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Drunkard Mother loses custody in interim proceedings.


This case involved and interim orders where the Court had to consider competing parenting proposals with both parents wanting  the Children live with them.

There were allegations of alcohol abuse by the Mother along with mental illness.  The Court needed to consider the best interests of the Children and whether there was an unacceptable risk.  

The most serious allegations against the mother was on 6 February 2019 when the Mother drove a car with the Children in it whilst intoxicated when collecting the Children from school. Later that day the Mother was taken to the Town E Hospital by her brother and the maternal grandmother and was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.224.

It was held that it is in Children’s best interests to live with the Father on an interim basis and if there was time with the mother that the mother first be subject to drug and alcohol testing 24 hours immediately prior to the commencement of any time spent with the Children and the Maternal Grandparents should be in substantial attendance of time spent between the Mother and Children.

The Court made further orders that the mother have a psychiatric assessment and both parents undergo psychological counselling and a parenting course.  

The father was also ordered to complete a Men’s Behaviour Change Course.

Finally after considering all the relevant evidence and balancing the risk to the Children with the benefit of an ongoing relationship with their Mother and Father, the Court determined that for the interim the children should live with the father as a conservative and prudent measure for the interim.

With the judge stating : "In my opinion it balances managing the possible risk of the Mother relapsing again into excessive alcohol consumption and protecting the Children. A line was drawn with the 6 February Incident when the Mother drove the Children whilst intoxicated. Not only did the Mother put herself and the Children at risk but other members of the community as well."

To read the entire case click here [2019] FCCA 1140.

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