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  • Grandparents lobby on family law
  • Australian Senior
  • 23/12/2009 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: MrNatural ( 10 articles in 2009 )
GRANDPARENTING representatives will lobby the Family Law Council to seek changes in the application of the Family Law Act to ensure grandparents are not needlessly isolated from their grandchildren.

Queensland-based Dr Maged Rofail, a retired Doctor of Law, said grandparents were happy with the legislation but believed it was not being applied in the best interests of children.

Dr Rofail said in many cases healthy relationships between children and grandparents were being destroyed in an attempt to blackmail grandparents out of money, or for spiteful reasons unrelated to the best interests of the children.

In one case he said a couple’s daughter-in-law had asked them to mortgage their home to help fund a business venture.

When they refused, she denied them access to their grandchildren.
“It’s causing a lot of harm to elderly people,” Dr Rofail said.
“We are touching on the two most vulnerable elements in society – children and elderly people. It is vital for a child to develop an attachment relationship with the members of their extended family.

“Some parents do not appreciate how important it is for the child.”

Dr Rofail said that in many cases grandparents would not take the issue to court because they did not want to cause problems for their child.

Many who told him their stories would not even give their name.

However for those who did go to court, the courts had allowed the parent to isolate the children if it caused undue stress to the parent, as this stress then affected the children.

Dr Rofail said the courts needed to use Section 13C of the Family Law Act to refer parents to counselling to try to resolve issues, as happened in cases between separated spouses.

He said this would be a better option both for the parent and for the grandparents and children.

Dr Rofail can be contacted on (07) 3207-7200.


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