Oldfield & Anor and Oldfield & Anor 2012. FMCAfam 22.
There was a dispute between both parents of boys aged 10 and 6 years and the paternal grandparents. The parents had resolved that neither boy spend time with their grandparents following a series of incidents. Incidents included the paternal grandmother making offensive remarks about the mother and declining to apologise, the grandparents showing favouritism towards one boy over the other during visits, the paternal grandmother stating that she cannot bond with the younger boy as he is too much like his mother (attachment nil), and the paternal grandfather placing a sign on his fence stating that his own son was not welcome there after the son had restricted his access visits. The paternal grandfather expressed an opinion that he did not need to get along with the boy’s mother. The paternal grandparents asked the court to overturn the decision made by the parents.
The judge considered that the adults had become more focused on trying to win rights during proceedings than on the benefits to the boys of maintaining a positive meaningful relationship with the grandparents.
The judge ruled that a court cannot overturn a decision made by competent parents unless parental rights are suspended, and that no grounds had been raised or substantiated to suspend parental rights in this case. The judge ordered that the parents continue to have the sole parental responsibility to decide whether their children will spend time with the grandparents.