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QLD Grandparent Rights - Intervene in Family Law Matter?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Leanne Davidson, 29 December 2014.

  1. Leanne Davidson

    Leanne Davidson New Member

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    Hello. I want to Intervene in a family law case. I am the maternal grandmother (residing in Qld) of 2 girls aged 4 & 20 months. They have been living with their father in WA since Nov 2013.

    The first hearing between the mother and the father was on the 15 December 2014 and they have another hearing on the 13th February 2015.
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Leanne,

    If you have a good relationship with the mother, you can ask her to add you to the family law matter as a joinder of parties. The mother may need the court and/or the father's consent. Otherwise, you will need the court's permission to join as a third party intervener. In this case, you will not be a party to the matter but will be allowed to give evidence/statement in support of one side over another. The third option is to ask the mother to represent your interests as well as hers.

    If you have been prevented from seeing your grandparents or believe your visitation rights will not be protected in the Parenting Order between the parents, you can apply to court yourself for a Parenting Order and the court will likely join this matter to the existing Parenting Order matter between the parents. Again, you will need to ask the court's permission to do this.

    As a grandparent, you do not have an automatic right to a relationship with your grandchildren. The court will apply the same test with you as with the parents, which is: what is in the best interests of the grandchildren? There is a presumption that splitting up children from their family (including grandparents) is not in the children's best interests however this can be rebutted and will be determined on an individual case-by-case basis.

    Contact the QLD legal aid or your local community legal centre and the Family Court for further information on how to do this. Also, have a look at this information sheet from Legal Aid NSW: "are you a grandparent?"
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the above, children do have a right to spend time and communicate with people relevant to their care, which expressly includes grandparents in the Family Law Act, provided that is what's in their best interests.

    I agree with everything else above - you can join as a party to proceedings in pursuit of orders that stipulate the child spend time and communicate with you on a regular basis, or you can initiate your own application.

    For grandparents seeking time with the child, you will need to first attend a family dispute resolution conference with the other parent to try and reach an agreement outside of court before you can file an initiating application.
     
    Victoria S and Tracy B like this.

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