by David   10/01/2020  0 Page Views
2 Comments  Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders


I am in applicant in a matter that is before the Family Court of Australia. 

I have a simple question,

Is it an act of child abuse by a parent if the child (11 year old) is withheld by one per from seeing the other parent, in contravention of a court order between April 2018 and September 2018, and no applications to vary or discharge the court order? 

Facts before the court: 

  1. There was a court order in place that had my access to the child “5 nights per fortnight” during school and 50% during school holidays
  2. the respondent did not apply to the court to change or discharge the order during the time April 2018 to September 2018
  3. the respondent did not reply to any communications from me during this time, not one email or text message was respondent to
  4. The QPS conducted a welfare check on the child in May 2018
  5. There were no other legal reasons for the child to not be with her father  
  6. The mother has not put one word and/or any evidence on any affidavits in this matter about her justification to withhold the child during that period
  7. The court has evidence from the Department of Education (Queensland State) of the child being absent from school on days the father was ordered to pick up the child
  8. There is a previous matter in which I was also the applicant and the child was withheld from me between April 2015 and December 2015 contrary to a parental plan agreed by both parents, that matter was settle by consent by order (the same order that was contravened by the mother between April 2018 and September 2018)
  9. In 2016, a court order family consultant made the following recommendation about the respondent in a family report “That the RESPONDENT be required to address psychologically, the need to differentiate her own experiences from those of CHILD and the importance of protecting CHILD from the ongoing dispute.”
  10. There is no evidence before the court the respondent sort help since that recommendation

I interpret Section 4(1) (c) that a child is abused if it subjected to family violence.

I interpret Section 4AB (1) that a child is subjected to family violence when by a person that controls a member of the person’s family, in my case, the mother withholds the child from seeing or speaking with her father.

I interpret Section 4AB (2) (i) that to withhold a child from seeing her father between April 2018 and September 2018 the mother was “preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family”.

Child abuse?