We are often asked about whether grandparents have rights to spend time with their grandchildren.
When it comes to the application of the Family Law Act, each case needs to be considered having regard to the unique factual circumstances of a family. In every case, the best interests of a child are paramount.
The court can make Parenting Orders which, amongst other things, deals with how much time a child will spend with their grandparents. Not just anyone can apply for a Parenting Order. Section 65C of the Family Law Act provides that a Parenting Order may be applied for by parents of the child, the child, a grandparent of the child, or any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child. It is clear from this provision that grandparents fall into a special category of people permitted to approach the court for Parenting Orders.
For the most part, the grandparents that we represent are grandparents who have become carers for their grandchildren as a result of the parents failing to provide adequate or appropriate care for children as a result of Domestic Violence, drugs and alcohol, and mental health issues. In our experience, these grandparents are well received by the court.
We also act for grandparents who have become estranged from their children, and in turn their grandchildren, and seek Orders from the court to allow them to continue a meaningful relationship with their grandchildren. The success of these applications will depend greatly upon the age of the children, the strength of the relationship between the grandparent and child before the estrangement and at the time of the application.
Every case is different in Family Law, and there is no one size fits all. If you are concerned about what the future might bring, make an appointment to see one of our experienced Family Lawyers by calling 02 4929 4499 or book online.
We will often be in a position to provide firm advice at the first consultation, and if action is required, we will be in a position to implement a plan without delay, and often without ever stepping foot in a Court room.