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VIC Unfit Grandmother Taking Me to Family Court - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Leala, 17 September 2015.

  1. Leala

    Leala Member

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    Hi, I'm new here and need some help. My mother was declared unfit to raise me as a child. I spent maybe 2 years all up in my mother's care, 6 weeks here and there before I was taken away again.

    I have now grown up and had a family of my own. As I got older my kids would see there grandmother maybe once every 6 months, only when I was there. That was until the mother of my kids passed away. At that time, my mother started putting things in my kids' heads so, I stopped speaking to her.

    I have just received a summons to appear in family court as my mother wants access to my kids. I believe it's in my kids best interest to not have contact with her until they are 18 and can make up there own minds. What can I do to stop the family court from allowing access to her?

    i believe they would be in danger being with her as she was with me. My mother is that bad, she does not remember me being in foster care for around 12 years. She says I'm making it up. I have applied to Department of Human Services for my files as proof.

    What else can I do?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    So, under the Family Law Act 1975, children have a right to know, spend time and communicate with both parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development, including grandparents and other relatives, insofar as the best interests of the children can be met.

    The children's best interest are paramount in family law proceedings, and the court won't make orders unless it is satisfied those orders are in the best interests of the kids.

    When it comes to 'other people significant to their care', the court tends to be fairly conservative about orders it makes in this regard. Applicants have to pass a threshold test to show first that they are a person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child (which is difficult for a person who has had minimal and inconsistent involvement in the kids' lives), and then they have to persuade the court it's in the children's best interests to have the order they're seeking made. Where a grandparent has been largely absent, the order generally reflects something like, "That the children spend time with the paternal grandmother at times as agreed between the parties". It's only if the child has spent time living with the grandparents that the court would likely consider a regular arrangement, like "That the child spend time with the paternal grandparent on the third weekend of each month from after school Friday to 5pm Saturday" or whatever.

    You will need to file a response to the grandmother's initiating application. You might consider seeking orders that the child spend time with the grandmother at times as agreed between the parties, to be supervised by yourself or your agent, and seek a family dispute resolution conference in interim orders.

    Does this help?
     
  3. Leala

    Leala Member

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    So even now she was declared an unfit mother and was mentally and physical abusive to me as a child she could still get access to my kids. She has lied in all her paper work
     
  4. Amanda E

    Amanda E Well-Known Member

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  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    It's impossible to predict how the court would rule, but legally, yes, she could still get access to your kids and the court has to consider her case because your kids have a right to spend time with her if it's in their best interests to do so. Will she actually get it though? That depends if the court thinks it's in their best interests.

    Do you think time with their grandmother is in their best interests? If not, then tell the court why. See what I'm saying?
     

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