Joelson & Joelson 2014 FamCA 788

Separated parents had children aged 13 and 10 years.  The father had a history of an episode of major depression and of suicidal tendencies.  The father had made threats to the mother and children and the judge found that this constituted family violence (personality aggressive).  The father had used cannabis for many years but had failed to engage in ongoing psychiatric treatment (therapy for parent).  Both parties agreed that the father’s access to his children needed to be supervised but they held different views about how this should occur, with the father favouring family supervision and the mother seeking agency supervision.  An expert recommended that agency supervision was the safest option.

The judge ordered that the father’s access to his children be supervised by a commercial agency for a year and be conditional on the father attending a treating psychiatrist (access conditional), and that any proposal for unsupervised access needed to be supported by the treating psychiatrist (psychiatric assessment).