Your son or daughter is recently divorced or separated with children. They had a parenting dispute in Court and got the short end of the stick with limited visitation or custody rights compared to the other parent.
You may be wondering… Where does this leave you as the grandparent?
Luckily for you, grandparent’s rights to see grandchildren are a separate matter comparted to that of the parents and are considered separately in the scope of Family Law and Court.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about grandparent’s rights to see grandchildren, and what the law has to say about them.
Does The Law Recognise Grandparents Rights To See Grandchildren?
Grandparent’s rights to see grandchildren do not arise automatically.
What this means is that the parents or guardians of your grandchildren may deny you access to their grandchildren, and you will need to commence legal action in Court to obtain visitation rights.
In accordance with the Family Law Act 1975, children have the right to maintain regular communications with anyone that is deemed essential for their development, welfare and care. Accordingly, this can encapsulate the role of grandparents.
Do I Need To Pursue Legal Action?
Pursuing legal action is not necessary.
It is entirely possible to try and resolve the matter informally with the parents of your grandchildren. This can be achieved my simply trying to have a discussion with them and finding agreeable terms. If they are unwilling to listen at first due to a recent conflict, it may be best to give them some time and then to try again at a later time.
In some instances, neither side may be willing to compromise. Accordingly, a mediation session may be the next best option for you. Mediation is far less time consuming and costly in contrast to pursuing legal action. Essentially, the session is a negotiation session that is hosted by a neutral third-party mediator with the goal of reaching a mutually fair and satisfactory resolution.
The mediator often has a background in family law, and so the terms they may suggest will often reflect what will be decided in Court.
What If I Need To Pursue Legal Action?
If you have exhausted the above options and your grandparents’ rights to see your grandchildren are continuing to be denied, pursuing an application in Court may be your next best option.
Before commencing any form of legal action, you should obtain legal advice from an experienced family lawyer to advise you on the prospects of your case.
Assuming your matter did proceed to Court, the primary considerations would be the ‘best interests of the child’ factors which are reflected in the Family Law At 1975.
Court’s Considerations In Granting Grandparents Rights To See Grandchildren
In determining grandparent’s rights to see grandchildren, the Court will consider the best interests of the child factors in accordance with the Family Law Act 1975.
These factors include:
- Whether there is a need to protect the child from family violence, abuse, neglect, or any other form of harm: This can be in relation to both the parent’s and the grandparents themselves.
For instance, if a grandparent engages in any of these harmful behaviours towards their grandchildren – the Court will likely decide against them obtaining any visitation or custody rights.
However, if the parents were engaging in such behaviours, the Court’s may even find that it is better for the children to remain in the custody of their grandparent’s.
- The benefit of the child having a meaningful relationship with both grandparents;
- The relationship the child has with both grandparents and the impact of any changes in those arrangements;
- The views and opinions of the children relative to their maturity and level of understanding.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing matters such as grandparent’s rights to see grandchildren it is important to remember that grandparent’s rights do not automatically arise, and that you need to pursue legal action if your grandchild’s parents is unjustly denying you access to your grandchildren.
Please do not hesitate to contact our team of friendly and experienced family lawyers today to discuss your particular circumstances.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
Suppose you have any more questions regarding grandparent’s rights to see grandchildren, or any other family law matters.
In that case, you should head over to our blog section for more informative articles on a wide range of family law topics.
Alternatively, here are some of our newest articles linked below:
For more informative family law content, please check out our YouTube page.
Alternatively, here are some educational videos linked below, which are on matters that you may find interesting and helpful