Scranton & Scranton 2015 FamCA 496

Both parents were citizens of another country and applied to travel with their children to that country in alternate years so that the children could meet members of their extended family.  Initial orders allowed the children to leave Australia for a period of one month, accompanying each parent in alternate years.  However the mother lacked the funds to travel during her allocated year and applied to travel for three weeks in the father’s allocated year, without restricting the father’s ability to travel with the children in the same year.  The father objected.

The mother submitted that the father was obsessive and this prevented him from cooperating with her, and that he was controlling towards her (mental illness).   The father submitted that if the children both travelled with the mother and he took his entitlement for the children to travel in the same year then the children would be absent from school for an excessive time.   The father asked the Court to negotiate by linking two proposals, asking the Court to grant him additional travel time as a condition for his agreement to the mother’s proposal.

The judge found that it was in the children’s best interests to travel with the mother as she proposed.  The judge found that the mother’s difficulty in communicating with the father was not a material factor in the case.