When there is a relationship breakdown in a family it is not only the children and the separating spouses that suffer. Grandparents that have had a relationship with their grandchildren, and in some cases, have been the main caregiver, also go through the turmoil brought about by the separation. Grandparents’ rights are really the right of the child and the recognition that children can benefit from seeing or even living with their grandparents.
If you are a grandparent and find yourself in this situation then it is best to contact a family law lawyer. You will learn that the best interests of children can involve grandparents. The law recognizes that many grandparents play an important role in the development of their grandchildren. In some cases, the grandparents even play a bigger role than the parents themselves.
The Family Law Act clearly states that the rights are the rights of the child’s best interests. The Law states that children have the right to regular contact with both of their parents and other people (grandparents and other relatives) that are significant to their care, development and wellbeing. It also states that children are given the right to enjoy their culture; they have a right to enjoy that culture with other people that share it. The law recognizes that grandparents have a lot of value and culture to enrich their grandchildren. The grandparent’s rights recognise that there is need for children to gain wisdom from the elderly.
Grandparents that have their right to access their grandchildren disregarded can take the following legal steps through a family law lawyer. Negotiate first, then if necessary, through their family lawyer apply to the court to communicate and spend time with their grandchildren. Grandparents may also apply to obtain sole custody of their grandchildren. For example, where either parent or both parents are unable or lack the ability to take care of their children, eg drug addiction.
Our advice will take into account an analysis of the family unit and find out who is the best person to care for the child. The safety and wellbeing of the child is what will be used to assess which member of the family can provide a more meaningful environment. If the child faces any harm by remaining with his or her parents, then the grandparents’ right to care for the child will be considered. The Court may rule in favour of the grandparent since the child’s wellbeing is more nurtured with them.
Disputes like this can be very personal and expressed with a lot of emotion. In the end the parents of your grandchildren are still your children and you do not want to hurt them unnecessarily. An experienced family law lawyer with all the tools of the trade, not just aggression, is necessary. A good lawyer will be able to remain objective through the process.
Family dispute cases are very uncertain and the ability to clearly present the facts may determine whether you succeed or not. Lawyers are also bound by the law and professionalism to uphold confidentiality.
Please call us on 9793 7888 to discuss your situation and we will advise and guide you on the best way to act and what to expect during such a process.