Thursday, September 6, 2018
Grandparents are playing a greater role in many families, often due to the high cost of childcare and increasing rates of divorce. But what happens when a grandparent is refused time with their grandchild or wishes to assume full care of a child? What are grandparents’ rights in these circumstances?
The Family Law Act 1975 (the Act) recognises that significant persons in a child’s life (such as grandparents) have a right to a meaningful relationship with that child, and in certain circumstances may seek parenting orders through the Family Court.
A grandparent may seek an order:
- to spend regular time with the child, usually sought where parents have refused the grandparent any involvement with the child. Whether this will be granted depends on the circumstances, however the Court will generally award the grandparent less time than may be ordinarily awarded to a parent.
- for the primary care of the child, typically sought where parents may be unwilling or unable to care for the child. An order for a child to live with a grandparent (and for that grandparent to have sole parental responsibility for them) places them in an equivalent role to a parent and allows that person to make decisions for the child without the need to consult the parents.
Read more here.