Can a parent or grandparent refuse access without a court order?

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A solid parenting plan needs to be put in place.
A solid parenting plan needs to be put in place.

Parent24 regularly receives questions on tough topics from maintenance matters to parenting problems and everything in between, and we reach out to local experts and legal professionals for advice, when appropriate. 

This father mailed us with a custody question, so we asked a family mediator for advice.

"Can my son's mother and grandmother refuse me access to my son, without a court order?" 

Rushka Lee Pedro, family mediator and coach, and founder of Minor Impact in Johannesburg, advised that a parent or grandparent should never alienate a child(ren) from the other parent.

"Once there is a divorce or separation of parents, they should never use the child as a messenger or a spy for the other household," she told us.

The risks are high, it seems, as she explained that in doing so, the child could develop a psychological disorder later on in life, if parents aren’t careful.

"A child's role in life is to be a child and nothing more," Pedro stresses. "Parents need to sort out adult matters between themselves and not put the children in the middle of it."  

A solid parenting plan needs to be put in place to prevent such situations from occurring, and this can be done through Family Law Mediation or straight through Family Court. 

If you have more family, maintenance and custody questions, see our #MaintenanceMatters series here.

Have a unique question for us? Let us know! 

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