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Are there any real support organisations for Grandparents who want contact?

The recent site headline Grandparents lose out again again illustrates that if there is entrenched conflict between parents and children the Courts are unlikely to allow contact with Grandchildren. The BIC principle is extended to the negative effects on the parents and therefore the grand child(ren).

I cannot find any real organizations that are lobbying for the Laws to be amended to allow at least some default contact for Grandparents. At best coffee and biscuits with the AG seems to be the level of lobbying. The cost of legal action is prohibitive and I cannot locate any organization that directly or even indirectly supports Grandparents in the Courts.

I am aware that several years ago the SPCA suggested (and offered a great deal of initial support) for some of the Grandparents organizations to band together and set up a lobbying group together with Court support programs. Apparently this came to nothing because of inaction on the part of those other organizations.

The Family Law Act only pays lip service to Grandparents and even a $50K Court case has a far less than 50% chance to succeed.

So where do Grandparents go from here?
I do not know, but as a grandparent starting on the legal road I do hope for a better outcome. If you know of any way I can aid in grandparent support or in aiding in the change of outlook I would be very interested.
I am at the commencement of action with initial dates still to be attended.

I wish I could be more optimistic. The Family Law Act at best pays lip service to Grandparents and apart from a few groups that promote Grandchild activities I really cannot find any proper groups lobbying for changes to the Act or supporting the Court processes. Some groups are at best a low membership disorganized rabble (albeit quieter) than the Fathers Groups of 15 years ago before they joined together to get the Act amended.

You might have noticed that even the FLRA and SRLR have dropped the reference to Grandparents in their activities.

Do you know of any support or lobby groups? or what I have I missed in my searching?
Refer to the material published on this site in the FLRA Community area and let me know if that is adequate. Also COTA is the only organisation other than the FLRA that I am aware of that is doing any work in this area. I believe there is also a group in WA that I would need to research and get you the information. Yes there is much frustration for Grandparents and we have not had many successful court cases arising from the 2006 amendments. We did have an expectation that has not really materialised.

None of the extensive November amendments will offer any additional support for Grandparents.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
I will look around and see what I find. Not expecting to find much.


Have you read this document Grandparents FAMILY LAW INFORMATION GUIDE on the FLRA Community site here

Updating Comments:
The further changes to the Family Law Act in 2006 confirmed and emphasized the importance of the relationship of grandparents and grandchildren. Grandparents are now specifically mentioned in sections 60B(b), 63C(2A) and S64B(2) of the Act. More grandparents are making applications to the courts successfully. It is important to note that since July 2007 it is compulsory to attempt to reach agreement by mediation prior to issuing proceedings and obtain a certificate that you have tried prior to issuing proceedings. Such certificates can be obtained from Family Relationships Centres and from other mediation organizations. Grandparents will usually be successful in obtaining orders to have some communication and time with their grandchildren. However, as a general rule, grandparents should try to support and supplement parents, rather than replace them, and orders are often of the nature of one day or one weekend a month and/or for a weeks holiday a year. Grandparents should be careful they are not seen as causing more conflict and problems than is necessary.
Andrew Corish
25th March, 2008
I have published a lot of material for Grandparents. You can also contact Coral Slattery who's details are on the FLRA site here as well Ed Dabrowski in WA is in contact with a WA group.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
There are about 3,280 results searching for material related to Grandparents on the site. Let us know how you got on. If you want to raise any specific issue with FAO or DFS let me know and I will raise that at an executive level for you. We also expect to be meeting the Family Court executive in the near future so if you have a specific issue relating to the way court is dealing with Grandparents also let us know.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
I have started proceedings to see my 3 grandkids. Same dad , but different mums. I will read all I can and as a SRL I hope I will be successful. First mentions are still to all happen between now and the end of May.
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