The majority of cases involving fighting against grandparents rights are tied to a failed marriage with children. Grandparents can play an important and active role in a child’s development. However, in some cases, they may even be prevented from being the child’s caregiver.
There are numerous reasons why fighting against grandparents rights is done. Parents can take two approaches while doing so:
- A parent can petition to the court by terminating the grandparents visitation rights;
- And second is adopting the child out of their family if you are a step-parent
On both ends, losing contact with grandchildren may be both tough and devastating. It can be extremely difficult to deal with, whether it is the result of grandkids simply moving away with their parents or a family quarrel.
In this article, we’ll discuss fighting against grandparents rights and what the grandparents can do in return.
Fighting Against Grandparents Rights: What The Australian Law Says
The Family Law Act 1975 defines a grandparent as the parent of a child’s mother or father. They can be biological grandparents or non-biological grandparents in some situations. A child has the right to spend time and speak with both parents and anyone who are important to their care, welfare, and development, according to Section 60B of the Family Law Act.
The Act specifically mentions that a child should keep in touch with their grandparents. Having said that, just because a parent-child relationship has broken down does not mean that grandparents have an automatic legal right to contact or care for their grandchildren. In the end, it comes down to the child’s best interests and limiting contact by fighting grandparents rights.
Before fighting against grandparents’ rights to see their grandchildren in Australia, the court will consider if the relationship is in the child’s best interests. The court will consider many criteria under Section 60CC of the Family Law Act, including:
- The benefit of the child having a relationship with their grandparents;
- The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm;
- The nature of the relationship between child and grandparent;
- The capacity of a grandparent to provide for the child’s emotional and intellectual needs;
- The likely effect of change on the child; and
- The practical difficulty and expense of the grandchild spending time with and communicating with a grandparent.
Tips For Fighting Against Grandparents Rights
Terminating grandparent visitation
Distinct rules in each state governs grandparent visitation. In some states, grandparents can only see their grandchildren if one of their children’s parents has died or the parents are divorcing.
Many other states don’t have such restrictions. In addition, every state will require grandparent visitation to be in the best interests of the child.
Consulting a lawyer
Being prepared before fighting against grandparents rights is important before going to court. Having a consultation with a lawyer can help parents proceed with terminating grandparent visitation.
Adopting the child as a step-parent
Even after a stepparent adopts a kid, several states allow grandparents to visit the child.
In fighting against grandparents rights, parents must demonstrate that circumstances have changed and that grandparent visits are no longer in the child’s best interests. Consider why the judge stated that grandparent visitation was being ordered in the first place.
By submitting a motion to the court, the parent can start the process of fighting against grandparents rights to visitation. You’ll most likely find printed forms at the court.
You must explain why the grandparents’ visitation should be ended in the motion and why circumstances have changed, and why continued visitation is no longer in the best interests of the child.
Make numerous copies after you’ve finished the motion. One copy will be given to the grandparents, and the other will be kept for your records. If the grandparents do not live together, send a copy to each grandparent who has visitation rights.
Some courts will send a hearing date to all parties involved at a later date. Other courts, on the other hand, will need you to schedule a hearing and then complete a notice of hearing form to deliver to the grandparents.
Notifying The Grandparents
Parents must notify the grandparents that they’ll attempt to terminate the grandparent’s rights to visitation. Therefore, the parents will send the grandparents a copy of the motion. The parents may also need to send a summons, which the clerk will supply.
A summons is a court document that informs the defendant that they have to attend before a judge. This specifies the date on which they must appear in court. The court cannot hear a case until the summons and complaint have been served on the defendant.
You’ll have to explain why circumstances have changed and why visitation is no longer in the child’s best interests at the hearing. Answer all questions completely and clearly.
The prevailing party is usually in charge of filling out an order. You should be able to use blank order forms in the courtroom and it must then be submitted to the judge for signature before being distributed to the other parties.
From The Grandparents Point Of View
Today, despite grandparents’ best efforts in claiming their rights, they might not be permitted to visit their grandkids. Whatever the case may be, it’s critical to figure out how grandparents are feeling and build a strategy for dealing with their emotions and reconnecting with their grandchildren.
Grandparents frequently believe they have been denied contact with their grandkids due to no fault of their own, causing bewilderment and resentment. In general, there are two reasons why grandparents might be unable to contact or visit their grandchildren:
- Either the grandparents are guilty of something, whether they realise it or not;
- Or the parents are punishing grandparents for another reason.
Grandparents can’t automatically have a relationship with their grandchildren. Grandparents can use parenting orders if they have an ongoing relationship with their child. This is the case if the child’s care, welfare, or development is in danger.
A Parenting Order might allow grandparents to communicate with or spend time with the child. It will be up to the Court to decide what should happen based on the best interests of the child.
Importance Of Seeking A Family Solicitor
Going to court is never pleasant, especially when it involves family members. It is also extremely stressful, time-consuming, and costly. This is why JB Solicitors‘ mediation services help in reaching an agreement outside of court and we believe that this is the best approach to resolve any concerns.
Our experienced family solicitors handle child custody cases properly. They can give you market-leading legal advice for your child custody matters.
Contact JB Solicitors today.