“I expect by then you two will be able to sort things out yourselves”.
The Family Report was based on meetings of the Family Court Child Psychologist, Marilyn Venus, and the mother, and then the father. My 14yr old daughter was also required for an interview, though the child's maternal grandmother who was looking after my son most of the time while the mother was working, was not required to be interviewed.
The Child Psychologist sat in the corner of a small room observing and taking notes while my son and I 'interacted'. Similarly this took place with the mother. This is such an unnatural situation in which to ‘objectively’ observe ‘typical behaviour’ between a child and a parent, and yet so much hangs in the balance with this half hour 'observation'. One can easily walk along a plank located one metre above the ground, but suspend the same plank between two buildings 100m above the ground and the result is quite different.
Nevertheless, the interviews and observations went smoothly. In the Family Report, the Child Psychologist Marilyn Venus recommended a three stage increase in contact with the father. Marilyn Venus said to me following the release of the report “I didn't go all the way to Equal Residency because I felt I'd intervened enough, and I thought that by the time he [our son] goes to school, I expect you two will be able to sort things out for yourselves.” What a huge ill-founded assumption this was considering the mother was willing to fabricate sexual abuse allegations amongst other blatant untruths in her Affidavits to minimise my contact with my son.
It also puts all the onus on me to achieve reconciliation. Why ?
I asked the Child Psychologist why the Family Court granted Equal Residency in so few cases. She said “You have no idea of some of the fathers we have come through here.” “Are so many of them so terrible ?” I asked. “Oh no, most of them are very good fathers” she responded. “So why is Equal Residency granted in less than 5% of cases ?” I continued. The Family Court Child Psychologist, Marilyn Venus, did not respond. She looked at her notes, shuffled her papers and changed the subject.