“The ways in which to recognize the right” of grandparents “to maintain significant relationships with minor grandchildren must be resolved in the light of the primary interest of the minor”
“The ways in which to recognize the right” of grandparents “to maintain significant relationships with minor grandchildren must be resolved in the light of the primary interest of the minor”. It underlines it Court of Cassation accepting the appeal of two parents against the decision of the Milan judges who had granted the paternal grandparents the opportunity to meet their underage grandchildren. At the origin of the story, there were strong disagreements between the parents and the paternal grandparents who initially turned to the Milan juvenile court “complaining that they could no longer meet their grandchildren because of the obstacles set up by their parents”.
The court had therefore accepted the request, establishing the modalities in which the meetings were to take place. The case then passed to the Court of Appeal of Milan which confirmed the decision explaining that, even following a technical consultancy carried out by the court “there was no real prejudice for the two grandchildren in spending time with their grandparents and uncle paternal, appearing sincerely attached to their grandchildren”. The judges underlined “that the real unresolved question concerned the inability – demonstrated in particular by the paternal grandmother and the mother of the minors due to their respective character limitations – to overcome the misunderstandings, devaluations and reciprocal aggressiveness manifested in the past”. The appeal judges had also instructed the social services to supervise the situation of the two children and to regulate their meetings with their paternal grandparents and uncle. However, the parents turned to the Cassation against this decision, which upheld their appeal, but referred the matter back to the Milanese appeal judges, who will now have to review the case in the light of the best interests of the minor.
“The task of the judge – reads the sentence of the Cassation – is not to identify which of the relatives should impose itself on the other in the situation of conflict, but to establish, turning his attention to the best interests of the minor, whether the non-harmonious relationships (or even conflictual) between the adults belonging to the parental community can be settled and how this should happen”. “In the event of conflict between parents and ancestors – conclude the judges of the first civil section of the Cassation – it is not a question of ensuring protection to opposing powers by identifying which of the two must prevail over the other, but of balancing, if and as far as possible, the divergent positions in the manner most in keeping with the primary interest of the minor, whose development is normally ensured by the support and cooperation of the entire parental community”.