From time to time there are cases where the court needs to consider reintroducing a child to a biological parent that has not played a significant role in the child’s life. Such was the situation in the case of Spence and Greco where the court had to consider whether a 14 year old boy ought to be ordered to spend time with his father who, over the years, had sporadic contact with the 14 year old child and at times held no contact with him at all. The child’s wishes in this case were not determinative of whether he should be spending time with his father as the court found that whilst he had some negative things to say about his father, he was also partially receptive to having some kind of relationship with his father.
The mother was strongly opposed to the child having any time with his father and the court had to consider whether, without having any orders in place, the mother would facilitate a relationship between the child and his father. While the court found that the relationship between the father and the child was tenuous, they were ultimately of the view that orders ought to be made to promote a meaningful relationship between the child and his father. If orders were not made, the court was not confident the mother would foster any type of relationship between the child and his father.
The court found that since the child’s birth in 2001, the mother had done little to actively promote the child’s relationship with the father and that the mother also lacked a full appreciation of the importance of the child developing a meaningful relationship with his father.
The court accordingly made orders that the child spend some limited time with his father on four consecutive monthly occasions which would afford the child an opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship with his father.