VIC Grandmother's Interference - Custody of Son

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13 August 2014
When I was first told by my ex that I was to ONLY communicate with her via "her new email" with any and all matters pertaining to our son, I thought nothing of it. We had split up before we knew about the pregnancy, which she resented making communication hard at the best of times, but even so I found it irregular that any time in the first 6 months after his birth that I queried her about trivial things such as "Can I have him an hour longer next week?", I was met with frazzled, and at times hostile responses typically along the lines of I don't know, I'll get back to you. I figured the clarity in response that written communication offered would be a welcome change, instead I saw a paradigm shift in the person I thought I was talking to whenever the issue was anything other than trivial banter, not to mention an unprecedented spike in grammatical ability.

At times when I questioned her in person about emails she had supposedly sent, she was oblivious to them. I suspected her mother was involved, as she had interfered with just about every aspect of the birth, prior to and after, attempting to act on behalf of my ex in many situations without her consent. She possesses a sense of self entitlement owing to the fact she is an administrator (front desk) at a local court, and seems to believe that this has credited her with a law degree, and all the respective knowledge. She was abandoned with two kids by her partner, and has since adopted a strict feminist view of the world, which she imposed on her children from a very young age.

My partner and I were young (Her 19, Me 17) to birth, and her mother tried to stop me from taking an active role in my son's life as she believes that a father is not a necessity in a child's life. After 4 years, of nothing relatively serious arising, and a beautiful, active relationship with my son, I have reached my limit of tolerance. After attempting to discredit me with numerous unfounded lies and accusations, I received an email today in which her mother accidentally refers to herself in the first person, revealing the dual person access of the account, citing the "emotional abuse" I am causing my son by letting him call MY mother Nanna..... *edit*

Please forgive me for how trivial this is about to become, just sympathize with my frustration
She claims that for 4 years MY mother has been referred to as "Nanna D", and ONLY her as just "Nanna" as per an agreement we made at a coffee meeting before his birth (we had had a meeting, all of which was recorded and signed by both of us, this however was not one of those topics), and that by now "forcing" my son to call her Nanna (She has always been just Nanna, never referred to as anything else the whole 4 1/2 years) I am emotionally abusing and distressing him and calling me to mediation.

This woman is a power hungry, pathological liar, who has only her best interests in mind, who manipulated the first and last mediators we went to, and then terminated said service after the majority of this came to light and the custodial suggestions being made were no longer manipulated in her favour.

What can I do to block this woman out of all affairs under family law relating to me, my son and my ex? I've had enough of pathetic ammunition being fired relentlessly at me attempting to make me out to be a bad dad, when all I've ever done wrong in her eyes is try to stay in my son's life. *edit* Sorry for the essay!


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
In short, you can't do anything about who responds to your e-mails.

However, if the care arrangements are unstable, lack routine and can't be guaranteed for future, you should attend a family dispute resolution conference to establish, at the very least, a parenting plan. Family dispute resolution is not a bad thing. In fact, it will be very positive for you as the non-primary carer.

Now, unless you agree otherwise, family dispute resolution can only involve the parents - third parties are sometimes present for emotional support, but are not permitted to be involved. That means her mum gets to wait outside in the lobby while you and your ex talk it all out and establish some ground rules. Both parties will be represented by a solicitor to ensure the child's best interests are of primary consideration.

Once the family dispute resolution conference has taken place, you will receive a s60i certificate which will enable you to pursue the matter through court, if necessary. Hopefully, that won't be the case, though.

Try not to get too worked up about who responds to your emails because long-term, it will have absolutely no bearing at all on how the care arrangements pan out on paper. Keep it in perspective. :)


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
Keep all your evidence handy about what the grandmother does. I'm not a suggesting you get an AVO, however you can tell your grandmother you will get one to keep her away from your son if she continues to denigrate you in front of your son.

Maybe write an email back to your son's mother saying you will apply for an AVO against her mother if (insert behaviour here) continues to happen, knowing the grandmother reads the emails.

I'm unsure whether or not you can get an AVO as I'm not a lawyer :)

It is hard mate, hang in there and continue to be a good dad despite what happens to you. Kids do need unconditional love to grow up healthy.