was witnessed by the boy and was directed towards the boy (personality aggressive).  Both parents made derogatory comments about the other parent (denigrate).  The son declined to see his father, although on some visits he interacted amicably with his father (reluctant to contact).

The father reported that when his son was aged between 6 and 8 years the father had allowed his son to visit a park unsupervised.  The judge described this as wholly inadequate supervision of a young child (competent parent).

The judge ordered that the mother have sole parental responsibility for the boy, that the boy live with his mother, and spend time with his father.