Bristow v Fisher [2020] NZFC 4915

Published 30 April 2021

Parenting order — relocation — day-to-day care of children — drug addiction — Care of Children Act 2004, ss 4, 5, 6, 40, 46G, 46R, 132, 135A & 139A. The proceedings concerned two young children and whether they should live with their mother, or with their father in a separate location. The parties had separated in 2015, and the mother (the applicant) had been granted day-to-day care of the children. Subsequently the children went on holiday with their father (the respondent), who did not return them to the applicant. The respondent gained an interim parenting order providing that the children were in his day-to-day care, but after it was shown that the respondent was using drugs, the maternal grandmother obtained an order for the day to day care of the children. The applicant sought care and a direction as to the children’s place of residence. Both of the parties had had drug problems in the past, but the Court was satisfied that the children would now be safe in the care of either party. The Court found that ultimately the decisive issue was continuity of care, and therefore ordered that the children remain in the day-to-day care of the applicant. All previous orders were discharged and the applicant was granted a final parenting order placing the children in her day-to-day care, with regular contact with the respondent. Judgment Date: 10 June 2020. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *