When there are accusations of violence by a parent towards a
child in parenting disputes, the Court is often torn between making
Orders to completely prevent contact between that parent and
children (in circumstances where cases often take years to be
finalised), and putting the child in a position where there is
risk. The popular option is to make an Order for supervised
Supervised time is an Order that allows a parent to have access
to their children under the supervision of a third party agreed to
during the proceedings, or an agency approved by the
Agencies offering these services, whilst an important resource,
aren't government funded and are therefore available only to
those with the ability to pay for them. With costs for transport,
use of space and for employees who physically supervise the time,
fees can accumulate excessively in a matter of weeks. Because of
this, judges are being faced with the question of whether Orders
for the use of agencies for supervised time are realistic as a long
The Family Court of Australia considered these issues in the
case of Fortin & Fortin, handing down judgement on 9 November
2015. In this case, when considering Orders for permanent
supervised time, the Court took the father's financial
circumstances into account, determining that supervised time should
only be a stop gap measure that is altered and changed to
unsupervised time if and when parties are able to address the
issues that lead to supervision being required.
With the use of supervision agencies become more common, there
may be benefit in the Family Court being able to implement more
complex Orders that provide a long-term solution for parties who
are unable to access supervised time long-term, to take steps to
have these arrangements changed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Sect.117 can deal with false statements and knowingly making false allegations of violence could justify a costs order.
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