What rights do grandparents have to see their grandchildren? Relationship breakdowns frequently impact grandparents’ rights. This is sometimes overlooked when discussing divorce and separation.
A divorce generally needs a major reorganisation of the family. This entails numerous changes for both the parents and the children. These changes may affect extended family members such as aunts and uncles.
Moreso, it can also have an impact on what rights do grandparents have to see their grandchildren.
Grandparents often wonder ‘what rights do grandparents have to see their grandchildren?’. They often have this fear of not seeing their grandchildren. This is because, after a divorce, parents will often fight for child custody or impose supervised visitation.
Grandparents are important individuals in the lives of children. It will be sad to lose contact with grandparents due to a divorce. However, there are ways for grandparents and grandkids to continue or re-establish their contact and connection.
What Rights Do Grandparents Have To See Their Grandchildren: Australian Legislation
The Family Law Act of 1975 handles separation, divorce, property division, and child custody. Grandparents have the right to file a request in Family Court for time with their grandchildren. They can also request custody in the event of a divorce or separation. This is one answer to the question ‘what rights do grandparents have to see their grandchildren?’
The Family Law Act contains laws that grandparents can file a petition to the court for their grandchildren’s best interests. However, this does not automatically grant them the right to interact with the children.
Grandparents are examples of those concerned for children’s care, welfare, and development elsewhere in the legislation. Grandparents might not have the automatic right to see their grandchildren. However, this does not mean that they can take action against having their right to see their grandchildren.
The Best Interests Of The Child
The principle of the best interests of the child is at the heart of family law. This means that a child has the right to profit from a relationship with their grandparents. This is if it is in the best interests of the child.
When grandparents seek a court order granting them access to their grandchildren, the court will consider a number of considerations before granting them.
When talking about ‘what rights do grandparents have to see their grandchildren?’, the court will consider if the relationship is in the child’s best interests. The court will consider the criteria under Section 60CC of the Family Law Act, including:
- The advantages of having a relationship with one’s grandparents;
- The requirement to safeguard the child against bodily or psychological harm;
- The nature of the grandparent-grandchild relationship;
- The ability of a grandparent to meet the emotional and intellectual requirements of a child;
- The child’s likely reaction to change; and;
- The price and difficulty of a grandchild spending time with and communicating with a grandparent.
What Rights Do Grandparents Have To See Their Grandchildren: Parenting And Court Orders
It is apparent that grandparents’ rights to see their grandchildren in Australia can be obtained through the courts. Additionally, there may be times when a grandparent has to go a step further and seek parenting orders.
A parenting order is a series of court orders that govern some aspects of a child’s upbringing. This order can be put in place if both parents and grandparents consent to it. The grandparents can also apply for a court order if the parents discourage them from having contact with their grandchildren. A parenting order can address the following issues:
- Where does the child reside?
- How much of the child’s time is spent with his or her parents and grandparents;
- Parental responsibility distribution;
- How the child communicates with other important adults who do not reside with them; and
- Any other component of the child’s upbringing, development, or care.
Communication is important when talking about what rights do grandparents have to see their grandchildren. This method varies from situation to situation. For example, the child communicates using online video-conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype. The child can also use emails and letters to communicate.
According to the specific instance, parenting orders in favour of the grandparent spending time with their grandchild may include numerous distinct arrangements of spending time. Grandparents’ rights, for example, may allow them to spend time with their grandchildren.
The stays can happen during overnight visits, day visits, weekend stays, or permitted time during school holidays. This is the greatest way to enshrine what rights do grandparents have to see their grandchildren in legislation.
Receiving Custody Of Your Grandchildren
Grandparents can have sole or joint custody of their grandchildren. A parent may be incapable of caring for their child. To counter this, grandparents can get orders for custody. The court must be satisfied with the following categories for grandparents to receive custody:
- If the parents are unable or not emotionally present for their child
- If the parents neglect in assisting with their school work
- The parents don’t spend quality time with their children
- The parents are incapable of supporting their child’s financial needs
Wherever possible, the court prefers to allow the child to benefit from a meaningful relationship with their parents. Children can experience abuse, neglect, familial violence, or substance misuse. To prevent this, the court is more likely to grant a parenting order for custody in favour of the grandparents.
A parenting order grants a grandparent to become a child’s primary caretaker. The court may also grant the grandparent parental responsibility. Parental responsibility refers to a parent’s legal authority, duty, and responsibility for their children.
It entails the ability to make key decisions about the child’s life, including where they attend school, their religious and cultural upbringing, and any medical treatment they may receive. Grandparents can receive parental responsibility for their grandchild. This means grandparents are not required to consult the child’s parents before making decisions for the kid.
Considering Mediation With JB Solicitors
This article discusses grandparents’ rights to see their grandchildren in Australia through court orders. JB Solicitors recommends that grandparents resolve any disputes through mediation. Before any applications to the Court can be made, both parties must have attempted to address the situation through mediation or family conflict resolution.
If alternative measures such as mediation or family dispute resolution have failed, court applications should be used as a last resort. Should matters escalate, our team of solicitors can help you in drafting orders for your grandchildren’s custody and represent you in court.
Contact us for your custody needs today