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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5422
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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My partner has a son with an ex boyfriend. The father tried

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My partner has a son with an ex boyfriend. The father tried to get full custody after they had to go to court because he took the son for 21 days and would not return him to his mother. After a court battle, they now have court orders in place so the son stays with his father 2 nights a week.

About six months ago he made sexual abuse allegations about me and the child which the police and child services looked into and threw away without a report because it was not true.

He told her today that he has apparently (he's told us) taken his son to a child psychologist and apparently the child has said that the abuse is still occuring, that my partner is not a good mother, that the boy is better off living with his father etc.

What we want to know, and i realize it may be difficult to answer without a more in depth history and seeing the actual court orders, but is he allowed to take the boy to see a psychologist without the mother's permission. And do we have a right to see the findings for ourselves, or contact the person ourselves to discuss the findings.

We fear he is going to try and start the court battle up all over again and it is putting my partner and myself under a lot of stress as we can not afford to go back to court and last time my partner checked she was not eligable for free legal aid.

Sorry if this message seems rather impersonal, but i don't feel comfortable using any names. I love the boy, he's a fantastic, smart kid and i would NEVER do anything to harm or abuse him.
Hello and thank you for your question.

Unless there are orders in place preventing the father from taking the son to see a psychologist, you cannot prevent him from doing so.

A court will naturally be cautious about accepting a report obtained in such circumstances and likely would require further investigation before it made any final decision on such an accusation (and would likely require the child to be independently assessed).

Although it is an unfortunate reality that allegations of this sort can be difficult to refute and can be very distressing, the fact it appears the father has already been 'caught out' making false allegations means that it is much less likely future allegations of this sort will be acted on by the courts unless the evidence is compelling.

Also, experience as a lawyer tells me to be very skeptical of persons who allege they have evidence or reports supporting a view but then do not simply present the evidence or reports. In most such cases the evidence or report will turn out to be either non existent or at least far less supportive than initially represented. Very likely therefore, the father is just making noise to try to upset you and your partner for malicious reasons. I strongly suggest you simply ignore such suggestions until such time as he provides you or your partner with evidence or takes legal action.

Although your concerns about the cost of dealing with legal action against you are sensible, the reality is that they are just as expensive for the father, and if the allegations appear false, or the court forms the view that the father is manufacturing issues of no substance, the court is likely to order the father to pay most of the mother's costs.

Noting the above cost issue; the fact of his failed previous attempts to allege abuse; and his failure to immediately take further action based on this alleged report confirming abuse, all indicate to me that he is not as keen to involve the courts as he is making out. I think therefore there is a very good possibility he is just bluffing. Ultimately though, is all you can do is wait and see.

Finally, if he is making these allegations to persons outside the immediate family, or the authorities, so as to damage your reputation, then you could consider bringing defamation proceedings against him, which will force him to either prove his allegations or withdraw them, and if he cannot may entitle you to compensation. If you think this is something you should pursue then you should consult a defamation lawyer for more detailed advice. My view is that this should be a last resort since such proceedings can be very expensive and unless the father has significant resources this may not recover much. Alternately, malicious defamation is also a criminal offence in Queensland and although almost never prosecuted, if there appears to be clear evidence that he is not just unreasonable in his belief of abuse, but is maliciously making up false allegations, then it is a matter you could refer to the police:

Indeed, simply bringing this offence to his attention may be sufficient to make him back down.

I trust the above assists.

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