Melbourne Family Lawyers Obtain Federal Circuit Court Injunction to Prevent Mother Taking Children from Melbourne to Western Australia

This court case came about when one of clients Eddie (not his real name) found out that his ex-wife Roma (not her real name) was intending to take their two primary school age children to live in Western Australia.  Eddie and Roma had been separated since 2010 and Roma had since re-married.  Since separation, the children had primarily been living with Roma at her home in Melbourne.  Up until mid-2018, the children spent regular time with their father in accordance with an agreed Parenting Plan.  Things changed when Eddie told Roma that he was opposed to the idea of Roma and her current Husband moving to live in Western Australia and taking the children with them.  Roma fabricated false accusations and refused to let the children see their father at all on the pretence that it would be detrimental to their mental health.  We believe that this was intended to facilitate a secret move to Western Australia without notice.

In early July 2018, when Eddie came to see Alison Loach, Senior Consultant at Melbourne Family Lawyers, he was very distraught as he had been denied contact with his children for some weeks and feared that Roma would just go ahead and take the children to live in Western Australia without notice and contrary to his objection.  As there were no court orders in place, we advised Eddie the general provisions of the Family Law Act would apply.  The Family Law Act provides that, unless court orders to the contrary have been made, separated parents continue to have joint parental responsibility for their children.  This means that parents are obliged to consult with each other on major matters impacting on the children, such as health, education and where the children live and then make joint decisions on those matters.  Roma was not legally entitled to make a unilateral decision to take the children to live in another state.

We quickly issued an Urgent Initiating Application in the Federal Circuit Court at Melbourne seeking the following Interim Orders:

1.           That the parties have equal shared parental responsibility for the children.

2.           That the Respondent Mother be restrained by injunction from removing the children from the State of Victoria until further order of the Court.

3.           That the Respondent Mother be restrained by injunction from removing the children from their current Primary School in Melbourne.

4.           That the Respondent Mother provides all details of the children’s treating psychologist and provides copies of any reports prepared by the treating psychologist.

5.           That the Respondent Mother not engage the children with any other treating psychologist, psychiatrist or counsellor or the like without the written consent of the Applicant Father.

6.           That the children live with the Respondent Mother in the State of Victoria.

7.           That the children spend time with the Applicant Father as follows: Every second weekend from Friday after school until return to school Monday.

The case was heard in Court on Wednesday 5 September 2018.  After hearing legal argument from each party’s Lawyer, the Federal Circuit Court Judge decided in favour of our client, Eddie, and made Interim Orders substantially in the terms we had sought.  Eddie is happily due to re-commence spending time with his children on Friday 7 September 2018.

In these situations, it is essential to obtain the best Family Law legal advice available.  Telephone Melbourne Family Lawyers on +613 9670 9677 or click on the blue Make An Enquiry button on this page.

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