Alford & Frost 2014 FamCA 411

There were interim consent orders for the child to live with the father and spend time with the mother.  Reports from the District Court showed that the mother’s new partner and fiancé had been convicted of multiple counts of serious offences where the child aged 6 years was the victim, but the new partner proposed to appeal the conviction.  There were significant allegations of family violence offences while the mother had been under an obligation not to leave the child unsupervised in the company of her new partner.  If the conviction was appealed the child might be called to give evidence.

The father applied to suspend all time with the mother alleging that the mother cannot be trusted to ensure that the child was protected from harm and alleging that the mother’s sister was no longer an appropriate supervisor (capacity to protect, prioritise child’s needs).

The judge found, based on the mother’s affidavit, that the mother had not accepted the guilt of her fiancé.  The judge found that the ongoing criminal proceedings left the child exposed to a significant risk in relation to the child’s psychological welfare.  The judge ordered that, pending the resolution of the criminal proceedings against the fiancé, the child not spend any time with the mother.