Case study: Grandparenting

Joan

Facts

Joan is 75 years old. She lives alone in a home she owns near her son, Simon. Simon has three children. Joan is very involved in the lives of her grandchildren. She sees them approximately three times a week. She often looks after them when Simon and his wife are working. Joan has been close to her grandchildren ever since they were born.

Simon has been asking his mother to sell her home and move in with them for many years now. Simon maintains that they are struggling financially and that her assistance would be a great help. Although Joan loves her family, she is very independent and likes living alone. She advises Simon of this and asks him not to ask her again. Simon is outraged and advises Joan she can no longer see him or the children. He has not been answering Joan’s calls and he has told her that if she comes to his house again he will call the police. Joan has not seen her grandchildren for two months.

Action

Seniors Rights Victoria gives Joan legal advice about grandparenting issues and writes to Simon requesting access and setting out the times. Seniors Rights Victoria facilitates mediation with an accredited family dispute resolution practitioner.

Outcome

The matter is settled in mediation and Joan once again can see her grandchildren on terms suitable to both parties.