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Question
Posted by: Anton | 2010/09/16

Parental Authority Undermined

Hi, my ex-wife and I have stopped the children’ s one granny from seeing the children as we feel she continually undermines our wishes and family value system.
History: My ex-wife and I divorced 18 months ago but are still very good friends and have a very good and stable family relationship with the two children aged 5 and 9. My ex-wife’ s mother (the granny and who has been married 6 times) has never abided by our continued requests to not speak ill of family members. She continues to favour one grandchild over the other. She openly discusses inheritance issues with the eldest grandchild (her favourite) even after numerous requests from us. She even disobeys us about not medicating the children without getting express permission from the parents (us). She even got the eldest child to collude and lie to us about a time when the granny lost the youngest child on and outing.
We then said that she can only see the children if she complies with certain rules and guidelines that we setup which included supervised visitation. This worked well for about 2 months until she again broke the rules. We then decided that her behaviour was not good for the children so we stopped visitation altogether.
The granny has now instigated legal proceedings against us (the parents) and taken us to the High court twice to get her own way. Every time we go we have a different judge who has only had a day or two to go over the papers, affidavits etc and the on his interpretation makes a ruling of AH!! shame how can we keep a granny away from her grandchildren!!! They have ruled against us (the parents) and granny has access to the children again. R100 000 in debt from legal fees and granny gets her way again because husband number 6 has pots of money and she has almost driven him into the grave as well.
PLEASE HELP!!! What do we as parents do to protect our children from this poisonous granny? My ex and I are both very firm and stand together on this. Do we just ignore the court order??

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

I would suggest that you consult a lawyer to get an external opinion on the order that was made by the court. Remember that a court can never make an order that is not in the best interests of the children and that will be paramount when attacking the order that was made on appeal. It is so that any person that has an interest in the wellbeing of a minor can approach the court to obtain parental rights, so this will include the granny as well. Having said that, a court should be wary of the rights of the natural parents as well and should be extremely careful to infringe upon such rights. After all it is your children, not the granny's.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
www.divorceattorney.co.za
info@divorceattorney.co.za

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Thelma | 2010/09/23

To FIO.........Thanks for understanding many people don''t understand the hurt I''ve been through, no I''m wrong WE''VE been through, because they haven''t been in our situation....however we getting to terms with it now. We have nothing more to live for but for ourselves. My wonderful husband and myself have accepted it and have decided we selling up and moving without forwarding address''s we are tired and have now realized we don''t know how much longer we have so rather make a clean move now and move on....Thank you once again and good luck in your new venture I hope you can get through to these selfish young couples ! God Bless....

Reply to Thelma
Posted by: FIO | 2010/09/22

Granny, its sadly true what you say. Grand parents tend to become special nannies, and are not really given the credit due to them. And sadly its the little children that miss out, becasue I remember I had fantastic grandparents, and I''ll always rememebr the times with them, and the experiences I had.

Once again, the problem is the parents of today, they are so damn selfish and inconsiderate, and do not understand the concept of co-operation, benefit for all negotiation etc.

Hence I have started an organisation with a very highly regarded person in the business of family law, mediation and child psychology forensics - we''ve established a new institute to educate parents and professionals on mediation, co-operation, and solution finding before litigation and fighting becomes the order of the day.

I feel for you, and hope in time things do get better for you.

Reply to FIO
Posted by: Thelma | 2010/09/19

Anton and to everyone who has advised.....Right you had your say about the ONE granny ! I''m also a granny and believe me I''ve been to hell and back since my son got divorced, it was all well when they decided to get divorced they [son and ex DIL] didn''t want to go for counseling they wanted out in fact they didn''t want any advice from anyone ! What happened the ONE granny [me] ended up with all the nonsense and provided for the poor children while the other granny did and still does blow all...after spending thousands of rand''s helping my grandkids and trying to help both parents, it came to nothing....Today the grandkids are kept away from me and as for my son he has discarded me. My advice to all the ONE granny''s out there listen to me - step backwards it''s not worth it, the young people of today are just for themselves as long as everything is in their favor it''s okay. It''s their children let them look after them and provide.....I''m a bitter and very hurt mom and ONE granny I''m getting over it....I promised myself I would never get involved with grandkids in my life again. I don''t blame the children I blame their parents !!!

Reply to Thelma
Posted by: family law expert | 2010/09/19

I would suggest that you consult a lawyer to get an external opinion on the order that was made by the court. Remember that a court can never make an order that is not in the best interests of the children and that will be paramount when attacking the order that was made on appeal. It is so that any person that has an interest in the wellbeing of a minor can approach the court to obtain parental rights, so this will include the granny as well. Having said that, a court should be wary of the rights of the natural parents as well and should be extremely careful to infringe upon such rights. After all it is your children, not the granny's.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
www.divorceattorney.co.za
info@divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: Simple | 2010/09/17

As painful as it is you go with to Granny and stay as long as your kids are there. Each of you taking turns.

Reply to Simple
Posted by: FIO | 2010/09/16

First of all, what is of parampunt importance is the best interests of the children, not the granny or you as parents.

The onus is upon you to prove that it is not in the best interests of the children to be with granny. Failing that, the court cannot rule against granny.

It seems that whatever lawyer you have used has not been thinking straight, and has not considered the best interests of the child standard as per the Childrens Act, 2005. The judge should not be saying Ah shame granny. Judge should be looking at impact of granny on children. Unfortunately a problem with the legal system at the moment, not enough properly trained people calling the shots.

So, find evidence of negative impact ont he childrens health or wekk-being, and try seek an interim protection order preventing contact. But best be sure that what you present is real evidence that supports your claim that such contact with granny is not in childrens best interests.

Reply to FIO

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