Case study: Adult child at home

 John and Maria


John and Maria are an older European couple with a home in Sunshine. Their only son, Dominic, asks if he and his wife, Sue, can move in for a few weeks as their landlord is selling their rental property. Dominic is unemployed and has problems with alcohol. He moves into the garage with his three dogs, who proceed to destroy the backyard and clothesline. Sue has serious mental health issues, and takes over the older couple’s bedroom, where she sleeps throughout the day. The younger couple refuse to make any financial contribution to household costs, and utility bills increase fourfold during their time of occupation. John and Maria struggle financially and also suffer from stress, depression and poor health as a result of the situation.

Action and outcome

After more than a year of Sue and Dominic refusing to leave, John and Maria seek assistance from Seniors Rights Victoria. After various efforts to have the couple removed fail, John and Maria are supported to make an Application for an Intervention Order (IVO) on the grounds of economic and psychological abuse. An IVO is eventually granted with an exclusion order on the grounds of economic abuse, and is enforced by local police.

John and Maria hope, one day, they can rebuild their relationship with their son.