Rejection of parental love and care – the family law solution
Rejection of parental love and care by children can have unexpected consequences.
In the recent case of Steyn & Garrety, the Family Court of Australia removed 2 young sisters from the care of their father despite final orders 4 years earlier providing for the children to live with the father and placed them with their mother. Prior to these most recent orders, the mother had to cease time and communication with the with the children due to it being chaotic and destructive. The court suspended the children spending any time or communicating with the father for 10 weeks while they settled into the mother’s care, then progressing to supervised and then holiday time. The conflict between the parties had been entrenched and the children were under extreme emotional pressure and emotionally damaged from this conflict. The court formed the view that the only hope the children had of recovering from any long-term effect of this conflict was to change their residence. The court found that the deterioration of the relationship between the mother and the children was not the fault of one party alone but a combination of fraught changeovers, bitterness and resentment between the father, his new wife, the mother and the children. The court found that the father and his new wife demonstrated a complete inability to facilitate a relationship between the mother and the children. The court also found that the father and his new wife both took active steps to cut the mother out of the children’s lives. The court was concerned that the father’s new wife had taken on the role of mother as if the children did not have a mother. The children would be better protected from further psychological harm by living with the mother and the mother would be better placed to facilitate a relationship between the children and the paternal family.
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