Shannice's story - helping Shannice stand-up for the best interests of her sick child

Shannice was regularly seeking treatment at Royal Women's Hospital (RWH) for her young baby, who had been born with serious medical issues and required intensive care. 

The stress of caring for a baby with high care needs also took a toll on her relationship with the child’s father.  Eventually Shannice made the difficult decision to separate from her partner so she could focus on their child.  

Through our Health Justice Partnership with Royal Women's Hospital, our lawyers form relationships and communicate with healthcare and social workers, so that they can identify patients with legal issues. When Shannice's social workers learnt about her separation, they knew this was a legal problem and that IMCL could help. 

Navigating separation and parenting arrangements was difficult. After months of trying to co-parent and arrange contact between her ex-partner and the child, the family attended mediation.  

Shannice's first and primary concern was for the welfare of her baby, so when she felt that she was being pressured into a parenting plan that was not in the child's best interests, she turned to IMCL for assistance. 

When an agreement could not be reached, Shannice's ex-partner issued proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia. 

IMCL went on the record and helped Shannice explain to the Court the child's vulnerability and high needs.  The court proceedings were causing Shannice considerable stress and anxiety. 

We continued to stand by Shannice as her matter progressed and worked with her expert medical team to provide more evidence to the Court.  

Finally, after two years, IMCL negotiated a settlement with Shannice's ex-partner. The agreement was in the best interests of the child.

This outcome would not have been possible without IMCL's Health Justice Partnership with the Royal Women's Hospital, which meant that Shannice received holistic and intensive case management from her healthcare team as well as IMCL's lawyers.  

Without the constant stress of ongoing family law litigation, Shannice could focus all her energy on what is truly important: the health and wellbeing of their child.