Adam Robb* was just five years old when his father showed him a gun while they were talking via a webcam. Now an affectionate, lanky 12-year-old, Adam should be getting excited about starting high school in a few months, like other kids his age. Instead, his life has been in limbo.
Adam’s parents have been in and out of the family law system since he was a toddler. The latest round of litigation started in 2012 when his dad, Matthew, urged the court to give him increased access to his son and an equal share in decisions affecting him.
Matthew has a mental illness, an addiction to ice, a string of convictions for drug offences, assault and theft, and subjected Adam’s mother to terrifying violence when they were living under the same roof. That included dragging her by the hair and punching her in the face. He also has moved from the family’s home state, NSW, to Victoria.
But, unbelievably, it took the Federal Circuit Court — which now handles most family law disputes — more than three years to decide who should be awarded parental responsibility.
That decision, finally handed down earlier this month, awarded Kim full-time care for Adam and sole responsibility for decisions affecting his life. But the judge also ordered Adam to have regular telephone contact with his father and supervised contact with him several times a year.
For Kim, it has been an agonising wait for the outcome, as she lived with the constant fear her ex would rock up to her south coast home and take her son.
“We just wanted to be able to move on with our lives but we couldn’t because we were still being hounded by this lunatic.”
Despite the wait, it was also a bitterly disappointing result. Kim is deeply fearful of her son spending time with his father, even in a contact centre, because in the past police have had to be called when he became aggressive and violent…
Read More: The AustralianBack to News
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