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31st March, 2020

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Refusal to allow her children to grow up causes mother to lose custody

A mother who refused to toilet train her two children lost her custody of them to the father. The Family Court of awarded to the father sole parental responsibility and allowed the mother to spend supervised time with the children.

Both of the children, aged four and five, have not yet been toilet trained and are still in their nappies. The mother said that she kept them in nappies only when going out in public. Justice Watts believed that the child was not going to the toilet deliberately for psychological reasons. The father alleges that the children were not toilet trained because the mother could not bear for them to grow up and become independent. The father reported to the court that his eldest child could not feed himself and insisted that he be hand fed.

There was an earlier interim order that sent the children to the father’s care after the latter received a letter from the mother saying that it was all “gonna end very soon”.

A doctor opined that the mother’s “enmeshed relationship” with the children would likely destabilize their psychological needs which could lead to drastic results. The doctor found that the mother was extremely over-protective of the children, had separation issues and would not let the children assert their independence.

The mother testified in court and made allegations against the father. However, Justice Watts did not find her as a credible witness. The father insisted that the mother would do everything just to ensure that he does not get unsupervised time with the children.

Justice Watts adopted the findings of the doctor. He said that if the children continue to live with the mother they would be exposed to emotional harm with her irrational ideas and fears. Also, the children would not have a relationship with the father if the custody of the children is with the mother. Continuous living with the mother would prevent the normal development of the children.

When he issued the earlier interim order, Justice Watts ordered that the children to go to school immediately. The mother had wanted that the elder child be home schooled. However, this order has yet to be followed by either of the parents.

In the latest judgment both parents were ordered to ensure that the children are toilet trained.

(2011, July 15). Herald Sun

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