Carpenter & Carpenter 2014 FamCAFC 100

A mother alleged that the father had exposed three children to sexual abuse.  Independent assessments did not support this allegation.  The judge gave low weight to results of a psychometric test conducted by an assessing psychologist, but gave considerable weight to evidence by another expert who had observed interactions between the children and father.  The judge found that the mother’s evidence was exaggerated and self-serving, and that the mother held a strong belief that was not supported by actual evidence.

The trial judge ordered that the children live with their father and spend time with the mother, and that the father have sole parental responsibility.  The mother appealed that the trial judge did not exclude evidence of two supposedly expert witnesses on the grounds that they had not demonstrated expertise on the topic of sexual abuse of children (evidence admissibility).  The mother submitted that evidence was required from a new single expert witness.

The appeal court noted that the mother had not objected to evidence provided by the expert witnesses at the time of the trial (experts simultaneous), and found no merit in the appeal.