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The other side of the equation

Artemis said
I would like to know how many maternal grandparents are heavily invested in residency cases that go to hearing. I have a feeling it would be high.

As a single mum, even though you may not have confidence in dad's abilities, once you start getting a free weekend and little darling comes back safe and happy…you soon relish the extra support of a non-resident dad. If you have "built in" baby sitters, it makes it that much easier to give in to irrational fears that dad/child will not cope without you.
In a number of cases I have direct knowledge of, it has been patently obvious the desire by one or more grandparent to have the children provide post retirement entertainment has been a significant driving influence or force in the dispute.

In a very recent case, one grandmother in conversation with the other asked "what is (your husband) going to do now he is retired?" - The reply was "Sit in his caravan and watch life go by". Then his daughter was kind enough to bring a child into the world. This is probably lead to the recent comment "(Grandmother) and I are going to bring (Child) up".

In another, Granddad has taken no direct role in the proceedings beside providing a 6 figure slush fund. And the children spend every second weekend at his post retirement hobby farm. The mother is on record in sworn testimony to the court saying - Sports are good for the children but I wont take them. We spend every weekend (EOW) at my parents farm from when I pick them up from school to late Sunday night. - When asked how far from the farm to home, the mother replied "15 minutes".

And in another, the maternal family alleged a whole range of sexual abuse allegations against the paternal grandfather who had been providing care for the child while dad was at work (mum had shot through). A police investigation fond absolutely no evidence (and considering the allegation, there should have been graphic physical evidence). That didn't stop the DoCs case worker repetitively describing the grandfather as a sexual predator to the children's court. The maternal grandmother now has care and dad has 2 hours supervised a month on the condition he does not allow granddad any contact. In this case, I have strong suspicion that both the Maternal Grandmother and Paternal Grandfather viewed the child as a pastime.

I also know of quite a few others where similar sets of influences are/were at work.

Having said all that I must point out that I feel grandparents can play an extremely important role in children's lives. In some cases being forced to assume full care because the parents are incapable of providing proper care. More commonly by proving support and guidance to the parents while the parents grow in to the role of parent themselves and as we know part time child care while the parents establish themselves financially.

To any grandparents who have found the balance allowing their children to be parents in their own right - WELL DONE. To those who are isolated from their grandchildren because of the actions of the other side of the family, my heart goes out to you. To the grandparents who would destroy their grand children's family to provide a pastime for themselves - SHAME!!!

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!

adressing onedadac - not agog

I agree Onedadac (sorry, previously ascribed to Agog as was emailing him), there is nothing like the love of a grandparent. But a grandparent is also someone you should be spending time with after Parents, friends, schoolwork and past times. They are not a 3rd or 4th set of parents.

It's just dawned on me, this cult of family. I actually refer to the ex and the entire extended family as "Cult of <insert family name>" for irrational behaviour that is acceptable, as long as a family member does it.

I loved the one remaining grandparent I knew, but it was a very appropriate relationship - spending time with her once a month or so.

Last edit: by Artemis


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. 
Grandparents should be involved in the grandchildrens lives as part of family activities enhancing the childrens lives not as replacement parent figures.

Isn't the idea of being a grandparent mean you get the kids for visits and short term activies (visits to parks, fishing etc etc)to enrich their lived then HAND them back??

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Unfortunately as more parents become dinc families to be able to keep above the interest rate more grands will be taking on a larger support role. This of course is no major problem as when mum and dad come home or pick the kids up the grands are happy to see the back of them " ahhh peace and quiet ".

The biggest thing is the health of the relationship between the parties. All parents want to help their children and this includes grandparents. They want to support and they want to protect. We all know and understand this but it's when it becomes an obsession that takes over their lives.

Remembering that protection factors are in place you are lucky if you on speaking terms with the X's parents but when they are actively conspiring to destroy any attempts at negotiating what is perceived " BIC " and wanting you totally away from their daughter/son and grand kids.

It takes on a whole different look and one that is not healthy for the children saying I have heard and tactics used explain where a healthy amount of P.A.S. comes from and there are enormous pressures put on the X's as to what is best for the child ( X ) the grand kids and them. OOOOOOOOOPPPS who's missing, the other parent.

Of course the same can be put into motion by either parent.

Children's right for safety and freedom from percussion should also be considered.
oneadadc said
To any grandparents who have found the balance allowing their children to be parents in their own right - WELL DONE. To those who are isolated from their grandchildren because of the actions of the other side of the family, my heart goes out to you. To the grandparents who would destroy their grand children's family to provide a pastime for themselves - SHAME!!!
And there are also grandparents who are estranged from their grandchildren because of the actions of their own sons! That is the situation I am in right now. My son's father is a deadbeat who hasn't been around for 5 months but he has lied to his family, telling them I am the one who stopped contact. So now his parents are threatening to sue me for visitation rights. Meanwhile the grandparents could have maintained contact with me this whole time but they didn't really care. They gave up opportunities to babysit my son in the past. Having said that, the relationship with them now is so toxic, I do not want them having any rights over my son. Especially after the grandfather yelled abuse at me in front of my son yesterday. He is better off not knowing that horrible man and as his mother I have every right to decide that.
Please remember the following:

Parents do not have rights;

Grandparents do not have rights;

Children HAVE rights.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
monteverdi said
Please remember the following:

Parents do not have rights;

Grandparents do not have rights;

Children HAVE rights.
 
Yes I do have rights as a parent and as a human being. That's a ridiculous statement.
singlemum said
monteverdi said
Please remember the following:

Parents do not have rights;

Grandparents do not have rights;

Children HAVE rights.
 
Yes I do have rights as a parent and as a human being. That's a ridiculous statement.
 

In the context of 'Family Law', you do not have rights; the child has the rights. Parents have obligations.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
singlemum said
Yes I do have rights as a parent and as a human being. That's a ridiculous statement.

Simple, then please show us those rights, as a parent (I don't think as a human being is being disputed) and under what authority those rights apply here in Australia to you and I. Otherwise I will see you as saying your own statement is ridiculous, which I also believe to be the case.

Sigh....

MikeT said
singlemum said
Yes I do have rights as a parent and as a human being. That's a ridiculous statement.
Simple, then please show us those rights, as a parent (I don't think as a human being is being disputed) and under what authority those rights apply here in Australia to you and I. Otherwise I will see you as saying your own statement is ridiculous, which I also believe to be the case.
 
Parents have rights to make decisions about their children. I should not even need to explain this but since you're so adamant. Let me just give you some examples. I have a 2 year old and as a parent, I have the right to make decisions about my son's upbringing and general day to day life. For example, I make decisions about religion, where he goes to daycare, the rules of the house, what medical treatment he gets. If these decisions are not my right to make, then who's are they? Is my 2 year old going to use his rights and make these decisions himself?

I think you're being very silly. Just because the family law act talks about parental responsibilities and doesn't use the word "rights" doesn't mean a thing. In some ways, the responsibilities can also be considered rights.

I'm starting to get the impression that you have some sort of personal problem with me as you've been looking through all my posts and trying to find "contradictions" in my comments and accusing me of lying, which I don't appreciate btw.
I can see what singlemum is saying, our "rights" as parents are in reality based on children's rights. For example it is not our right to have a meaningful relationship with our children - it is THEIR right to have that with parents.

It is not OUR right to bring up children how we see fit, it is our children's right to be brought up in an acceptable way.

Do you see the difference singlemum? and while I agree that as parents we make the day to day choices that affect our children such as daycare, religion etc it becomes more complicated when parents are split, so in effect family law has to try and decide what is best for the child when parents just can't agree. So if it is your right to decide what religion the child is, and your ex also has that right as a parent what happens when you both want to exercise that right and are two different religions?

Your rights are then null and void and it is the child's rights that come into play.

In effect this works - after all it is your child's right to be housed and fed, it is your responsibility to then meet that right. The child is fed and housed in a manner that is acceptable in society.

Where it doesn't work is when the child's rights then undermine the parental responsibility, as can be seen over and over with teenagers especially.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
singlemum said
I think you're being very silly. Just because the family law act talks about parental responsibilities and doesn't use the word "rights" doesn't mean a thing. In some ways, the responsibilities can also be considered rights.

I'm starting to get the impression that you have some sort of personal problem with me as you've been looking through all my posts and trying to find "contradictions" in my comments and accusing me of lying, which I don't appreciate btw.

I have no problem with you at all, I don't even know who you are, although I have little doubt, especially due to your willingness to rapidly resort to insults, that I would not want to know you. As for actually being silly, the silly person is the one who would consider rights and responsibilities as the same since they are quite different, perhaps even opposites (rights=what you are allowed to do, responsibilities=what you are expected to do). e.g. you have a right to a driver's licence, however you need to show that you are capable of being responsible to take advantage of that right, by the way of taking tests and of then upholding the applicable law. The silly person would be the person who then drives without a licence and tries to tell a police officer that they have the right to the licence so they are doing no wrong as they have the right to a licence. The silly person would be the person who tried to use law to uphold what they want and in the next breath to say the law doesn't mean a thing, be that selectively or not, obviously unless that person has an emotional need to seek attention by the way of appearing as stupid, in which case it might not be silly. The even sillier person is the one who is freely helped but then ignores that help because they see it as an attack. That's the sort of attitude that would still have the earth seen as being flat.

As an example, you say you make decisions about the house rules as a right, however I believe that it is a responsibility not a right. One of the major differences is that if you do not take up a right then there are no external repercussions as such. If you do not get a driver's licence then I don't think that you would get prosecuted for that alone (drive a car without a licence then that's flouting the responsibility of getting the licence as part of driving the car). With house rules, have none and you could well get prosecuted for neglect or child abuse as examples, it's a responsibility to have rules in regard to the children. You may have the right to decide which school but if you do not school the child what would happen? To actually have them schooled is a responsibility, within that responsibility their are some rights.

Oh and as for reading all of your posts, I read all of everybody's posts that I am privy to, I believe that it is a responsibility that I have agreed upon. If you read all, then I believe that is your right. However I find it quite hypocritical that you, who has trawled up posts from the past, complain about anyone going through posts.  It appears that you wish to voice yourself publicly, but consider it wrong for others to do so. Perhaps you are complaining that I appear to be having a go at you, well if that is so, again you would be being hypocritical as you have taken the opportunity to have a go at others. It seems that your expectations are that there are acceptable actions that you yourself have the right to undertake but that it's wrong for others to do so.
In your very first reply to me you accused me of lying because you went through all my other posts on different topics and claimed to have found "contradictions" but clearly you didn't read what I said properly and you were totally wrong. You're wrong about everything you've said to me because like you said, you don't know me. You've made a bunch of assumptions about me and posted them up on some topic when it all had nothing to do with what the topic was about. Why would you do that?

And as for this last post..geez you can rattle on can't you? Not sure what driving has to do with children but let me just say what I meant by rights and responsibilities being one in the same in some cases so you don't get all confused again. For instance, you have the obligation to provide medical care to your child and with the obligation comes the right to choose which doctor to go to, what medical interventions to use so on and so forth. Please go ahead and find something wrong with that statement!
singlemum said
In your very first reply to me you accused me of lying because you went through all my other posts on different topics and claimed to have found "contradictions" but clearly you didn't read what I said properly and you were totally wrong. You're wrong about everything you've said to me because like you said, you don't know me. You've made a bunch of assumptions about me and posted them up on some topic when it all had nothing to do with what the topic was about. Why would you do that?

And as for this last post..geez you can rattle on can't you? Not sure what driving has to do with children but let me just say what I meant by rights and responsibilities being one in the same in some cases so you don't get all confused again. For instance, you have the obligation to provide medical care to your child and with the obligation comes the right to choose which doctor to go to, what medical interventions to use so on and so forth. Please go ahead and find something wrong with that statement!

Where did I say driving has anything to do with children? I used what is called an analogy, often used to explain a feature by showing similarities. As for your statement "For instance, you have the obligation to provide medical care to your child and with the obligation comes the right to choose which doctor to go to, what medical interventions to use so on and so forth." I don't disagree with that and it fits in with highlighting the difference between rights and responsibilities and that they are not the same.

Analogy - Dictionary definition

1.    a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump.
2.    similarity or comparability: I see no analogy between your problem and mine.
3.    Biology. an analogous relationship.
4.    Linguistics.
a.    the process by which words or phrases are created or re-formed according to existing patterns in the language, as when shoon was re-formed as shoes, when -ize is added to nouns like winter to form verbs, or when a child says foots for feet.
b.    a form resulting from such a process.
5.    Logic. a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects.


What? You are trying to tell me and everyone else that I do know you? Oh then perhaps you're the one down the road, blighted by years of drug abuse, the one who teaches her child to resort to bullying and to lie? Perhaps you're the other one just down the road, relatively nice, but still does very little to control her children and let's them terrorise other children in the locailty and destroy property. However I am absolutely sure that the fact is that I a not wrong about everything I've said to you, especially the fact that it is true that I don't know who you are. However if you insist I can go through every thing I have said to you and show that the fact is, is that you are wrong in what you have said. Hopefully the ridicule you have brought upon yourself, by implying that I know you, should be enough for you to see that you are wrong in what you say and that it is therefore a lie, thus proving that you are prone to lying and therefore proving that I am not wrong to now actually call you a liar. I believe what you said is the sort of technique that a controlling person uses in an attempt to bully another. Well it hasn't worked, I have seen what actually is.

So what makes it right for you to make assumptions and nobody else? Have you not made the assumption that I am "perhaps a deadbeat", as one example? Isn't opinion itself an assumption, so you'd have it so nobody can voice their opinion on here, oh of course your hypocritical self excepted? It would appear that your view of a forum is a place where all have to listen to yourself and only respond if they agree with you. Hey, news for you, that's not a forum, it's more akin to enslavement, a prison. A forum is for public discussion and if you open your mouth (post something), then expect others to open theirs in response. Don't like it, then don't open your mouth, it's as simple as that.

Forum - Dictionary definition

1.    the marketplace (shops might be more appropriate for yourself) or public square of an ancient Roman city, the center of judicial and business affairs and a place of assembly for the people.
2.    a court or tribunal: the forum of public opinion.
3.    an assembly, meeting place, television program, etc., for the discussion of questions of public interest.
4.    the Forum, the forum in the ancient city of Rome


As for myself being a deadbeat. Well perhaps when I was a deadbeat when I was paying CS well in excess of what I would have under CS assessment. As for now, then if you call being the lives with parent and not chasing CS, then yes I am a deadbeat. If you call not relying on others by keeping a full time job, the yes I am a deadbeat. However my understanding of the term deadbeat, is that it is used to mean very much the opposite. You also make the assumption that I support deadbeats, whilst I have voiced on many occasions that I don't. They disgust me, most especially the deadbeat parents who are the lives with parents, who abuse their children by exploiting them for monetary gain. Certainly with some of the abuses of legislation that are made by the CSA (simply trawl through my posts for where I see this happening), I can understand how some simply cannot pay what they are assessed to pay, and that they should not be classed as deadbeats, noting that in fact the term used is normally "do not pay or pay on time", the latter actually wrongly inflating the figures as there are some CSA processes that automatically place those paying as required, into that category. However I cannot understand or forgive any person who could take money due for their child or children, spend it elsewhere on drugs, alcohol or other relatively exorbitant items, neglecting their child or children in the process. This is perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of CS legislation, reams and reams of it to enforce financial responsibility upon only one of the two parents who both have financial responsibilities. It does nothing to enforce responsible spending and there is little doubt that irresponsible spending of CS happens far far too much.

Deadbeat

1.    a person who deliberately avoids paying debts.
2.    a loafer; sponger.
adjective
3.    being a parent who neglects parental responsibilities, esp. one who does not pay child support.
4.    Horology. noting any of various escapements acting without recoil of the locking parts from the shock of contact.
5.    Electricity. (of the indicator of an electric meter and the like) coming to a stop with little or no oscillation.


 It would appear that your expectation is that you can do as you wish (i.e. post topics) but all others must adhere to what you want (i.e. not post anything that shows that you are wrong). I believe that is considered controlling. Thus my opinion/assumption is now moving to considering that it's quite likely that your relationship ended due, in at least part, to that controlling attitude and that it's also a distinct possibility that fear of this control is what may in fact be depriving your son of a relationship with the other parent.

Assuming that my assumptions(opinions) are incorrect and the other parent is as you say, why not PM me the other parent's contact information. I could then try to get the other parent to pay the CS, by explaining all the bother the other parent could end up in by not paying. I could also try to explain why the other parent should try to rekindle the relationship and perhaps the other parent would then listen. I'll do that freely rather than moan and whinge about the insults and assumptions that you have made about myself. Hey you could even get me explaining that my assumptions(opinions) were wrong.

How more attractive an offer can I give?

Rights and Resposibilities

singlemum said
In your very first reply to me you accused me of lying because you went through all my other posts on different topics and claimed to have found "contradictions" but clearly you didn't read what I said properly and you were totally wrong. You're wrong about everything you've said to me because like you said, you don't know me. You've made a bunch of assumptions about me and posted them up on some topic when it all had nothing to do with what the topic was about. Why would you do that?

And as for this last post..geez you can rattle on can't you? Not sure what driving has to do with children but let me just say what I meant by rights and responsibilities being one in the same in some cases so you don't get all confused again. For instance, you have the obligation to provide medical care to your child and with the obligation comes the right to choose which doctor to go to, what medical interventions to use so on and so forth. Please go ahead and find something wrong with that statement!
 

Health Care of Children - an interesting example. As parent we are responsible for ensuring our children receive appropriate medical (and other health related) assistance. While it may be considered a "Right" to choose the doctor (etc), I would suggest it would be more appropriately be considered a responsibility to choose the doctor who is most appropriate and can provide the best possible advice and care. An illustration, visit a hospital as a patient and you likely to receive (at least in NSW) a pamphlet informing you the your health is your responsibility!

No medical professional can insist on any treatment or force any treatment upon a patient without the patient's informed consent. A court may order treatment upon application and in exceptional circumstatnces. Medical Advice is exactly that - Advice - and it remains the patient's (or their legal gardian) choice what to do with the advice. The responsibility remains to choose wisely.

Taken to the next level, in most fields, including the medical field, it is possible to find "experts" who will give you the advice you wish to hear. The responsibility to seek accurate and balanced advice remains.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!

Back on Topic

LOL, entertaining thread.  Back on topic, okay no question Childrens rights have to be paramount.  I can understand why for family law, saying everyone else has no rights make the system workable.  But in principle I do not agree Parents and Grandparents should be on the same playing field i.e. both have "no rights".  Surely there is a hierarchy here, Children on top, way on top … Parents … then Grandparents.  Surely if Parents have a view that Grandparents are a negative influence, while Grandparents view their role as a positive influence, all other things being equal, the law should side with the Parents?
DevotedDad said
Surely if Parents have a view that Grandparents are a negative influence, while Grandparents view their role as a positive influence, all other things being equal, the law should side with the Parents?

I believe that the law would interpret what was put before them and apply this to the best interest of the child and therefore that you can't really say that the law would side with either parents or grandparents, more that "it" would do what it thinks best at the time, noting that the "it" (magistrate or judge or even possibly a registrar) is a variable itself.
MikeT, while I agree with respect to my understanding of current law (law is not my field), perhaps Magistrates/Judges implicitly understand this heirarchy as it really is common sense as SingleMum was alluding.  Perhaps this is part of the perceived disconnect for some with law and reality.

Consider a case where both sides have similar credibility and a similar weight of argument … the parents with the view that grandparent involvement is not BIC … the grandparents with the view that their involvement is BIC.  I would argue that in such a case we should side with the parents, as (a) they are generally in a better position to make this judgement due to the volume of time spend with the kids to interpret their best interests (b) the consequences of getting this wrong and harming the parents relationship as a result, could have a more significant effect on the children that the other way around.
DevotedDad said
Consider a case where both sides have similar credibility and a similar weight of argument … the parents with the view that grandparent involvement is not BIC … the grandparents with the view that their involvement is BIC.  I would argue that in such a case we should side with the parents, as (a) they are generally in a better position to make this judgement due to the volume of time spend with the kids to interpret their best interests (b) the consequences of getting this wrong and harming the parents relationship as a result, could have a more significant effect on the children that the other way around.

DevotedDad, I believe that you have to consider who decides upon the credibility and weight of the arguments that I believe is the decision maker, be that originally or at appeal. It is also the decision maker who will decide who is in the position to make the better judgement. Time will often be a factor, however it is not the only factor. I believe you have to consider that rarely is there just the one argument that is put forward in fact I believe that you have shown this in the hypothetical case you have asked to be considered. That is there is the BIC argument and then the better judgement argument.

In Essex & Essex [2009] FamCAFC 236  22/12/2009, it is recorded that one of the three judges of the full court dissented. This shows that for the same argument or arguments put forward, that different decision makers can come to different conclusions and thus make different decisions. Considering that the same words and arguments were put forward/heard, then for dissent to happen, I believe that it must be the thought processes of the individuals that would result in such a disagreement. This is the crux of what I am saying.
MikeT, okay sure.  The reason to construct this is to put forward the artificial proposition that all other things being equal, it would only be reasonable to side with the parents, as the parents would often be in a position of better judgement, and to ensure no undue strain on their relationship.  I would argue the grandparents must have a BIC argument that is clearly superior to that of the parents to overrule the parents.  If there is reasonable doubt, surely err with the parents as the more important relationship for the children.  Since I tend to see the world as filled with just as many "unreasonable" grandparents as there are "unreasonable" parents, this would be a possible part explanation for the disconnect some perceive between how they view the law and actual practice.
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