How do allegations of sexual abuse affect custody?
The children’s best interests are the primary concern of the Court when it has to decide who children should live with following their parents separation and how much time they should spend with the other parent. The Court must consider the right of a child to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents. However, the Court is also required to protect children from a risk of harm, for example, the risk of being sexually abused.
However false or exaggerated claims by a parent may be counterproductive. In a recent case a mother who claimed her husband has been sexually abusing himself in front of their three children lost custody of the children.
The Family Court found that the mother had herself emotionally abused the children by encouraging their claims of sexual abuse.
The Court found that the father did not pose a risk to the children and made Orders that the children live with the father and otherwise spend time with the mother on a fortnightly basis.
If you are currently trying to resolve parenting issues with your former spouse and would like further advice or assistance please feel free to contact us at The Norton Law Group specialist family and divorce lawyers Sydney and Parramatta for a free and obligation free initial appointment. We specialize in all aspects of Family Law including child custody and access disputes.