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Legal advice for visiting my granddaughter in Australia

(60 Posts)
Cleverfairy13 Mon 19-Feb-24 11:35:05

My granddaughter lives in Australia with her mother (recently separated from partner) we normally visit for 4 weeks a year and go stay about 6hr drive from their home town. The child’s father is now insisting that during our visit he wants his time with his daughter which equates to ten days out of a 26 day visit.
Its a long expensive trip and I’m wanting to know if anyone has either experienced similar or has any advice please
Thank you

Theexwife Mon 19-Feb-24 11:42:17

I do not know the law in Australia regarding this but surely wherever you are the father would have more legal rights over his child than the grandparents.

Cabbie21 Mon 19-Feb-24 11:43:22

Sorry I am not quite clear how much of the four weeks you normally spend with the family since you say you stay a six hour drive from them. Can you work around the arrangements?

LOUISA1523 Mon 19-Feb-24 11:45:03

Both parents have PR ....and likely an arrangement re contact....grandparents have to fit in with this ....maybe your DD could speak to him about rearranging...but ultimately its up to him I guess...he probably has works and fits his contact in around that ....maybe do other things in between and make the most of the days you do have together

keepingquiet Mon 19-Feb-24 11:48:54

Hi. I have no experience of this but have been to Australia many times.

I don't think it matters where in the world this is, the issues would be the same, except Australia and NZ are furthest away therefore you have to plan well.

Just a few questions:

Why do you stay a six hour drive away? I know some parts of Australia are remote but even if you can't physically stay with them (there must be good reasons?) surely there would be something closer?

The father is entitled to time with his daughter, and she with him so I don't see the issue that your granddaughter will be away from ten days, you don't say how old she is.

You will still be spending time with your daughter and I would make the most of that time with her. You can still be in touch with your GD by phone etc?

I have lots of family and friends in Aus and they all realise we can't get to see everyone on such a trip- it isn't geographically possible.

You have a choice though, to go when your GD isn't visiting her dad, but I can see that may present difficulties too.

This is my advice, to go anyway and make the most of time with your family members. For me it is a quality not quantity thing.

AmberSpyglass Mon 19-Feb-24 12:35:36

You can’t prevent her father from spending the court-agreed time with her, just because it clashes with your trip! Make additional plans for those dates and enjoy the time you do get - you can hardly expect him not to see her for an entire month!

Iam64 Mon 19-Feb-24 12:42:05

This child is beginning the process of accepting her parents separation. Maintaining the current contact arrangements is important to her and to her father
I’m surprised yiu mention the financial cost of this visit, as tho that alongside your wish to see her is somehow more relevant than her emotional needs and stability at a time of transition

Katie59 Mon 19-Feb-24 13:16:32

Legally her father will have visitation rights what that means 12000miles away depends on the cooperation of the mother. It could be a lovely visit, it could be a total nightmare, before I would get involved I would want to know the mother’s attitude to such a visit, preferably speaking directly to her.

Cost is an issue, airfares alone is going to cost £2000 each and probably as much again for living cost, I would not want to arrive to find that the family had “gone on a camping trip”.

GG65 Mon 19-Feb-24 13:31:12

I don’t see the issue.

Of course your granddaughter’s father wants his time with his child.

Surely you don’t expect your granddaughter to not see her father for 26 days? Do you?

M0nica Mon 19-Feb-24 13:44:21

What you mean OP is that you want to know whether you can take legal action against the father to force him to let you see your grandchild at any time you choose while you are in Australia.

I suggest you go back to square one and consider what you are actually contemplating and what effect it will have on your relationship with your grandchild, when her father says that she is being forced to see her grandparents - and what it says about you.

What does it say about you relationship with your daughter and grandaughter that you will so selfishly disrupt the very careful arrangement between the seprated parents and their child, just so you can see your grandchild. No concern for her, your daughter or her father, all about you.

Gtandparents have no rights in law in relation to their grandchildren and I hope they never do. Too many grandparents, at least ones we see on GN, seem to think that they are the most importnt thing in their grandchildren's lifes and even the parents to bow to their demands.

If you cannot negotiate an amicable agreement with this child's parents about when they would be happy for you to spend time with your grandchild while you are in Australia then any kind of legal action would only make the situation worse.

Katie59 Mon 19-Feb-24 14:04:42

What you mean OP is that you want to know whether you can take legal action against the father to force him to let you see your grandchild at any time you choose while you are in Australia.

You should not go down that route, because any legal action is going to take far longer than your trip it will be costly and if the mother is determined would make it impossible. If the father was living in Australia it becomes more practical to enforce visitation, honesty from the UK there are far too many obstacles.

Norah Mon 19-Feb-24 14:15:10

I've no idea what legal action you intend, however if I were your daughter I'd side with my (separated) husband and you'd not see any of us. You're considering being horribly selfish because of the price of tickets -- don't.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 19-Feb-24 14:26:28

It almost sounds as though you are concerned to get your money’s worth out of your visit, in terms of seeing your grandchild. Of course her father is insisting on having his usual allotted time with his daughter, and that’s as it should be. It’s very selfish of you to want to disrupt the access arrangements.

Btw, why do you stay six hours’ drive away? That must eat into the time you have available to see your daughter and grandchild.

Smileless2012 Mon 19-Feb-24 15:55:09

You will of course have to fit in with your GD's father's time. I would have thought that would be a given.

Callistemon21 Mon 19-Feb-24 16:10:33

Nothing much to add except that this all sounds very strange.

Why go stay a 6 hour drive away from your family?
Why would you want to prevent a child seeing her father?
Will the child be at school for part of the time anyway? The long summer holidays have just finished.


Shelflife Mon 19-Feb-24 16:11:05

I really can't see a problem here. You are going for 4 weeks and your GC s father wants to see his DD for 10 days out of your 26 day stay. Does that mean if the father was not seeing his DD you would see your GC every day? I feel sure you can work through this , enjoy the time you are with your GC and enjoy other things on the day to our GC is with her father - I don't think he is being unreasonable. Have a safe and happy visit and and please don't feel put out because the father wants to have ten days with his DD. Good luck.

BlueBelle Mon 19-Feb-24 16:15:00

I too am curious as to why you stay 6 hours away from your family do you intend driving 12 hours a day there and back !!! Sounds unachievable Of course her Dad will have her the allotted time that is agreed between them whether it falls in your holiday there or not there won’t be any legalities to change that
What if she was booked up to go away on a school holiday for a week of your stay would you expect her to forgo it ?

pascal30 Mon 19-Feb-24 16:24:06

Do you mean that your GD stays with you for the 4 weeks and therefore it would be difficult for the father to see her? This post is very unclear, but what is clear is that the father has absolute priority.

Callistemon21 Mon 19-Feb-24 16:26:30

Presumably the mother is your daughter, Cleverfairy.

It's all very confusing.

rafichagran Mon 19-Feb-24 16:26:34

I hope the legal bit in the title is a mistake. If not I think you have a cheek.
Also why stay 6 hours away from their family home, surely that eats into your time too.

TwiceAsNice Mon 19-Feb-24 16:27:00

I’m not sure why you stay 6 hours away either. That’s bit like staying in Scotland when you’re visiting someone in London. It sounds like the contact arrangements with the parents and child are quite new you’ll have to adjust to the flow Im afraid! You wouldn’t think much of the dad if he didn’t want to see your granddaughter would you ?

Callistemon21 Mon 19-Feb-24 16:28:51

What about other grandparents too? Will they have to forego seeing their granddaughter for the four weeks you are there?

Callistemon21 Mon 19-Feb-24 16:29:40

You wouldn’t think much of the dad if he didn’t want to see your granddaughter would you ?
That could be a whole other thread!

Grams2five Mon 19-Feb-24 16:30:39


I don’t see the issue.

Of course your granddaughter’s father wants his time with his child.

Surely you don’t expect your granddaughter to not see her father for 26 days? Do you?

This. When a couple separates
They usually share child arrangements and Andy visiting with one side or the other needs to be done on that parents time. While I understand it’s a long trip it doesn’t change the fact that they are his children too. Their arrangement seems it be that if your 26 day visit ten or those are days their arrangement says he gets ti spend with his children. Surely you can’t expect him to l give up his time for his ex wife’s parents?

BlueBelle Mon 19-Feb-24 16:32:43

Are you a new poster Cleverfairy13 ?