Mother wins full custody of her seven-year-old daughter over fears her ex-husband would force the child to marry her cousin.
The girl was put on the airport watchlist in October after telling her mother she was arranged to be married during a visit to her father’s home country, reports Daily Mail.
She said she played with the cousin and he gave her sweets. ‘Do you know, Dad said I have to marry him?’ the mother said the girl told her.
The mother, 27, given the pseudonym Ms Anthony in Federal Court court documents, claims she confronted the girl’s father, 29, known as Mr Kellett, and he admitted it.
‘Yeah didn’t you know? She will get married, [she] is mine and only mine, you and her step mum have no say in her life,’ he allegedly said.
‘[Daughter]’s life and future is in [his country]. She already has a husband arranged.
‘You guys are nothing, you are just women, you have no right. [She] will get married to my nephew… she will become what I want her to become and nobody in the world can change that.’
Mr Kellett denied he arranged the marriage, saying not only was underage marriage illegal in that country he would ‘never subject her to such things’.
He also claimed Ms Anthony had a drug and alcohol problem and that soon after the child’s birth she told him she was ‘not normal’ and that she ‘sees things and hears voices’.
Judge Brana Obradovic in the Parramatta Federal Court ordered the child live with her mother, but granted Mr Kellett two nights a week and half of all school holidays.
The court found the risk of the girl being forced into marriage was mitigated by her staying on the airport watchlist and the limited amount of time spent with the father.
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