ACT Conflicting Stories - Who will Family Court or Mediator Believe?

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Active Member
11 July 2015
Hi All,

my husband and I are currently in the process of seeking 50/50 custody of children with his 11yo daughter. Unfortunately, her birth mother whom she lives with majority of the time is making this difficult for us, so we will be going through mediation and if that fails; family court.

His daughter is wanting the equal time too (and that's why we are pursuing it). She often tells us stories from her mum's place about how her mum and her stepfather feel about us, in particular her dad and they are always negative things. Recently, she told us that her step father said to her that if he saw her dad again, he would punch him to the ground. We have already addressed our concern with his aggressive behaviour and nature (we know that he beats his own son, also 11) and this has been denied by the birth mother.

My question is, who is the mediator/court likely to believe when all of this is revealed, and they again, deny it? The child's story never waivers, her accounts of behaviour and mannerism are very accurate and she doesn't have a history of telling lies. We believe her 100%.


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
This is not something anyone here can answer, unfortunately. If an outcome could be predicted, family law wouldn't even be a thing. under section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975, the court will consider the child's views when determining what's best for the child, and the general consensus is that the older the child is, the more mature they will be and thus, more capable of having an informed view about they want from their care arrangements. It's ordinarily around the age of 12 that the court will consider ordering care arrangements that facilitate the child spending time with either parent in accordance with his/her wishes, but it depends on the individual child.

To determine a child's view, the court will usually employ the services of a family consultant to assess the family situation, speak with the child and work out what they want. This means the court can bank on the insight of an objective, third-party professional, rather than just the he-said, she-said evidence of the parents. The child is never involved directly with court proceedings.

Does this help?