No contact time for Grandmother
Under the Family Law Act, the grandparent of a child is entitled to apply to the court for parenting orders. The court recently considered an application by a grandmother for orders that the children ‘spend time’ with her, in circumstances where the time was opposed by the parents.
There were two children involved, aged 4 and 2 years. The children shared the same father but had different mothers. All three parents were involved in the proceedings and all three opposed the grandmother’s application.
The grandmother had some health problems, which the parents argued affected her capacity to care for the children. The father was not in a relationship with either mother at the time of the hearing. The father was not spending overnight time with either chid, due to his accommodation, but both mothers indicated he was spending time and they communicated well in relation to the children.
Neither of the mothers, nor the father, had a good relationship with the grandmother. There was evidence that the grandmother had previously been invited to family events and refused, saying that it was the parents’ responsibility to travel to her as she could not drive.
The parents were united in their position that they did not trust the grandmother to provide appropriate care for the children and therefore opposed the court making an order for time. The court found that it was not in the children’s ‘best interest’ to order them to spend time with the grandmother, mainly due to the high level of conflict between the parties, and her application was dismissed.