Pillai & Doshi 2011 FamCA 36

The case involved two children aged 7 and 4 years.  The father applied for the children to live with him and to be cared for by his parents while he was at work.

The husband had withheld the children from their mother after an access visit.

A judge who viewed the father’s affidavit considered the affidavit to be offensive to many people, to reflect strong views and perhaps to reflect a persecution complex.  A Senior Registrar of the court asked both the mother and father to participate in a psychiatric review.  The mother participated but the father declined.  The Registrar then ordered that contact by the father be supervised but the father refused to participate in supervised access.

The judge found that the husband  lacked insight or understanding of the very real trauma and difficulties that he had subjected his wife and children to.

The judge found that the husband was asked on several occasions whether he could give credit to his wife by making positive comments about the wife either personally or in her role as a parent.  The husband had been unable to make positive comments and was wholly negative and uncomplimentary about her and her role and actions as a parent and personally (personality ultra-critical).  Each of the paternal grandparents had been asked about positive aspects of the wife personally or as a parent, but they also had been unable to make positive comments.

The judge found that the inability of both the husband and his parents to reflect on the current wellbeing and circumstances of the children and the way they have developed over the past year, and in particular at school, did not assist the husband’s cause.   The husband had remained very critical of the wife, her lifestyle and her past efforts with the children and he displayed no willingness to promote any ongoing positive relationship between the children and her.

The judge observed that the husband showed little or no concept or understanding or insight into the best interests of the children.

The judge found that the husband had been highly critical of all organisations and persons who had offered assistance or guidance to the wife. The judge found that the children currently did not have a meaningful relationship with their father.

The judge ordered that the father have supervised contact on successful completion of a psychiatric assessment (conditional access).