Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Emotional Abuse, False Allegations of Child Abuse, Parental Alienation, Parental Disorders, Psychological Disorders, Risk of Psychological Harm, Unsubstantiated Allegations
Judges:  Cronin J


Background: Mr Garzelli (“the husband”) married Ms Lewis (“the wife”) in January 2007 after they had met in 2005 through the internet. The husband is a 61 year old company director who was born in Australia. The wife is a 48 year old woman who was born in Country I. The husband and wife have one child N (“the child”) who was born in 2009 in Country I. This case focussed primarily on the credibility of the wife, and on the expectation that she would work with the father in a co-operative, shared parenting arrangement. 
 
  [Legal Issue]The Court, with the assistance of the psychiatric and psychological experts, determined that the mother went to significant efforts to manipulate circumstance to reflect poorly on the husband. It was suggested that a diagnoses of Borderline or Schizoid personality style or Asperger’s Spectrum Disorder was very likely, exposing the child to likely Parentified Child behaviours, which would force the child to align with the mother and abandon her relationship with her father, so as to meet the mother's increasingly demanding emotional needs and desires. The diagnoses would render the chances of a co-operative parenting arrangement very unlikely.   [Court Orders]That the husband have sole parental responsibility for the child born ... 2009 but for that purpose, the husband ensure the wife is kept abreast of all major issues about the child and in particular: (a) advise the wife of any medical treatment for the child; (b) authorise and direct the school at which the child attends to provide all school reports, newsletters, photographs and invitations usually directed to parents to be provided to the wife. The parents to otherwise have shared parenti     


 ] Download Decision

Family Court of Australia emblem
Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Allegations of Child Abuse, Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, False Allegations of Child Abuse, Parental Disorders, Psychological Disorders, Unacceptable Risk, Unsubstantiated Allegations
Judges:  Tree J


Background: Mr & Ms Wylie met and married in 2000, bought and renovated and sold houses in the property boom, travelled and worked through Europe. Their twin girls were born through IVF in 2007, when Mr Wylie was establishing his own small business. They experienced increasing conflicts within their relationship, until Mr Wylie eventually suggested that they should separate. One day soon after, Mr Wylie received a text message from Ms Wylie: “You need to talk to the Department of Child Safety, they’ve got some concerns.” However an assessment determined that there was no evidence of sexual abuse, but there was evidence of emotional abuse, stemming from fabricated allegations by the mother. Ms Wylie also advised that she too was sexually abused as a child.  
 
  [Legal Issue]Previous consent orders. Urgent application following almost immediate failure to comply with orders. Allegations of sexual abuse and violence against the father. Allegations of manipulative and alienating behaviours against the mother. Consideration of argument as to admissibility of statements attributable to the mother being made to Department of Communities officers and communicated to police officers – finding of admissibility – consideration of the objects of the Act and principles and application of relevant considerations – consideration of whether the behaviour of one or other of the parties constitutes an “unacceptable risk” to the children – determination on an interim basis that a risk of psychological harm of an unacceptable nature does arise – orders a   [Court Orders]Family Court judge Justice Peter Tree, “after eight days of trial before me of fiercely contested competing parenting applications relating to the parties’ six-year-old twin girls”, ordered that Mr Wylie have sole parental responsibility for the major long-term care of his children and that Ms Wylie ask her GP for referral to a psychiatrist. “I am satisfied, on the material before me, that the concerns which inevitably would otherwise have flowed from the mother’s notice of abuse, have     


 ] Download Decision

Family Court of Australia emblem
4: Green & Hann [2010] FamCA 747 |
Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Communication, Emotional Abuse, Enmeshment, False Allegations of Child Abuse, Obstruction of Contact with Child, Parental Alienation, Parental Responsibility, Parenting Orders, Psychological Disorders, Risk of Psychological Harm, Sole Parental Responsibility, Supervised contact with Child, Unsubstantiated Allegations, With whom a child lives with
Judges:  Cleary J


Background: The parties began a relationship when Ms Green was 12 and Mr Hann was 16 years old. They married in 1993. Two children were born of the marriage. The parties separated in 2004 when the children were aged about 3 ½ years and 18 months old respectively. The children then lived with their mother and spent regular time with their father, including overnight time. Contact between the children and their father proceeded without incident until 2009. However in 2009, the children began to exhibit challenging and concerning behaviour both at school and towards the father.  
 
  [Legal Issue]In 2009, the children began to exhibit challenging and concerning behaviour both at school and towards the father. The Court has found that this behaviour was encouraged by the mother, who had formed an unhealthy dependence on the children. As a result, the Court found that there should be a change of residence, from the mother to the father.    [Court Orders]there should be a change of residence; there should be a period of time when there is limited supervised time with the mother to enable them to settle down in the father’s household and to begin to understand all the changes in their lives; the children’s behaviour, especially C’s, needs ongoing therapeutic intervention. I find that the mother would not facilitate this but the father and his extended family will; communication between the parties may improve after the mother takes     


 ] Download Decision