Weekly Snapshot Issue: 29 – 24 May 2019

Case we are discussing…

Following on from previous summaries for this snapshot, our case this week looks at family law applications made by parties other than the parents. In the case of Oldfield & Anor (2012),the Application was made by the paternal grandparents. On 20 January 2010, the paternal grandparents applied for spend time with and communication Orders relating to their two young grandsons. 

5 years prior to the application being made, the Mother was upset after receiving information that the paternal grandmother had been ‘bad- mouthing’ her at the hairdressers. So was the catalyst for the irretrievable break down in the relationship between the paternal grandparents and the parents, including their son and grandsons. 

The Paternal Grandparents, subsequently applied for family law spend time with and communication Orders.  

A number of issues arose from this highly emotive case. The Parents alleged that the Paternal Grandparents favoured one child over the other. The Paternal grandmother alleged that the Mother disliked her and as a consequence her grandsons were missing out on developing a meaningful relationship with their paternal grandparents. 

What ultimately tipped the scale in the parents’ favour, however is when the parents told the Family Report writer that the case had had such a toll on their life both emotionally and financially, that there was a real chance that they would break up if time commenced between the children and the grandparents. 

In his judgement, therefore His Honour concluded that due to the complexity of this matter, consideration of law was not limited to s60B and s60CC of the Family Law Act, but consideration must also be had for section 43 of the Family Law Act. In particular, those principles include “the need to preserve and protect the institution of marriage” and “the need to give the widest protection and assistance to the family…, particularly while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children”. It is a factor of great significance in relation to the determination of this particular matter. 

Judge Coker FM concluded that, after consideration of the facts and extensive law, although an Order of no time with the grandparents will ‘run the risk’that no relationship will come about ‘It is my assessment that a (no time order) is the least detrimental option in relation to these children and their future as part of the family Unit comprised of the Mother, Father and the children’. The Application was therefore dismissed. 

Poem we are loving…

The caged bird sings 

with a fearful trill 

of things unknown 

but longed for still

and his tune is heard 

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings for freedom.

Maya Angelou ‘Caged Bird’

Experience we’ve added to our bucket list …

For those who cannot swim, let alone dive – Uber has introduced a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the depths of the Great Barrier Reef. Interested? Open the Uber App and schedule yourself a scUber submarine. For a sweet $3k, you and a friend will be picked up, taken on a scenic helicopter ride to Heron Island or Port Douglas before entering the submarine for a 1-hour underwater experience. Our bet is that this will be the ultimate place to “pop the question” for all the romantics and aqua-geeks out there.

Book we’ve enjoyed…

If you haven’t read Haruki Murakami’s books yet – we say hurry up and get on to it. The man is quirky, he used to run a jazz club and began writing for the first time aged 29 after experiencing an epiphany during a baseball game. His writing very much reflects his persona, and whilst often canvasses deeply philosophical topics; the books are easy to read; but can take some time to digest (and often call for a second reading to deduce more meaning).

As a starter, we recommend his super short pocket size story “Birthday Girl” (at 42 pages, you can read this easily on your morning commute and spend your afternoon commute back deciphering its meaning). Without giving too much away, the story recounts an encounter the protagonist has on her 20th birthday with her boss who decides to grant her one wish. The story urges the reader to consider what they would have wished for; and reminds us that imperfection is a constant; no matter how great our lives may turn out to be.

Quote we’re pondering…

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth”.

–          Marcus Aurelius.

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