Badmouthing parent

Badmouthing parent: What can be done

A parent badmouthing the other parent can be a real problem for children at any time and especially following a divorce or separation.  Research suggests that a child can develop anxiety and feel insecure where a badmouthing parent is constantly making negative comments about the other parent whether directly to the child or in the presence of the child.

“I was convinced Dad was a bad man. During the period I lived in Australia, Mum and her family convinced me Dad was a very different person. I didn’t want to be here (in Italy).”

These are the words of Lily who was 7 years of age in 2010 when her mother took her and her 3 sisters from Italy to Australia at a time when she was involved in a bitter custody dispute in Italy. The mother failed to return them to Italy. An Order made in 2012 by the Family Court of Australia required that the children be returned to Italy where a court was to decide custody issues.

An article entitled “This won’t tear us apart again” appeared in the Courier Mail on Saturday, 3 November 2018 featuring their story and highlights the effect on children of a badmouthing parent.  Lily’s sister Christine who was 9 years of age when her mother took her to Australia speaks now about how hard it was for her not knowing who of her parents to trust and remarks that it is very hard to get trust again.

Running down the other parent to a child is not only a problem for the child in terms of the damage to their emotional development but can also turn out badly for the badmouthing parent when seeking parenting orders (or child custody orders) from the family court. There is other conduct of a parent that can bode badly for that parent when seeking parenting orders or child custody orders; conduct that seems to be more of a risk for a parent on separation from their former partner.  You may find of interest also our blog about conflict between parents and obtaining parenting orders.

Contact our experienced Brisbane family lawyers and North Brisbane family lawyers if you need family law experts to advise you regarding parenting, child custody, divorce, separation or family law property settlement. We understand that separation and divorce are very difficult periods in your life. We have the experience to assist you to resolve your family law issues and always aim for an agreement to be reached on an amicable basis. You are also welcome to read on…..

What the Family Law Act provides regards the badmouthing parent

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FLA) requires that in determining whether to make  a particular parenting order (or child custody order), the family court must consider the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration.  See Section 60CA FLA.

Primary considerations and additional considerations are set out in section 60CC FLA that the family court must consider when determining what is in the best interests of a child.

One of those consideration is the capacity of each of the child’s parents (any other person (including any grandparent or other relative of the child)) to provide for the needs of the child, including emotional and intellectual needs. See Section 60CC(3) FLA.

It should be no surprise that any habit of a parent in speaking badly about the other parent to a child will be a real factor in the family court determining that that parent does not have capacity to provide for the child’s emotional needs.

You are welcome to contact our Brisbane family lawyers and family lawyers Northside for advice regards arrangements that can be put in place to reduce the risk of a parent making negative comments about the other parent to or in the presence of a child.  Our family lawyers have the experience to assist you with all aspects of family law, including divorce, separation, child custody and family law property settlement.