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Exceptional Grandparents

All of the talk about Grandparent rights is frustrating me to no end at the moment and I have several serious issues.

 First, my story, the background info.

 My husband and I had a HUGE falling out with his parents PRIOR to our marriage.  We had two children together, now aged 4 and 7 and have only recently, amicably separated.  He has Asperger's Syndrome and I decided that I could no longer parent 2 children (also with Autism Spectrum Disorders) and a highly dysfunctional adult.  Anyway…. during our marriage we BOTH decided that it was in the best interest of our children that they have little to no contact with their paternal grandparents.  This was for MANY reasons.  I would like to point out that not all Granny's sit on the back veranda knitting beanies for premature babies in Afghanistan.  SOME Grandparents actually did a very good job of stuffing up their own children, had those said children taken from them by the courts and are basically nasty pasties.  This IS the case in this situation.  Bad, bad news.

 Now that I am a singletree, a term that I am still finding difficult adjusting too because nothing has really changed except my marital status on Centrelink forms (which I ALSO can't stand!!!).  My husband (sorry, ex-husband) contacts the children as much, or sometimes even more, than he did when we were married (he has always worked away).  We spent this Christmas together as a family, he supports me financially with Child Support payments and we talk on the phone at least 3 times a week.  We are even friends on Facebook!!! 

 The problem arose this Christmas when "Nanny" decided after 7 years, she would like to see the children at Christmas time, because Christmas is so important to her.  NEVER before has she shown an interest.  My ex-husband told her that it would not be happening because he didn't have any time off and that it was inappropriate to expect me to take them alone.  Well, what did she do???  She did what any good caring Nanny would and threatened legal action.  Coincidently my ex-sister-in-law has just finished her law degree and is quite happy to hand out legal rhetoric and incorrect advice.  So with the threat of legal action…. I took the kids to see Nanny.  It was a sham.  She stayed for 45 minutes and had had enough of the kids and their behaviour, so left.

 Here is my dilemma…. as a married woman, wife to a husband, member of a couple…. I am quite within my rights to decide who sees my children, where and when.  If my son or daughter goes to music lessons and comes home and says that the music teacher makes her/him feel uncomfortable… I would never send them back again.  No questions, no qualms, just a straight out no.  Now as a single parent (I still don't like it) I can be FORCED to send my children to spend time with someone I (AND my husband (ex) do not approve of by law?  Explain that to me.

 You can tell me how wonderful and nurturing and important a relationship with grandparents are and I know that…. my kids are fortunate enough to have a set of Grandparents who are able to provide that love and support to them, without bias or prejudice.  I am also a support person for a coworker who is a grandparent and was raising her grandson at her home and is no longer able to see him.  I advocate for her and support her in her quest to spend time with her grandson again.  This is a completely different scenario.  I don't believe that the law can have a cut and dry, black and white solution for this and each case should be investigated intensely.

 As a parent it is MY responsibility to keep my children safe…. at all costs.  That is my responsibility, that's what i signed up for.  With that responsibility comes the right to decide who my children spend time with.  Why should I be forced to let the other unfit grandparent see them just because there is a genetic link?  Trust me, if I could remove those strands of DNA that connect my kids to their grandparents, I would!!!!

 Thank you for letting me vent.  I appreciate the open forum and I hope that I have shed a small light on the 'other side' of the Grandparent debate.  I just wish I didn't have to be on it.  I wish, hope and pray that it didn't have to be this way, but I guess that's my burden.

 Thanks

 Gibbs
Gibbs,
         I think you have the wrong perspective, Family Law is mainly about the rights of children and that they have the right to know their family and if I recall correctly grandparents are now specifically mentioned in Family Law. However within Family Law, the best interest of the children comes into play. Thus if it were decided that contact with a grand parent or with grand parents was deemed to be not in the best interest of the child or children then the court would likely not set orders for contact.

Yes there are going to be situations where Grandparents will try to get contact when perhaps they shouldn't, however there are many situations and likely very many more, where grandparent's are excluded when they shouldn't be, often because a party uses this to wreak out their vengeance against not the grandparent or grandparents but to wreak out their vengeance against the other parent. Children deserve the right to not be the pawn in such battles and they have the right to not have such family ties broken in this way. Unfortunately as with all or most laws, especially nowadays (and I envisage in such a litigious and administrative society it will only get a worse), good intentions of laws often have an unintended or un-catered for aspect that some will use.

Saying all that I personally believe that the biggest flaw with family law is not the laws themselves as such but the restrictions upon time that limits the courts understanding of exactly what is happening in the family in question. However that's another aspect that I believe will only worsen if society keeps heading in the direction it is going.


Gibbs said
As a parent it is MY responsibility to keep my children safe…. at all costs
I don't believe that "at all costs", would be either practical or sensible and or right in some situations however I believe I understand what you are saying.
Gibbs said
That is my responsibility, that's what i signed up for.  With that responsibility comes the right to decide who my children spend time with.
When it comes to your rights, well parents actually have very few rights as parents and what you believe to be is not really the case. As an example, say you were a suspect in a crime and the police come along and detained you whilst the children were in your sole care, do you think that you'd have the right to refuse what the police arrange for the care of the children? If you were suspected of being an immediate danger to the children and the children were placed into protective care, do you think that you would have the right to refuse such action? In both scenarios if you had the rights that you believe that you have you would be able to make the decisions. The fact is, is that basically you agree to be bound by the laws of this country and those laws can override many aspects of your life. I have little doubt that we will probably see cases of grandparents trying to get contact with their grandchildren who are from an intact family. I believe that we've even seen a child divorce their parent or parents.

I consider what you did at Christmas as highly admirable. Perhaps there could be some way that you wouldn't need to continue to wish and hope and pray, perhaps there are some actions that you could take that could result in that. Perhaps there are suggestions that people will make that could assist.

Good Luck Gibbs

Gibbs, I empathise, and my wife and I are going through a somewhat similar scenario.  Clearly it must all be about the best interests of the Grandchildren and it appears you could extrapolate a strong argument that access is not in their best interests here.  There seems to be a sentiment on this forum, from MikeT and others, that most of the time the Parents are being unreasonable and the Grandparents are not.  Case law would indicate the opposite.  I would tend to believe it was somewhere in between.
DevotedDad said
There seems to be a sentiment on this forum, from MikeT and others, that most of the time the Parents are being unreasonable and the Grandparents are not.  Case law would indicate the opposite.

That's interesting DevotedDad, could you please elaborate by providing the cases that you have used as the basis for your statement that case law shows the opposite.
MikeT, my view is formed by a combination of advice from a long-time practicing specialist in this area, and more weakly by internet research from family law judgements (which appears particularly limited in this space), and amongst others a statement on this forum from Agog that "Grandparents have a less than 15% chance of any Court action succeeding".  Personally I'm particularly interested in the statistics when both parents are happily married and are a united front.  So perhaps I should have stated "would appear to indicate…".

Now, if you have evidence to the contrary, I'm all ears.
DevotedDad said
Personally I'mparticularly interested inthe statistics when both parents are happily married and are a united front.
You have hit the nail on the head so to speak when both parents present a united front against the contact. The Courts are then left to judge the merits of the Grandchild having contact often against extreme opposition from the parents.

The dynamics of Grandparents cases are often different from conventional Family Law cases of parent vs parent. In many cases it is Maternal Grandmother vs Daughter who is supported by her husband or other significant adults (for whatever reasons)


Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
DevotedDad said
MikeT, my view is formed by a combination of advice from a long-time practising specialist in this area, and more weakly by internet research from family law judgements (which appears particularly limited in this space), and amongst others a statement on this forum from Agog that "Grandparents have a less than 15% chance of any Court action succeeding".  Personally I'm particularly interested in the statistics when both parents are happily married and are a united front.  So perhaps I should have stated "would appear to indicate…".

Now, if you have evidence to the contrary, I'm all ears.

The evidence to the contrary is what you yourself have supplied, that is that you have not supplied the case law that you brought into the topic as requested, but have instead tried to put the onus on myself to provide that evidence, against the argument that you put forward, on your behalf and that could well indicate that you may not have the evidence that you suggested that you do have.

Perhaps I could simply say "I have advice from a number of long term practising specialists and more weakly by internet research from family law judgements (which doesn't appear to be particularly limited considering the 6380 documents containing the word grandparents in austlii and in addition numerous actual situations to which I have been privvy to". Would you have an argument against me saying this? If so I'd like you to explain why the same argument that you would pit against myself should not apply to yourself.

However saying that, case law is itself very limited considering that less than 10% of family law matters actually get decided by the courts, most are consented to along the way and very often due to the underlying costs rather than the orders themselves being orders that suit the best interest of the child or children. So I don't believe that case law is an accurate indicator. If you do then I'd appreciate hearing how you can extrapolate a minority, to the majority. I don't believe that an extrapolation that does not consider the attributes that set a case that results in a court decision, apart from a decision reached by consensus without such a court decision, can be considered as reliable.

DevotedDad said
There seems to be a sentiment on this forum, from MikeT and others, that most of the time the Parents are being unreasonable and the Grandparents are not.
I ask how you came to this conclusion. I believe that you have misread what I have stated and thus made an incorrect assumption. I assume, perhaps wrongly, that you have likely based your assumption on the following :-
MikeT said
Yes there are going to be situations where Grandparents will try to get contact when perhaps they shouldn't, however there are many situations and likely very many more, where grandparent's are excluded when they shouldn't be, often because a party uses this to wreak out their vengeance against not the grandparent or grandparents but to wreak out their vengeance against the other parent.

If the above extract is part of what led you to make the statement you did, then I believe that you are interpolating the word most with the word often (the latter being the word that I used) and that you appear to consider that vengeance always equates to unreasonable.
Jacks & Samson [2008]

Dismissed appeal from Full Court of The Family Court in Sydney

Parents (still together) - Appellants
Maternal Grandparents (still together) - Respondents

Grandparents had previous relationship with children (by my calculations given this discontinued in 2001, roughly 7 years ago).

2 Main risks to children
Not having a relationship could cause children to ask questions about lack of contact and to "fantasise" about a relationship
Having a relationship could cause implications on the children's relationship with both the mother and father due to distress of mother


  Much more…

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FamCAFC/2008/173.html

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
Like I said in another topic;
While my ex elected to end a conversation between our son (then about 8 yrs old) and the Grandmother mid sentence, in 2003, as soon as she realised it was my mother he was talking to and not her mother. Unbeknown to my ex and her mother, our son talked to his Grandmother and Grandfather for about half an hour this Christmas for the first time since then. The sh*t will probable hit the fan when they find out but it has happened.

My primary point is, there are so many different Grandparent relationship dynamics but the main 1 is most Grandparents have been parents and are not looking to be full time or large spend time with parents.

Most are there to help and support, not take over, and I have found only step up to the plate if requested.

In that same topic,
I have put some of what Agog has said is;
That "unless is evidence of danger to the child" is just plain rhetoric and ignores some of the major reasons a Court may not allow contact.
These include: Cause great distress to one or both of the parents. …
              
Funny Agog should bring this to the fore; it is the excuse judges often use in causing a mothers wishes to prevail is it not?

That is; the mother will be highly distressed if the father [or the father's family members including Grandparents have] has any time with the child.

MikeT said;
often because a party uses this to wreak out their vengeance against not the grandparent or grandparents but to wreak out their vengeance against the other parent.

Although I agree with MikeT, I also put it, it has been my experience the mother's guilt of her known wrongs and wrongful behaviour, abuse of the children, of power and need to control child. The mother's belief the children are her property therefore she has the sole or primary RIGHT to make all decisions on their behalf and fear of the children finding out the truth about the mother.  All contribute to the variable causes of Grandparents being ostracized from the children's lives.

Judicial adding and abetting of Grandparents being ostracized from the children's lives for the reason that "not to grant the mother's wants would cause her to be unhappy therefore not in the best interests of the children" is a more important issue that needs to be pursued.

To use an analogy, what happens when you continually grant a child their wants? Their wants grow and grow until their wants are expectations, hence we have spoilt brats.

What happens when a spoilt brat is told their behaviour is not acceptable? This is what Ex's Grandparents are good at is it not? They get abusive, violent and UNHAPPY therefore have a NEED to ostracize the boundary maker from their lives so they have no family boundaries of any consequence.

Like I said above; "my ex elected to end a conversation between our son (then about 8 yrs old) and the Grandmother mid sentence."[/.i] Part of this was because my ex would admit my mother was like a sister that she had never had. I would say my mother was like a mother my ex had never had and it offended her so much her mother was such [.i]"a nasty piece of work"[/.i] that she could no longer bring herself, or the children, to have communications with my mother.  

CrazyWorld said;
2 Main risks to children
Not having a relationship could cause children to ask questions about lack of contact and to "fantasise" about a relationship
Having a relationship could cause implications on the children's relationship with both the mother and father due to distress of mother
   
Now why would distress of a mother make such an important issue when the International rights of the child to know all their family members and the law of Parliament place the best interests of a child first and foremost?

That to me is placing the best interests of the mother as the most important issue, is it not? Or should all men and their family members be removed from the woman's family relationship until another child is wanted by the mother?
MikeT, lack of detailed evidence is not evidence to the contrary, although I agree it does not make the argument particularly strong.  I am quite happy for you to state arguments to the contrary and would like to explore them.  Obviously I am interested in strong arguments either way, which I am yet to find ... my original post was a deliberate provocation.

As is already clear I am not interested in 6380 documents containing the word grandparents.  I am interested in particular cases about grandparents v united front parents (married or amicable seperation).  More specifically, I am interested in cases where happily married parents are acting as a united front, who have a reasonable BIC argument against grandparent involvement (who of course have their own BIC argument).  Or similar variations thereof.  As you have said, this appears highly limited on austlii beyond the well known somewhat relevant Jacks and Sampson.

In this context, can you advise any other relevant references?  In this context, I am interested in what actual situations you refer to.  In this context, I am also interested in what long term practising specialist advice you have.  Again, I have received specialist legal advice now from multiple sources (all > 20 yrs in family law) that it is highly unlikely the grandparents would succeed.

When you stated "Yes there are going to be situations where Grandparents will try to get contact when perhaps they shouldn't, however there are many situations and likely very many more, where grandparent's are excluded when they shouldn't be" ... my opinion is different i.e. that there is more of a balance somewhere in the middle here, but I am interested in the informed views of others.

The Jacks & Samson appeal is better highlighted by the first instance judgment in Samson & Jacks.

The original judgment was clear on several issues. Firstly the children had had 'significant' contact early on. Secondly one of the children was well aware of the Grandparents and talked of visiting them.

This is an entirely different scenario from none to very limited contact and little awareness of the Grandparents.

The sad fact is little or no contact and implacable opposition from the parents is difficult to overcome.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I agree Agog but do not seem to be able to find anything more relevant to my interests.
DevotedDad, I am someonewho might be of interest to you.

I am a grandparent who sought contact with my grandchildren in an intact marriage. I have been through the courts and I have a story to tell which I am still putting together. My Judgement was removed because of defamation, damaging untrue remarks,created fabrications and misinterpretations affecting all parties including my grandchildren, and my daughter and son-in-law.

There is alot more to Judgements than what one may read. A personneeds to be present and read and consider all the material before forming an opinion about the outcome of a case.Otherwise, their opinion is bias and prejudged. In my case the Magistrate got it all wrong. As one person said to me who was present and knows my case well,the Magistratedeliberately chose to ignore my evidence because it conflicted with his prejudgment. He even got the evidence wrong from the other party. My case was prejudged and nothing I said made any difference. Forargument sake, If I had said in court "I'm going to jump off the Harbour BridgeIwould not have been heard,there would have been no response.This is what happened.I may as well have not been present. Anything I said was twistedto suit the Magistrate, including what the other party said. In a nutshell, I was bulliedby the Magistrate and denied natural justice and labelled and defamed unnecessarily in the process. My casehas not been heard.I was prevented from presenting my case. I was shut down at every instance when my evidence conflicted with the Magistrate's prejudgement.

I was in shock and still numb at my Hearing having only a few days beforehand received the family report resembling the writings ofahired gun and affidavitsreceived from the other party just 5 days before containing new informationin violation ofcourt orders to have all material filed and served 21 days beforehand. I would be happy to discuss my case with you.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  M K Gandhi
Hi Calista, thanks for your note, it does not sound like you have been treated fairly, which is concerning.

I appreciate Judgements may need a pinch of salt in written form but since good relevant references are limited, would appreciate any further insight.

Is a potential breakdown in the system a good enough reason to reword the law as you have proposed?

The maternal grandparents of my children are fantastic, we could write volumes on why they are BIC, and I would like to think this would continue regardless of the status of our relationship with the grandparents.

On the other hand the paternal grandparents of my children are a nightmare.  There is no abuse or violence involved but their behaviour is highly paranoid.  We have been on the receiving end of this for years, escalating, before we decided to cut contact for the greater good of our immediate family.  Even though they have little or no relationship with the kids, they are now taking us to court on the presumption that grandparents have access rights and are by definition BIC, along with more blatantly paranoid fabrications, many targeted unfairly at my wife.  This saga has put a strain on my marriage to the point where for the first time it is genuinely threatened.  It seems likely we will end up at a full hearing.  I would hope that a BIC focus, rather than grandparents rights, would allow the court to make a reasonable determination, as their fabrications will be exposed once the evidence is presented (although your case does not fill me with any ease on this).  I am sure the paternal grandparents would extend this process for a long as possible and if they lost would hit the roof about lack of natural justice etc.

Rewording the law as you have proposed would make it very difficult if not impossible to deny them access, as they are not dangerous, which I find to be a scary proposition.  They are hardly likely to agree to see a psychiatrist to validate they have Paranoid Personality Disorder.  If they did get access, it could quite probably end my marriage, which is hardly a BIC outcome.  I still pray for a mediation miracle but it is more likely just to be an opportunity for them to invent yet another round of fabrications.
Calista, I will take you in the positive and say thank you. If you are in NSW you have a course of action of filling a complaint with the Judicial Complaints Committee, try the following link;  http://www.lawlink.nsw…legalprofessioncomplaints

If you are in any other State, I believe the judiciary are so scared of being made accountable for their wrongful behaviour they threaten the Parliament they will ALL resign at the same time.

This was stated to me in person, by a judge of the Family Court, hence the long delays and setting aside Law for Federal Accountability. It has also been said or implied out of Court, in regard to Victoria not creating Law for judicial accountability like NSW has.

It sounds like you did not object to the new material supplied on short notice, although it would probably only have caused a delay you might have had time to find evidence to defeat the new allegations. Although, most false allegations are said with little detail to start with, and/or then increasing detail on each challenge, it is hard when the judicial officer has prejudged the mater.

You will need the recording (audio transcript) before 3 months has past if you want to appeal.

A complaint to the Complaints Authority of your State (like the Chief Magistrate) may cause a rehearing, and no matter what direction you take the transcript whether audio or written would be required and a good laugh, about the other than proper administration of justice, Australian judiciary claim is their right, with the children when they want to know you.

DevoteDad; these are your parents I hear you are talking about, have you put it to them, "why do they hate me so much that you will behave so badly. Do they want to break up your marriage? And when the Court hears that they claim they have rights in spite of their behaviour, what BIC will the Court say is the BIC to be applied, they have NO TIME with the children is the BIC.

I know it is hard but when they are your parents and not your wife's it is easier than you think. All you have to do is decide if you want your marriage or not! If you do don't, use the silent treatment. That gets nobody anywhere but a lot of stress and lack of knowledge.

Back to a subject started by Agog and said in another post about grandparents;

These include: Cause great distress to one or both of the parents. …

It has been pointed out to me that this might be law of the past, and what the state of the Law is today is I believe;
60CC(3)(m)  any other fact or circumstance that the court thinks is relevant.
This does not mean what Agog has said does not apply. It can be applied behind a different banner.

The fact that it is a minor consideration in the average mind is immaterial to judges, it is within the judges right or discretion to exercise such thinking and therefore the unpublished directions to a judge of the Courts direction of intent, enable judicial thoughts to prevail so long as they reflecting the unpublished directions of the power Superior judges of the FCoA.

That is not the Appeals judges but the judges of superior influence in the direction of the thinking of the Court on how to cause more work for the Court. Like the CJ and those she gains support from over the other few judges of GREAT INTEGRATY. Is the work of the Court growing quicker than our Australian pullulating, I believe so, why?

Because children are being taught by the Court that FAMILY is not a natural FAMILY but a family made up of different families, therefore, FAMILY as we were taught and the Constitution claims is the Parliaments right to make LAW TO CONTINUE is a thing of the pasted.

Step FAMILIES is the future, just look at the stats on divorce.

Clearly the PEOPLE of AUSTRALIA are weary of the judicial abuse of power to destroy the concept of a proper family; where mum, dad, uncles, aunties, cousins and GRANDPARENTS work together to give our children the knowledge we are a united force who can be relied on for conversation, guidance and support whenever the child may need it.

We are not out FOR US, they are not MY CHILD, they are OUR CHILDREN and we all have a RESPONSIBILITY TO GUIDE AND PROTECT ALL CHILDREN of this earth when they are within reach of OUR PROTECTION or GUIDANCE, whether they are ours or not.

They are not the learned, THEY ARE THE LEARNING, if you are so short of mind LOOK TO THE MONKEY for what a family is about.

My mother (A multiple Grandmother) once sent me the definition of FAMILY from a child's perspective;
Father
And
Mother
I
Love
You.

Why is it so many FCoA judges and other Magistrates take offence to this definition by making the wrongful judgements in defiance of the evidence presented, maybe McIntosh could answer this without a reduced sample that would give a required answer group for the judicial, or other, required result.
Justin you are again starting to politicize the issue in this topic.
If people want to start political discussions they do it in the correct forums.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
The phrase grandparent usually conjures up wonderful memories for most people. I remember my father and what a wonderful, loving influence he was on my children and how much they cherished seeing him and having him in their lives.

Sadly, not all grandparents relationships are like this. Let me give two case studies to illustrate the point:

1)   A friend of mine was thrown out of home by her dysfunctional mother at 15. She bounced around to her fathers, who was abusive and she and her sister survived by living in shelters and on the lounges of sympathetic friends and their friends parents. After having two children of her own, my friend sought out her mother recently. She is still as disordered and damaged as before and had nothing but abuse and negative commentary for my friend. This girl has done so much from such a lousy start. She works 2 jobs and is studying for a new career she wants to pursue. She has never allowed her children contact with her mother. Should she encourage a relationship with this woman? She was never physically abusive. In fact, one of the children is very much like her  perhaps they would get on well?

2)   Another instance is where a mother has mental problems, recognised by psychologists as being caused through neglectful and emotionally abusive parenting by her own parents. She is a recognised vexatious litigant and her parents inflame the situation with the father of her child so that the child lives in a miasma of conflict and tension. Should this mother die, she has even willed her child to her parents. Should this toxic cycle be allowed to continue? If Dad became sole carer for whatever reason, should he encourage a relationship with the grandparents?

Law is black and white and evidenced based. Social theory and psychology are grey lands because it is often about the perception of the person, not the actual reality. People can often convince themselves of the strangest things  that they were a model parent and now, cannot understand why they are not allowed to see their grandchild. This is why the law protects children from this. If one or both parents are so disordered that they cannot resolve issues regarding their children without court, what are one or both sets of grandparents like!

For the grandparents who genuinely have no contact for no good reason, say through your own child having zero contact, I am very sorry. No one seems to have found a way around that one and I dont know if legislating grandparent time is the answer.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
justin said
DevoteDad; these are your parents I hear you are talking about, have you put it to them, "why do they hate me so much that you will behave so badly. Do they want to break up your marriage? And when the Court hears that they claim they have rights in spite of their behaviour, what BIC will the Court say is the BIC to be applied, they have NO TIME with the children is the BIC.

I know it is hard but when they are your parents and not your wife's it is easier than you think. All you have to do is decide if you want your marriage or not! If you do don't, use the silent treatment. That gets nobody anywhere but a lot of stress and lack of knowledge.
 

Yes I have pretty much put the question you stated to them and taken the "hard" route.  Actually it was my wife who picked up the phone and kicked this off.  Unfortunately their answers are filled with other worldly distortion.  A good example amongst many is they claim my wife sent "Nasty" and "Abusive" e-mails on my Mum's birthday … well we still have those e-mails and they say nothing other than best wishes and have a great birthday!  Even when we retort with the evidence (e.g. here is the actual e-mail), all we get in response is either another relentless round of fabrication or we "must agree to disagree".  Then we say "If we are going to trust each other, we have to deal with the issues" … she says "Stop abusing me", we say "Eh?" etc, etc.


At one point I thought the real reason for her behaviour was that she perceived me as a younger version of my Dad (they divorced), or maybe since her marriage failed she sort of wants others to fail also (she has targeted others in the family this way, particularly the partners, but not at court), but that doesn't explain a long pattern of paranoid targeting that goes back as far as I can remember.  She probably wanted more time with the oldest when he was young (my wife's family are very close, my family has always been distant, so that was the natural balance of grandparent time), and that may have been what turned us into her latest target.  But wow talk about missing the point in dealing with it … the tragedy being had she not lost the plot, this very likely would have happened in time anyway, as we could have used their help!

I'm not quite sure what you mean by your comment in bold as I don't see anything easy about this.  Obviously my marriage is my priority, so while the court has provided some cooling down time now via very reasonable Interim orders, I am certain my Mum will reject everything we need to move forward at final mediation (e.g. retracting what we can prove is wrong etc), launch more rounds of fabrication at every opportunity, many targeted once again at my wife, and we will go to a full court hearing as there is no way in hell she will drop this and there seems to be no way we can stop this.  We will have to defend in depth because she will paint a vast fiction that we are unreasonable and she is a golden grandmother.  This process will therefore continue to put pressure on our marriage, albeit less than allowing her proposed orders, I can only hope the evidence based court will expose the truth.

As a result of this experience I tend to take the view that the law should simply not allow this scenario i.e. if married parents have the same view the grandparents cannot go to court, full stop.  I have a number of close friends in somewhat similar scenarios, who are concerned this could happen to them, it seems a matter of time before the courts are flooded with this garbage.  But then I think of my maternal grandparents, and again they have more than earned all the access rights in the world…
Devoted Dad, I have replied under a new topic "Grandparents Denied Contact"

Regards Calista

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  M K Gandhi
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