Grandparents have rights too

Over the past decades grandparents have been called upon to look after their grandchildren fulltime in a way they could not possible have imagined they would.

Often their own children have been lost to drugs or are in unsuitable environments for raising children. Sometimes people agree that the grandchildren would be better off with their grandparents, but sometimes there are heart rending disputes for the sake of the children.

Our firm has a significant track record for understanding and resolving disputes between grandparents and children, and do not shy away from initiating applications for grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren also. If you tried elsewhere and failed to get the legal support you need, or simply need to have someone assess your situation please call or email us, and we will do our very best for you.

39 Comments

39 responses to “Grandparents have rights too”

  1. Gwendoline says:

    Hi. We have always loved and looked after our grandson. He adores us. All of a sudden she has blocked our number. We have had him on numerous times. 10 days when she went to America on a holiday. A week when she went to Bali. She has meet a new boyfriend and since then she has stopped responding to us. A week never went by that we didn’t have him. My husband and I are devastated

  2. Gina says:

    Hi, my daughter in law is returning involuntarily to Australia tomorrow night with my grand daughter after loosing in the German court. She is flying into Melbourne and planning to disappear so we cannot find her. There is no court orders in place here even though my son and her have already tried mediation unsuccessfully before she left to Germany and didn’t come back. As a grandparents we wish to apply for our own visitation rights, if she refuses to contact us and we don’t know where she is how do we go about achieving this.

    • Journey Family Lawyers says:

      Hi Gina,

      It sounds like your son needs to bring an application in the court in Australia ASAP! If the mother can’t be located (and process servers can be helpful here) there are options such as asking the court to make a location order he can try, possibly even a recovery order depending on the circumstances.

      It’s not clear why you need to bring a separate application from your son, if your son is seeking time with your granddaughter then he can facilitate his daughter’s relationship with her paternal relatives including you. If you do need to bring an application in your own right separately from your son then there are ways to find a person, it is not a bar to bringing the application and if you can seek orders from the Court regarding service and again location orders may be an option.

  3. Leanne Bates says:

    Hi my name is Leanne, I need some advice on what I can do to get some sort of order set up to be able to see my grand children. For the past 3 Year’s I have done everything for my son and his partner. And in the past 3 Year’s I have been traumatised from both of them, I have been assaulted, bribed, black mailed by both of them just to be able to see my grand children. They have had child protection looking at the for some time and both of them have big pending drug charges. I have a real concern for my grand children ,and I set up time to see them then at the last minute they say I can’t have them. This is very devastating to me and my daughter and also the great grand parents. Please can I have some advice

    • Journey Family Lawyers says:

      Dear Leanne,

      If you have concerns about your grandchildren’s welfare then the department of child safety were the right people to approach. It’s not clear if they are going to take any steps regarding to children which we would need to work with or around. If it’s simple about spending time with your grandkids then you should seek mediation. If an agreement is reached at mediation then you should look at formalising that as a court order, however if there is no agreement reached then the mediator should give you a s60I certificate and this will allow you to apply to court for an order to spend time with the grandkids.

  4. Julie says:

    The mother of my 3yo grandson will not respond to any messages that I have sent to her in regards to visits with him, including his usual overnight visit which was meant to happen last Friday, but did not. The last time my grandson stayed over was 31st August 2017. I am the paternal grandmother, and my son (his father) picked him up from my home on the 1st September 2017, which was arranged by her. She was to collect my grandson from his father on 3rd September 2017, which she did, but due to some ongoing concerns re: neglect, her state of mind, etc . . . my son spoke to her (at the time of collection) to offer her help to get back on her feet with getting these concerns resolved. My son offered to have my grandson temporarily for a period of time, and the mother, knowing she has issues, agreed to this. My son had NO intention of taking him off her permanently, and his offer of help was genuine. She told my son that he could collect my grandson from her on Wednesday 6th September 2017, but when he arrived she had locked the front security door and refused to let him collect my grandson. Since then neither of us have heard from her, including any confirmation of our regular visits. I have no doubt that my grandson has asked her about us. Also, she has two other children to different fathers. The 5yo has referred to me as grandma since he was around 2 1/2, but the youngest who is 20 months, has only ever known me as grandma. I have text and Fb messages proving that she was allowing me to have regular visits, even asking me to mind the children at other times that weren’t scheduled. What can I do?

    • Journey Family Lawyers says:

      Hi Julie,

      Both you and your son seem to be in the same situation in that there are no orders in place and therefore there’s nothing to fall back in when the mother decides to unilaterally change the arrangements. Normally each parent would facilitate the time between the children and their wider family members, such as grandparents, however as you son is not seeing his child then this also needs to be sorted out as well. If time between your grandson and your son was working then as a flow-on your son could then facilitate time with you and other family members.

      The starting point for your son and for you would usually be to attempt mediation because the court requires you to attempt a Family Dispute Resolution Conference before going to court unless there are some serious concerns about the safety of the children. You have alluded to some concerns about the mother’s state of mind and whether she’s coping or not so if it’s very serious your son may be able to go straight to applying to court for orders in respect of your grandson. If this was granted then your son could make arrangements. As to whether you you would join the other children is a much more difficult situation.

  5. Stephen says:

    I was raised in foster care from 1 year old and and I never had a Relationship with my biological mother, she molested me as a child and we don’t have a meaningful relationship and now she’s wanting access to my son, how do I stop her she’s using my wife to get access but my wife calls me and tells me and she’s sick of being caught in the middle, dvo against her but we had to withdraw it, what do I do

    • Journey Family Lawyers says:

      Dear Stephen,

      You and your Wife are the parents of the child so it’s your decision, unless there is a court order then it’s up to you and your Wife whether you allow your child to spend time with other family members or not.

      If the child’s grandmother doesn’t like your decision then she will have to apply for mediation or apply to court. At either points you can set out what you feel is in the best interest of your child.

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