The case of Ihab and Aarif presented a puzzling dilemma for the Family Court to resolve. In said case, the mother of the children proposed, through a motion filed in the Family Court that she be allowed to bring her children to Syria. Said motion was opposed by the children’s father. However, despite said opposition, the mother’s lawyer informed the court that she was going to Syria anyway with or without the children.
The Family Court ruled as follows:
The motion filed by the mother leaves the children in a disadvantaged position considering their vulnerability and age. In most cases, the court would turn to the father and ask him whether he is willing and capable to take charge for the rearing of the children. However, as in this case, the court cannot outright appoint the father as guardian of the children without having to ascertain his professional background and other circumstances. More importantly, the counsel for the children opposes such idea.
Also, it does not follow that by the motion filed by the mother the court will immediately award the custody of the children to the father. Moreover, there is also the possibility of the grandparent’s role in the proceedings. However, the court cannot determine instantly award custody to the grandparents without having to ascertain the kind of relationship that they have with the children. Also, there is always the option of not to allow the wife from leaving the country.
The court already issued an order precluding the children from leaving the country notwithstanding the jurisdictional questions for the Family Court to make such order. The court is pondering on the motion filed by the mother but is comforted by the fact that the motion was not filed because of the mother’s whimsical thoughts since the court knows that she was well-advised by her counsels.
In the end, the court ruled to involve the statutory authority to protect the children. Said authority was the Victorian Department of Human Services. The court ordered that: