Do grandparents have rights?

Sometimes grandparents suffer the fallout in a family conflict.

Every case is different, but most typically we see situations where one parent after separation has primary custody of the children and is stopping the other spouse’s parents from seeing the children.

If this is happening to you, you can apply to the court for an order under the Family Law Act for your grandchildren to spend time with you.

If the situation is more serious and you are worried about your grandchildren’s safety in their current living environment, you can apply to the court for an order that your grandchildren live with you.

The court will primarily consider the best interests of each of your grandchildren in deciding what orders to make.

It is prudent to try and resolve the issue through Family Dispute Resolution (also called mediation). Relationships Australia provides this confidential service at no/low cost:

  • If you are able to reach an agreement with your child/their spouse about the grandchildren, this can be written up in Consent Orders.
  • If you are unable to reach agreement, the mediator will provide you with a s60I certificate to enable you to start the court process.

Justine Dean – Samford Family Law