Daughter’s divorce of mum overturned

Sunday Star Times 2 September 2007
A highly controlling mother whose daughter effectively divorced her through the court system has won back guardianship through a High Court appeal, in which the judge criticised the Family Court for interfering. The appeal decision found the mother, a central city professional who lives in one of Auckland’s most exclusive suburbs and has sent her children to top schools, was inappropriately trying to control her daughter’s activities. She was not, however, putting her daughter in any physical or psychological danger and the High Court found there was “no need” for the Family Court order to be made.The case, revealed by the Sunday Star-Times last November, was the result of new law which places greater weight on the wishes of the child and removes age and maturity as factors in court decisions. The law and the court’s reading of it was widely criticised by family advocates upset by the court’s decision, which was seen as setting a precedent for similar “divorces”.