‘Make all this stop’: Boy’s plea in 15-year custody fight
A BRISBANE judge has blasted the "failings'' of warring Queensland parents who dragged their teenage son through a 15-year custody battle.
The Federal Circuit Court has thrown out the father's bid to have his son live with him one weekend a month and on holidays, after the boy begged Judge Margaret Cassidy to "make all this stop''.
Judge Cassidy ruled that the teenager, who had just finished high school and turned 18 in June, deserved some peace.
He had told the court that he felt "in the middle and bouncing between parents''.
"This is a matter where I have never seen anything quite as spectacular in terms of a complete failure to be in harmony about caring for and making decisions about the medical, social and emotional needs of the child,'' Judge Cassidy said in a newly published judgment.
"It is startling that the parents are so lacking in insight that they could not put any views and anxieties they have aside, with even the help of therapy, to let this little boy grow to his potential with their assistance.
"It is such a pity that the parents could not have got some assistance with their own failures so that they did not pass on these difficulties to this poor little boy, who is now a young man.
"This young man has asked for some peace from the ongoing dispute his parents have involved him in for many years.''
Judge Cassidy said it was not possible for the boy to have a relationship with both parents as he did not wish to see his father.
"This is the parents' fault,'' she said.
"There is nothing I can do about that.
"That falls in their lap, and they will have to live with it for the rest of their lives.
"It may have very serious consequences for their son, who will soon be an adult.''
Judge Cassidy said the teenager had been diagnosed with autism, borderline intellectual impairment, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and Sever's disease.
She said she wished she had been able to order that both parents have responsibility for the boy, who has not spent any time with his father since 2015.
But the mother had been granted a five-year domestic violence order against the father.
Judge Cassidy said the father was still facing a criminal charge relating to his alleged indecent dealing with a child, although on the evidence before her "I do not consider that the father poses any unacceptable risk of sexual abuse to his son''.
"I can accept there has been enough domestic violence to displace the presumption (of equal shared parental responsibility),'' she said.
"But it is really the lack of capacity to communicate, and the profound conflict between the parents that would be the reason I would not make the order.''
The Courier-Mail has revealed that a judge recently allowed a teenage girl to "divorce'' her dysfunctional parents to live with her grandmother.