A decision of the Family Court in Darwin V Gryner is an illustration that the affection and care the child feels for a step parent carries greater weight than merely the biological link to a mother.
The facts of this case revolved around a young boy who lived with his father and enjoyed regular time with his long term partner who had not lived with the father. The father died in 2008. Both the step mother and the mother agreed at mediation following the death of the father, that the child would live with the step mother.
In interim proceedings later brought by the mother the court found that the mother had been inconsistent in her contact with the child. During these proceedings the mother brought an application that the boy live with her despite the fact she had little relationship with him. The mother had five other children at the time all of whom for various reasons were no longer in her care. At the time, the application was brought, the mother was in a relation with a convicted sex offender.
Justice Barry in this matter found that the mother should see the child for short periods of time in the absence of her new partner. He ordered the child to live with the step mother who had developed a close and loving bond to the child and provided a stable environment for the child to grow up in.
If you need Family Law Advice in relation to children’s orders, call Michell Meares, Accredited Family Law Specialist on freecall 1800 891 691.