The Special Relationship of Grandparents

In a recent case, a paternal grandmother asked the Family Court to order that she be permitted to spend time with her grandchildren.

The mother of the children opposed the application, alleging that it was a backdoor attempt to increase the amount of time the father could spend with the children. She also alleged that the grandmother was trying to undermine the mother’s parenting, and that, if the grandmother was granted the order, it would cause the mother to suffer such anxiety that her parenting capacity would be badly affected.

The judge disagreed, saying he was satisfied that it was in the children’s best interests that they have a special relationship with their grandmother different to that with their parents. That the children spent limited time with their father was not a reason, the judge said, to place limits or constraints on their relationship with the grandmother.

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