There was a man and woman who married and had a child. When the child was two years old, the mother and father decided to divorce. Their behaviour during the divorce was respectful. The period after the divorce was described as “harmonious”. It appeared as though the divorce had gone smoothly, and all parties could start their new lives.
A few years after the separation, the husband had a falling out with his own father, that is, the child’s grandfather. As a result of this, only the mother would take the child to see the grandfather.
The situation quickly deteriorated because the grandfather would arrive unannounced at the mother’s home and would frequently argue with the mother. After a few weeks, the mother decided she also did not want to have anything to do with the grandfather.
Angered by this decision, the grandfather took matters into his own hands. He arrived at the child’s preschool early in the morning and waited for the mother and child to arrive. When they arrived he approached the mother and shouted threats of legal action. The grandfather then took the mother to Court seeking orders that he be allowed time with the child.
The Court found that the grandfather created stress and tension between the parents, and that he had failed consistently to follow the requests of the parents. While recognising the importance of maintaining a relationship with the grandfather, the Court held that the grandfather should only see the grandson once a month.
The Family Court considers many factors when making decisions involving children, however it will always be guided by making decisions in the best interest of the child.