At Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers we recognise that grandparents often play an extremely important role in children’s lives. As a grandparent, you may be experiencing difficulty in being able to spend time with your grandchildren, or you may have had to step in to care for your grandchildren, or you may have concerns about the care your grandchildren are receiving with one or both of their parents. If this applies to you, get in contact with Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers now so that we can help assess your situation and guide you as to the appropriate way forward, just like we have done for many grandparents.
Grandparents Rights In Family Law
The Family Law Act sets out that children have a right to spend time and communicate on a regular basis with both their parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development. This includes grandparents and other relatives. Grandparents and other relatives are often important figures in children’s lives, with close and loving relationships developed from assisting with their care and development. However, there are many reasons that, sadly, this relationship can be disrupted, or when grandparents may have to take on a parental role.
Most cases can be resolved through negotiations, mediation and other appropriate methods, and we are committed to helping you resolve issues as quickly as possible with as little bitterness as possible. But when Court is unavoidable, the Family Law Act specifically recognises that grandparents can seek Court Orders regarding the parenting of children.
The two most common types of applications made by grandparents and other relatives are:
An application to spend time and communicate with the grandchildren. These applications are usually made where the parents are refusing any meaningful relationship between the children and the grandparents. The type of contact likely to be granted by the Court will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, however it is usually less time than is ordered in favour of a parent.
Applications to obtain parental responsibility for the children and orders for the children to live with you. These applications are usually made where both parents are unwilling, unable or lack the capacity to care for the children (for example, as a result of addiction problems or physical or mental health limitations).
When determining Applications made by grandparents and other family members, as with all parenting applications the Court must regard the best interests of the children as the paramount consideration. In determining what is in the best interests of the children, the Court must examine, weigh, apply and make findings as to various considerations, including the nature of the relationship between the children and their parents and their grandparents.
Usually, when an application to the Court is made by grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren, it is because there has been a breakdown of the relationship between the grandparents and their adult child who is the parent of the grandchildren. Or because the adult child’s former partner/spouse has made it difficult for the children to spend time with the extended family of the other parent, including the grandparents.
This is a complex area and you will need expert family law advice about your grandchildren, If you have questions or need advice in relation to making an application to spend time with a grandchild, please contact Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers to make an appointment. 02 9633 1088 Offices : Family Lawyers Sydney, Family Lawyers Parramatta, Family Lawyers Crows Nest