Theophane & Hunt 2011 FamCA 968
A couple separated one year after having a daughter and then engaged in constant litigation and had been a high conflict couple for 4 years. The mother alleged she had been subjected to family violence in the form of physical, psychological and emotional violence, rape, intimidation and threats during their relationship. The mother was charged with attempted murder of the father after driving to his house with a knife and wig and assaulting him by inflicting stab wounds and cuts. The mother was alleged to be in a dream-like state at the time. Charges were subsequently laid against the father.
The mother was assessed by a psychiatrist as having anxiety, personality disorder borderline and some histrionic traits, and as dissociating at the time of the incident (personality emotionally volatile). The psychiatrist assessed that the mother did not pose a risk to the child.
The judge ordered:
- that the mother have sole parental responsibility
- the mother to participate in regular mental health therapy for generalised anxiety, therapy to reduce her alarm reactions, and therapy to assist her to regulate her own emotions (therapy for parent)
- the father to seek therapy to learn self-reassurance rather than to seek reassurance from his daughter (therapy for parent, parenting style dependent)