In divorce and separation cases, the topic of paternal grandparents rights is of importance. It is essential to consider paternal grandparents rights under the Family Law Act 1975. This is because grandparents play a significant role in a child’s life.
Grandparents’ rights to custody and visitation vary significantly by state. While all jurisdictions enable grandparents to request visitation with their grandchildren, not all states allow maternal and paternal grandparents rights to visitation.
Notably, grandparents do not automatically have custody rights over their grandchildren. However, depending on the state and circumstances, they may be able to petition the court for it.
As a grandparent, you should stay informed about the laws in your state. Read this article for an overview about paternal grandparents rights to gain custody of their grandchildren.
The Law On Maternal And Paternal Grandparents Rights
The Family Law Act 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 is important to their care, welfare, and development, according to Section 60B of the Family Law Act.
The Act makes an explicit mention of grandparents as relatives with whom a child should maintain contact. According to paternal grandparents rights, gaining custody of grandchildren requires parenting orders under the Family Law Act. The court will only issue an order if they believe it is in the child’s best interests.
It may be necessary or beneficial for grandparents to seek grandchild access or custody if the parent:
- Refuses to look after the child;
- Is incapable of looking after the child; or
- Cannot care for the child.
The court must be convinced that the parent falls into one of these categories and is unable to meet the child’s or children’s needs.
In the end, everything comes down to the child’s best interests and the limitations the parents place on paternal grandparents rights.
Maternal And Paternal Grandparents Rights: The Child’s Best Interests
The best interests of the child are at the heart of family law. This means that a child has the right to gain from a relationship with their grandparents if it is in the child’s best interests of the child.
When a grandparent seeks a court order granting them access to their grandchildren, the court will consider several considerations in deciding whether the order should be granted.
These elements include:
- The need to protect the kid from suffering from or being exposed to abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, or the risk of being exposed to these things.
- Advantages of having a close relationship with their parents and grandparents.
- Child’s current relationship with his or her parents and grandparents.
- Impact of any modifications to the current arrangements on the child.
- If the child has financial support or not.
- Ability of parents and grandparents to meet the emotional and intellectual requirements of the kid.
- Parents’ and grandparents’ attitudes toward the child.
- Viewpoints of the child, taking into account their age, maturity, and knowledge of the scenario.
- Contact and communication concerns that are practical
Concerns Regarding Maternal And Paternal Grandparents Rights
One of the major concerns for grandparents who have children going through a divorce is that they will be cut off from their grandchildren and their once frequent contact with them would be substantially reduced. This results in a less close and loving relationship with their grandkids.
This is especially true when one parent chooses to transfer with a child to a location that is far away from the other parent and, of course, the grandparents.
A sour family history
It can be difficult for grandparents if the parents strongly oppose the child spending time with the grandparents. This can also happen when the parents are still together. This can be a result of extremely unpleasant family dynamics that have developed over decades, usually throughout the adult parent’s life.
This affects the child’s upbringing and their right to have a healthy and meaningful relationship with their parents and other relatives such as grandparents.
The grandparent’s inability to spend time with their grandchildren
It is true that grandparents don’t have much energy and time to care for their grandchildren. This worries grandparents as they are way past their prime in caring for children and being present in their upbringing.
How To Ensure Maternal And Paternal Grandparents Rights?
Grandparents can apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court for parenting orders. The grandparents can also testify as a witness to provide supportive evidence regarding their participation in the child’s life and on relevant court subjects.
In extreme scenarios, grandparents can act as supervisors. These can include instances where either parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse. The grandparent may act as a supervisor during supervised visits between that parent and child.
Seeking Legal Advice From JB Solicitors
If you’re worried about not being able to spend time with your grandchildren, the most essential thing is to concentrate on their best interests. It is an obligation as a grandparent to be a positive presence in their grandchildren’s lives.
Finally, you should attempt to minimise any dispute and work constructively with both parents to reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties involved. Be assured that the Court will recognise the significance of your relationship with your grandkids.
To summarise this article, grandparents have as much as rights as parents regarding child custody. Disputes may exist within a family, but there are always more efficient ways to settle these disputes outside court by seeking legal advice.
JB Solicitors can help settle family disputes with our mediation services. Our experienced team of solicitors who can aid grandparents seeking visitation rights to meet their grandchildren in reaching a calm and rational resolution.
Reach out to JB Solicitors today