Daisy first engaged with PCLC after separating with her partner Josh due to allegations of family violence. Josh was claiming that Daisy was fabricating the family violence as a result of a genetic neurological disease she had. Daisy disputed these claims and refused to be tested, notwithstanding that a number of her relatives had died from the disease.
Josh refused to participate in legally aided Family Dispute Resolution and although our FV2FVCP lawyer attempted to negotiate a parenting plan, Josh ultimately refused to sign. The couple’s daughter Isobel was living with Daisy at the time and was not spending anytime with her father.
After approximately 12 months , Josh issued proceedings seeking equal shared parental responsibility and substantial time with Isobel, notwithstanding he hadn’t seen Isobel for 2 years. Daisy still had serious safety concerns for herself and Isobel in light of Josh’s past untreated anger issues and impulsive behaviour, both of which were exacerbated by a brain injury.
Our lawyer obtained an extension of Daisy’s grant of legal aid to cover litigation, which allowed him to obtain her instructions to draft the responding documentation. However, Daisy was still stating that she wanted to deny Josh’s allegation that she had the neurological disease. As our lawyer had been shown a preliminary diagnosis from her neurologist stating that it was very possible she had the disease, it was unethical for him to act on the instructions to deny the existence of the disease. Daisy was advised that we would need to see the results of further investigations, if the results showed that Daisy was suffering from the neurological disease and she still wanted to deny it PCLC would no longer be a position to act.
Ultimately, further testing confirmed the diagnosis and Daisy agreed to admit it in her affidavit. Unfortunately, following the diagnosis Daisy’s condition quickly deteriorated and her capacity to provide instructions began to fail.
Our lawyer discussed the options with one of Daisy’s relatives and arrangements were made for a litigation guardian to be appointed together with obtaining orders for an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL)to be appointed. Daisy’s General Practitioner and Neurologist both assessed that our client had sufficient capacity to parent.
Our lawyer is currently awaiting a consultant’s report from the Child-inclusive Conference, a new Neuropsychological assessment and input from the ICL these together will make Daisy’s prospects of success easier to assess.
Although the matter has yet to reach a resolution, the involvement of the Family Law Program has motivated Daisy to address long standing significant legal and medical issues. It has also come to some relief to Daisy that she can progress her legal issues with the appointment of a litigation guardian, and that her protective concerns for the child in the father’s care can be brought to the Court’s attention.