This is a dispute over the parenting arrangements for two children, aged ten and eight. Mr Preston, 50, filed a petition seeking an order for parental arrangements and time spent with the children against the mother, Ms Idris, 44 years old.
They were married in 1999, separated in 2009 and divorced in 2010. The case proceeded for five years, the father representing himself. Both parents were in Egypt but are residents of Australia. When the father injured his hand, he was jobless and took care of the children, and the mother returned to work in their business.
Their relationship deteriorated. The father also used corporal punishment on the children and the mother disapproved. Later, the wife alleged that the husband kicked her on the bed and the police were called, and a provisional ex parte Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) issued the next day. The father denies such assault.
The court ruled that there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegations of the mother. That the father is concerned about his daughter, but, his focus was on the wrong person, the mother. There is no doubt the father loves both his children, but in this matter, the father lacked empathy for A’s situation.
The child was caught between her mother’s fear and her father’s anger. Both children had suffered during the ongoing conflict. The court ordered both parents to take the recommended parenting courses, to understand the needs to have a loving relationship with each parent.
The order provides for more time between the children and their father on a graduated basis. The likely effect is that the relationship between them will strengthen and deepen and to have strong ties with his children. He is also ordered to share the costs of raising the children which would relieve the burden on the mother and may assist her in accepting that the father is focused on the welfare of the children and not on past conflict.
This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a Family Lawyer when contemplating a separation or soon after a relationship comes to an end. It is noted that publication of this judgment by this Court under the pseudonym Preston & Idris has been approved by the Chief Justice under s 121(9)(g) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).