SA Visitation Rights of Daughter and Grandparents Rights of Estranged Grandmother

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14 June 2015
Ok this is going to be a bit different but from what i am told this is going to be like the grandparents rights.

I love my daughter who is 24 and lives independently since she was 17 with me still buying food and paying bills for her.. but she has become toxic and blows up at me in front of my two boys, her half brothers aged 6 and 8 years and it's like walking on eggshells so in light of her behaviour I had put boundaries in place and took time away from her..

I am also estranged from my mother who is a narcissistic mother who has in the past sided with my daughter's father to hide her from me when she was two. I since got her back and after a long time forgave my mother, Well fast forward to the birth of my boys, she lived in another state so I used to send her air tickets to visit us. The separation from the boys father resulted in my mother feeding info about me and my facebook page to him and causing conflict thus issuing a no contact with her. Also the father chose to walk away from the kids at this point with no contact from him in two years.

The relationship with the boys' father was toxic and resulted in him being arrested for assaulting me. This drama has affected the boys to a point that they are in counselling for it for two years now. Both my mother and daughter know how deeply they are affected by this, with my youngest pulling his hair out.

So now my daughter and mother have teamed up to take me to family court to get visitation rights. My daughter has approached the courts in only her name. I allowed her to visit the boys in my presence for a hour each Sunday and all was going great with visits in between :) until last Sunday when she tried to put grandmother on the phone to my eldest boy and this is where I step in and said no .

Here is a summary of what happened given to my lawyer

Hi J

thank you for getting back to me about what eventuated on Sunday with the boys, my daughter and myself. Please find attached screenshots of the texts that followed after I had left with the boys.

Just to summarize again and please pardon the grammar.

Sunday at the park with daughter and her new partner and the boys and myself was going well we had been there for 2 hrs at this point when she wanted A to talk to Nana ( my mother )

I stepped in and said "No", this is when my daughter become emotional and not open to continuing the day with the boys in a respectful and civil manner, as I asked her three times to stop so we can continue to have a great day out. She then started to make personal attacks on myself in front of the boys and stated to become uncontrollable in her emotions, stating over and over that nana has a right to talk to the boys and it's in the court order, and I have no right to stop her or nana, that I was a unfit mother and doing harm to the boys.

At this point her voice was raised enough for the people in the park to hear, I was shocked and embarrassed of her behaviour. Also the boys became quite distressed and started to shake and cry, I said that we are then going home and apologized to my daughter's partner. My daughter then held onto A and wouldn't let him go, crying on him and telling him what a bad mother I was and she will see him soon, this made A worse and L was crying and started to grab me and seemed scared.

I asked My daughter to stop as the boys were upset and to please not involve them in adult issues, she then grabbed L and said the same to L. When I finally got both boys to walk with me back to the car, my daughter was yelling at me to bring the boys to her in a fortnight time or she will call the cops. The boys were sobbing at this stage and kept asking me why I was taking them away from big sister and why was she angry at mummy, they were so confused after having such a great time. All I could respond to the boys was that it was time to go home and we could get ice cream. ( this didn't help ). This was highly stressful and traumatic for all of us. I was crying as well with the boys and started to head to my friend's house to distract the boys with J, their school friend and her daughter. Also she had puppies to play with. This was also for me to calm down as well. She lived just around the corner. That was when I received the texts messages from her. The boys are still upset to this day about what had happened

My mother and myself do not have a good relationship throughout my years growing up .. When my daughter was about 2 her father and I was separated but living in the same house when my mother came to visit with her husband and my half sister (6 at the time ). She sided with the daughter's father to hide her from me. I forgave her for that though it took a long time. She then did it again to the boys father's knowing that he is aggressive and has been arrested for hitting me and the fall out to the boys due to this. Repeated attempts have been made to repair and resolve any issues. Estrangement has been the LAST option exercised. My mother has no bond with the children and the strength of any relationship between them is non existent, they receive no phone calls or cards for their birthdays.

I have since given them a safe haven and protected them so they are not exposed to further trauma or cause any kind of conflict or conflicted loyalties, tension, confusion, disharmony, or upset than they have already, and know they have been through huge psychological huddles and separation anxiety issues. I have to exercise my right as a mother over their "Wants" and address what they "Need" right now and that is stability and a safe healthy environment. They are not lacking in anyway of loving other family members and friends.

My daughter's emotional behaviour I feel shows me she is not ready to take on two boys that have their own psychological emotional needs that is still being consulted by professionals. This is such a emotional psychological crucial time for their healing and wellbeing, but ongoing exposure to conflict and a difficult parent-child relationship, that impacts negatively on them and their wellbeing.

At the moment A is self blaming , has low self-esteem feels easily rejected by his peers and very weepy as is L. At this time ( at the next court date ) I would rather now see my daughter's visits scaled back to allow the boys to reset their emotions and have that space, and to have her role and the limits to that role stated and re-enforced.

My question is, how can the rights of the mother be dedicated by that of a half sister and toxic grandmother?? We are yet to go back to family court next month as it's only a interim order at the moment, and any suggestions on how to deal with this.

:( I don't want my daughter out of our lives but for her to see that her tantrums is not going to work and is unfair ... She is a social worker

Thank you, sorry about spelling and grammar as it is not my strong point.


Dear Canbarra20,

There is Ss 64B(2) of the Family Law Act extends parenting orders to be able to include orders as to the child's access to other persons including a grandparent or other relative of the child.

In previous cases where older siblings have applied for orders for access to their younger siblings, the court has made parenting orders that a child spend time with extended family members including siblings or grandparents. The Court has the power to “make such parenting orders as it thinks proper”.

In determining what is proper in the circumstances the court will have regard to the best interest of the younger children, through the criteria set out in s60CC and s60B of the Family Law Act. This will take into account their right to have access to family which is generally considered to be in a child's interests except where there is abuse or other negative impacts.

If you are required to go to court to challenge this application - you will need to provide proof of all of the above that you have stated about your toxic mother and daughter and adduce evidence to the court to enable them to decide for themselves.