Grandparents are often important relationships for children in terms of support and care. And when a divorce or separation occurs, this can affect these relationships, particularly when they are prevented from spending time with their children due to the new parental care arrangements.
As a leading Family Law firm in Australia, we can assist in preserving or re-establishing contact between you and your grandchildren, if it is deemed to be in their best interest.
It is in fact a legal right of your child to spend time on a regular basis with people that are significant to their care, welfare and development. This is often grandparents.
As a grandparent, you can apply for an order to have access to your grandchildren. Grandparents may also apply for a parenting order in relation to a child if they live with you, and spend significant time with you alongside the circumstances of the parents. In these cases, you may gain full or shared parental responsibility for your grandchildren.
These arrangements can be agreed upon and then formalised through a Parenting Plan. This is an arrangement that is negotiated outside of court.
If matters cannot be agreed upon out of court, then an application may be filed with the Court for parenting orders. The Court will decide what is best for the child. If parties can agree the Court can make legally binding consent orders.
I am a grandparent. Do I have rights to see my grandchildren?
Yes you sure do. Grandparents have the right to see and spend time with their grandchildren. Time spent with grandchildren however can be restricted or prevented by the parents due to divorce or breakdown of a de-facto relationship. The Family Law Act acknowledges that children should have a continuing relationship with their grandparents and other family members such as aunts and uncles who play a significant role in the care and development of the child/ren.
What about other carers?
Grandparents rights are not just limited to family members. Anyone who has been involved with the child to a significant degree can seek time spent from the court.
What will the Court take into consideration?
In all children’s matters the main consideration is the best interests of the child. Do not delay and seek advice early on as this is key to allowing you to get back to seeing your grandchildren. If a sensible agreement cannot be reached then mediation with a family dispute resolution practitioner is the next step. If you are unable to reach agreement then you may need to consider making a court application. The paramount consideration remember is always what is in the child’s best interests.