09 November 2018

What rights do grandparents have with respect to their grandchildren?

Parenting matters under the Family Law Act focus on the principal consideration of ‘what is in the best interests of the child’.  The Act facilitates children having a meaningful relationship with both parents and other significant persons in their lives, such as grandparents.

The relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild is precious.  It is not uncommon for grandparents to experience difficulty in spending time with their grandchildren after parents separate.  This can be made more painful where the grandparents have spent significant time with the child prior to separation.

Grandparents are able institute court proceedings to seek orders that their grandchild spend time with them.  The court will focus on whether making orders for the child to spend time with their grandparents is in the best interests of the child.  In making this decision the court will consider a variety of factors including:

  1. the time the child has previously spent with their grandparents;
  2. the relationship between the child and their grandparents;
  3. the practicality of the child spending time with the grandparents;
  4. whether the parents are opposed to the child spending time with the grandparents; and
  5. whether the relationship between the parents and grandparents is such that it is likely to have a negative impact on the child if contact is ordered.

If you would like more information on your right as a grandparent to spend time with your grandchild, contact our expert Cairns family lawyers to find out how we can help you.

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