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Grandparents and Granddaughter contact issues

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Grandparents are representing themselves

Ive just joined this Forum hoping it would provide information and support for us. My wife and I have started action in the courts to try to change things so that our Granddaughter can spend some time with us. We are representing ourselves and have had a first hearing followed by a futile attempt at mediation and will be back in court in March for mention. I thought this site might have something to offer and found a section for people who represent themselves. But access to further information was blocked- there was a ridiculous quiz where you had to know the name of the Attorney General and who was the high court justice or something equally ridicioulous. Searching around the site I find it to be pretty elitist, spelling miuist be spot on etc and I know this site is not for me. Is there a forum somewhere where ordinary people can share information and experiences; I would be gratefull to hear any information.
ghosta said
My wife and I have started action in the courts to try to change things so that our Granddaughter can spend some time with us. We are representing ourselves and have had a first hearing followed by a futile attempt at mediation and will be back in court in March for mention.
Are you in mediation with BOTH parents or just one? There are obvioulsy a lot of circumstances surrounding your situation. THe site has thousands of comments throughout many forums in relation to Grandparent contacts. The easiest way to find material would be to use the site search facility.
ghosta said
 I thought this site might have something to offer and found a section for people who represent themselves. But access to further information was blocked
The Self Represented Litigants group run a secondary site which is by membership only and is maintained and run by them. If you cannot get access then I would suggest you have not complied with their requirements.
ghosta said
…there was a ridiculous quiz where you had to know the name of the Attorney General and who was the high court justice or something equally ridicioulous.
In respect to the ridiculous quizz. There are two ridiculous quizzes. One is related to CSA and understanding of the CSA system and one is for Family Law. They are there for some education and fun as well as to give you some idea of the terms and issues that will confront you along the SRL pathway. If you do not get anything out of the quizz then I might respectfully request self representation may not be for you and you should engage counsel for your next hearing.
ghosta said
Searching around the site I find it to be pretty elitist, spelling miuist be spot on etc and I know this site is not for me. Is there a forum somewhere where ordinary people can share information and experiences; I would be gratefull to hear any information.
If I tell you just one thing and that if you take that away then you will have achieved something. The courts are not kindly to sloppy work. The SRL group here attempt to install a high standard of writing of documents. I have been in a matter not so long ago where the Paralegal had incorrectly re-numbered my documents and pages and even had two seperate orders with the same number. The first 40 minutes of the 45 minute mention was taken up with a discussion on what order was what and what page number should the judicial officer be on. You can go through that pain or take note and understand why such a lot of time is taken up by some moderators in relation to documents and their preparation and correctness.

To be Self Representing is not an easy job. The quizz was designed to give you background and have some fun and goodness me there is little fun anywhere around this place (except the funny stories forum). You can take it or leave it and if you don't like it write some new questions and answers for us to include, that you think are more relevant.

There are few if any forums that give the range of commentary that we see here. The alternative is to contact a legal practitioner and spend some money.

Lastly although the Family Law Act does specifically include Grand Parents and other family members since the amendments in 2006,  the courts have taken a wide number of positions in making orders. You will need to read a number of cases that are on the site here as it is not at all certain that you will even get any order in your favour. If you are currently not getting any contact then you must have a conflictual situation and that in itself is problematic.

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
 
Thanks to the couple of posters who posted encouraging comments. It seems a shame that the forum is open to the odd nasty and arrogant person full of their own self importance.
ghosta said
It seems a shame that the forum is open to the odd nasty and arrogant person full of their own self importance.
What an outstandingly odd, nasty and arrogant post from someone whose first post here started by attacking the site and writing about ridiculous quizzes, elitism and the site not being for them. A cranky Grandparent whose posts show why there is no peer support available for this group  of citizens.
Guest said
What an outstandingly odd, nasty and arrogant post from someone whose first post here started by attacking the site and writing about ridiculous quizzes, elitism and the site not being for them. A cranky Grandparent whose posts show why there is no peer support available for this group  of citizens.
 
Mr guest we know you could have posted in your registered name but you chose to post as a guest. Not really cricket.
Ghosta where are you at currently with matters. Have you lodged an application? Been to mediation? Are things getting better or worse? Do you have any contact with grandchildren?  What is the status with your "son" / "daughter" contact arrangements?

Is there some specific item that site members could assist you with. I think the point about being carefull with paper work is made but progress needs to be made.  

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
 
What do you do to make an amended application please? I have looked for instruction without success. This is to combine applications on individual children into one cohesive document.
Secretary SPCA said
Ghosta where are you at currently with matters. Have you lodged an application? Been to mediation? Are things getting better or worse? Do you have any contact with grandchildren?  What is the status with your "son" / "daughter" contact arrangements?

Is there some specific item that site members could assist you with. I think the point about being carefull with paper work is made but progress needs to be made.
 
Second court appearance last week. Adjourned as requested by solicitor for the mother as she indicated she was arranging a dispute resolution conferance. Mother had previously refused to attend a conferance months ago, so a cetificate was issued. My son has attended two dispute resolution conferances. After the first conferance, no consent orders were made, but an agreement was reach formalised by "exchange of letters between solicitors." Prior to the conferance my son was visiting his daughter at the paternal grandfathers house where the mother lived, on a weekly basis (sometimes twice weekly), under very uncomfortable circumstances…he was allowed to visit but not actually made to feel welcome, and all visits were closely "supervised" by the mothers family.

The agreement was my son would spend time 2 hrs weekly with his daughter at my other sons residence on the proviso that we (paternal grandparents) were not present. No explanation was given. My son didnt like this but agreed so he could see his daughter. It was also agreed that the child would attend other sons wedding as a flower girl (partnered by her father), the bride discussed arrangements with the mother via text and telephone and all was going well. She mentioned a dress fitting in the presence of maternal grandfather, who was obviously unaware of the wedding arrangements, and the mother was silent. Soon after the bride got a text to advise that the child would not be attending the wedding, and the next week when my son waited for his daughter to be dropped off, she didnt arrive and all visits ceased.

Five months later a second conferance was held, even though my son immediatley requested one when the visits stopped. My son did not see his daughter for 5 months. The delay was caused apparently by lazyness of solicitors involved. This time a Consent Order was registered, specifying that my son could see his daughter at a Contact Center for two hours each week on a semi-supervised basis. The mother argued my son was incabable of looking after his daughter, although there is no basis for this suggestion. My other sons wife (in whose home the contact visits which abruptly ended took place) is a highly qualified child care worker, she had kept an eye on the visits and helped/advised when requested. My son was going so well with his daughter after a few visits she left them too it.

Only trouble was that those involved in drawing up the Consent Order didnt bother contacting the Contact Center and find out what services they offered. they could not offer weekly visits, only fortnightly. They did not normally offer semi-supervised visits only fully supervised visits which began. We were unable to see the child.

That was when we filled in the "initiating application" and got things rolling in court. We had attempted mediation many months earlier when we were told by the mothers father that we were not welcome to visit the child at their home (after 1/2 dozen visits VERY closely supervised by the mothers father). No explanation was given, but our son had just initiated mediation through a Family Relationship Center.

So thats where we are. The mothers father has been convicted and jailed for child pornography offences. He is reported to have abused a child and thats why the police checked his computer for child pornography. He also has drug offences, he is a stoner.

I dont anticipate too many problems in court if I can get a hearing, on legal advice we did not submit a Form 4 as part of the initiating application which at the very least would have speeded things up. i now believe I should have, but since the mother and child had moved out of her parents home we were advised not to.

Last week the mother moved house. We dont know where she is living, she may be back at her fathers house. The current Consent Order does not contain any requirement for her to advise my son where they are living.

I have a strong belief my sons legal aid solicitor is incompetent, perhaps even negligent, given she is cetainly aware of the maternal grandfathers child pornography conviction.

I wonder if our case is an unusual one.

We did see our grandchild on the weekend. First time for 18 months. My sons solicitor has managed to get the Contact Center to offer 4 semisupervised visits. (1/2 hr at contact center supervised, 1hr where my son is free to take her out of the center, returning for 1/2 hr supervised ). But when the 4 visits are finished my son has no contact with the child until another Consent Order is made, and there is no guarentee the mother will agree to any further contact.

There is more to the story, such as my son having his cars stolen and burnt 3 times, strangely coinciding exactly with his initiating different stages of action. Although in all cases the thieves have been caught, the police refuse to investigate whether there is any link to the mothers father, who being a drug user and convicted felon, just might be able to easily arrange a car theft pretty easily.
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