Sexual abuse in parenting proceedings and allegations

allegations of sexual abuse in parenting proceedings family lawyers Brisbane

Sexual abuse in parenting proceedings and related allegations must be addressed on the evidence before the Court. In appropriate cases, a Court may determine that compelling inferences are open on the evidence before it.

Where allegations of sexual abuse in parenting proceedings are made in relation to a child, any finding made by the trial judge regarding those allegations will stand on any appeal unless they are contrary to the evidence or compelling inferences or are obviously improbable.

It is not necessarily enough to succeed on allegations of sexual abuse in parenting proceedings to rely upon affidavit evidence of a parent or alleged key witnesses. The consistency of that affidavit evidence and the credibility of witnesses will be of real importance. Where a court finds that a witness has been influenced by another person regards the affidavit evidence of that witness, the integrity of the evidence of that witness is severely compromised.

Contact our family lawyers Brisbane or family lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice concerning evidence to be given in parenting proceedings or regards any family law issues, whether parenting matters or property division matters. We offer complimentary/free advice during your first call with us.  Our goal is to assist you to reach agreement with your former partner without the need to go to Court. If court action becomes necessary, we will represent you effectively in Court. You are also welcome to read on………………………

In Ferreday & Layh [2019], the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia dismissed an appeal by the father who claimed amongst other things that the primary/trial judge had failed to make a finding of sexual abuse in parenting proceedings in relation to a child.  Orders sought by the father included that all sexual interference with the child was to cease and a declaration that the child had been sexually abused by both the mother and a Mr. Y.

The primary judge had not accepted as true the allegations of sexual abuse of the child that had been made by the father. The Full Court noted that there had been significant differences regards the affidavit evidence given by the paternal grandmother and her statutory declaration concerning the allegations that she made of having witnessed sexual abuse of the child.  Her evidence was internally inconsistent and inconsistent with the father’s evidence. Both her evidence and the evidence give by a neighbour were found by the primary judge to have been coloured by their obvious acceptance of the father’s concerns. The primary judge considered that it was likely that the paternal grandmother’s evidence was “either promoted by the [father] or at the very least significantly coloured by his presentation to her”. The primary judge had however found Mr Y to be a credible witness.

The Full Court considered that these findings were open to the primary judge.

Call 07 3506 3651 or contact us via our website for advice from our experienced child custody lawyers Brisbane or our family lawyers Brisbane concerning any family law issue that you may have. We can assist you in relation to allegations of sexual abuse in parenting proceedings or in relation to any other parenting or property issues. We are ready to assist you to resolve your family law matter.

You may also find other information on our site helpful regards parenting matters.

The information set out in this blog is not a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you obtain advice tailored to your particular circumstances from LGM family lawyers Brisbane.