CCA offers clients assistance regarding cult-related court matters. The most frequent request for assistance relates to family disputes where one parent is concerned about the involvement of an ex-partner in a particular cult which in turn impacts on the influence that parent has on any children in the family. In most situations, the non-cult parent is seeking orders to prevent his/her partner from influencing the child/children with the doctrine or beliefs of the cult.
Typically, family courts are not familiar with the workings of cults and the deleterious influence they may have on the rearing of children. The courts are often quick to invoke principles of religious freedom in attempting to support parents who choose to imbue their children with particular beliefs regardless as whether those beliefs stem from for an established religion or a more alternative form of spirituality. In this respect, cults are often viewed favourably by the courts.
The courts can be assisted by an Expert Witness who is able to provide evidence regarding the nature of the cult in question so that the court can make an informed decision about the potential influence of the particular group on the child/children. There are a number of ways in which this evidence can be presented. The Family Law Act includes a number of specific provisions relating to the use of an Expert Witness which may be relevant to CCA’s involvement with such matters. It may therefore be necessary that following the initial enquiry regarding the possibility of CCA’s involvement in a particular matter that the client’s solicitor be in contact in order that all legal aspects are complied with.
CCA has extensive experience in this field and has been successful in assisting families in this regard.
Individuals and family members are invited to contact CCA for initial advice regarding this work.
There are other situations where CCA may be able to of assistance. These situations involve monetary matters where a non-cult partner or parent is concerned about donations or support which the cult parent is offering to the group to which he/she belongs. This may impact on the finances of the family as well as other issues such as the affordability of other necessities including education.