Family Law 101: What You Need to Know About Grandparents Rights

Time with the grandparents

Grandparents are heavily reliant on the cooperation and support of their adult children so that they can see and care for their grandkids. But let’s say that your relationship with your adult child breaks down or your adult child separates from his or her spouse?

It is possible to enforce your right as a grandparent to see your beloved grandkids and spend quality time with them?

Grandchildren Have the Legal Right to Spend Time With Their Grandparents

According to the Family Law Amendment (Shared Responsibility) Act 2006, children have the legal right to see, spend sufficient time, and communicate regularly with their parents as well as other individuals like grandparents and relevant relatives who are instrumental to their development, welfare, and care.

When courts issue orders under this Act, it will need to consider the nature of the child’s relationship with other individuals, which includes grandparents and relevant relatives. Essentially, this means that although you, as a grandparent, are not granted the automatic legal right to see your grandkid, he or she has a legal right to see and spend time with you.

This is if the court deems it to be in your grandkid’s best interests.

Work with Your Grandkid’s Parents

You should first try and work the with parents of your grandkid. This is to see if you can create a mutually-beneficial agreement that will enable you to spend sufficient quality time with your grandchild. You will have to go through mediation to create the said agreement, with the hopes of ultimately entering into a fair parenting plan.

This plan is basically a written agreement that covers issues including where a child should live and whom she or he spends time and communicates with. Grandparents and other relevant individuals can be included in a parenting plan, but the parenting plan should be signed by and agreed to by the parents.

However, take note that a parenting plan isn’t enforceable and binding, but courts will definitely refer to it when a child-related matter issue is filed in court.

Consider Obtaining a Court Order

Gavel and legal book on wooden table

If you can’t reach a fair agreement with your adult child, you can request a court order from the Federal Magistrates Court or Family Court. Your request should state that you are an individual that’s concerned about your grandkid’s development, welfare and care, and you should be granted time with your grandkid.

Ideally, you should do this with help from an experienced family law attorney in Townsville. If you are your grandkid’s primary carer, you need to seek court orders regarding your parental responsibility to your grandkid and request that your grandkid lives with you.

Fortunately for you, when a court is trying to determine whom a child must live with, it won’t automatically presume that the parent of your grandkid is the best person to care for and live with him or her. While the court will usually decide on each matter based on individual circumstances and facts, it will always prioritise the best interest of the child above anything else.

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