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  1. #1
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    Default Grandparents threatening legal action

    I'll try and keep this short!
    DH's parents are attempting to take us to family court because they are not allowed to meet our children.
    Does anyone know the answer to these questions? I'm so stressed!

    Will the fact that DH was physically and emotionally abused as a child be enough to allow us to deny them access? How would we prove it when it's their word against his?
    Will the fact that MIL has a police record for taking sleeping pills then driving off in her car and being incoherent/un-findable help us?
    Will the court be really angry that we had agreed to mediate privately and had told them they could meet our children IF we were comfortable, but they decided that wasn't good enough and initiated court proceedings to try and force us? Isn't court supposed to be a last resort?
    Because of the anger and abuse, we have now cut off all contact for good. We gave them about a million chances and they blew it.
    Might we need to retrieve old text messages? MIL has sent nasty and threatening messages, and I feel I can also prove she was stalking us because she messaged 20 odd times per day. Also showed up at our house and left notes on the front step. Also started using other phones to call when we blocked her from calling us.
    Does the court favour a strong family unit? FIL has told DH that he is welcome in their home but I am not. They do their best to get between us at every opportunity.
    We don't hate them, we just want them to leave us alone!!!!

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    I wouldnt stress, you are the parents, you capl the shots as to who meets your children my guess would be that they are just using scare tactics on you, dont stress until they prove it and even then they probably wont have a leg to stand on.

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    I know it's easier said than done but please try not to stress about it to much.

    When DD1 was born I was not with her father. His parents spoke to relationships Australia and they told them that they needed to stop contacting me because it can be deemed harassment. Given everything you said there seems to be a lot of unpleasant history and I doubt the courts would award them much, if anything. It will cost them a ridiculous amount of money and mediation needs to occur first.

    It sounds like you have tried and that does count for a lot.

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    They can't just take you to court, they'd have to attempt mediation first. They are grandparents, I don't believe you are under any obligation to allow them access especially of they don't have any relationship with the kids. This info may help you:
    http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/publi...tions-answered

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    Thanks for the replies, it is helping calm me down for sure.
    We got an email inviting us to mediation at Relationships Australia so I guess they are taking steps to get us to a court room. DH and I will never let them near our children. They are dangerous and violent.

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    You can explain all your fears to RA and request shuttle mediation- where you sit in separate rooms and a mediator goes between you. But I would seek legal advice too- if they have no relationship with your kids, I don't think you are obliged to let them develop one. Hope it works out xx

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    If you feel you have no 'proof' and feel you need to gather some, perhaps you could get some third parties to make an affidavit or statutory declaration attesting to their character and the particular events that they may have witnessed? I.e. friends that have been around when your MIL or FIL were inappropriate or nasty etc.

    I should hope that you wouldn't need anything like that though! You have rights, they don't.

    Do you think any sort of mediation could result in you allowing them contact with your children? If not, I personally would be reluctant to even engage in it... note it's an 'invite' and not anything mandatory.

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    They wont get to a court without going through mediation (relationships Australia) first. I am pretty sure grandparents do have some rights. I was told that if DSs father died, his parents could gain access to DS by the same way his father does, if I kept him from them from seeing him.

    I'm not sure on what rights they have if both parents are refusing them access though.

    Do u think they could just be all threats and no action? If so, I'd just let them go and see if anything eventuates.

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    I was told by legal aid that grandparents have rights these days and can take you through the legal system to gain access.
    I was lucky in my circumstance that the ex's mother never took her threats any further.
    I would definitely seek legal advice if it appears they are taking steps to get you into the courtroom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarvestMoon View Post
    I was told by legal aid that grandparents have rights these days and can take you through the legal system to gain access.
    I believe grandparents rights increase where there is separation / divorce / death, mostly to prevent the parent with custody from ignoring the ex-partners parents.
    When both parents are together and the partner is part of the decision to keep his own parents away, it is a different matter.

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