Graduated increase in time with young child – discomfort of supervision insignificant…

family law casenotes

…compared to potential long-term detriment to child if relationship with father not rekindled

In Samad & Haider [2022] FedCFamC2F 1256 (16 September 2022), Judge Street heard a father’s application for time with a two-year-old child.

At the time of the hearing, the father had not spent time with the child since her birth other than four supervised visits in 2021.

Judge Street said (from [18]):

“The Court is satisfied that the Father engaged in controlling conduct during that short period of the relationship. …


[20] … The Court finds that similar controlling behaviour has been engaged in by the Father in seeking to dictate the circumstances in which his access to the Child should recommence. …



[34] The Court accepts the evidence of Dr G that it is very much in the interests of the Child X for the Father to participate in the short period of discomfort of supervision so as to advance the best interests of the Child and to then facilitate the growth of that relationship through significant and meaningful time in a graduated way. The Court accepts the evidence of Dr G that … overnight time should not commence until the Child has reached the age of six. …


[54] The Court has taken into account that the Father has not established a relationship with the Child, and that the four visits that he had under supervised access occurred at a period of time that means there is no existing bond or relationship between the Father and the Child …


[68] … If the Father has failed to comply with and undertake the supervised access, the progression to more meaningful time with the Child, including facilitating the parties agreeing on significant and meaningful time, is to be suspended until the Father has completed the six fortnightly supervised visits, which is the subject of the Court’s order.”


Orders were made for the father to have graduated time periods with the child increasing to unsupervised day time, and then overnight time, from the child’s sixth birthday.

Craig Nicol and Keleigh Robinson are co-editors of The Family Law Book. Both are accredited specialists in family law (Queensland and Victoria, respectively). The Family Law Book is a one-volume loose-leaf and online family law service (

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