With increasing pressures of modern-day living, divorces are on the rise. Grandparents often play important roles in the lives of their grandchildren and it may be heart-breaking to not be able to see your grandchildren anymore.
Divorce Affects Legal Rights of Grandparents
Do you automatically have the right to see your grandchildren? How can you make sure you’re complying with Australian family law?
A divorce in the family results in a lot of stressful upheaval and restructuring in the family dynamics. These changes often affect the visiting rights of uncles, aunts and even stepparents. Grandparents are usually the most affected by a family divorce and many fear that they will no longer be able to see their grandchildren.
There could be several legal repercussions of not following family laws including fines and punitive action. It’s a good idea to gather more information about what you can and can’t do. For example, there are strong chances of being refused access if one of the parents is granted full child custody (in the event they don’t want you to have access to the child).
The answer is that although you are not automatically allowed to see your grandchildren, you can apply to Family Court for permission to do so. The Family Law Act seeks to protect the rights of the child first and foremost.
However, not having automatic rights does not mean you cannot do anything.
We understand that this may be an overwhelming time for you. Owen Hodge Lawyers in Sydney specialises in family law and will be happy to provide the latest legal information for your requirement. We help our clients take the most suitable course of action under law.
Rights of Grandparents Under Australian Family Law
The Family Law Act allows grandparents to formally apply for the right to visit their grandchild or, in certain cases, even to seek custody. The court will grant the order only if it is in line with the best interests of the child. The best interests of the child are of paramount importance while legally deciding whom he or she should live with or visit.
When you apply for a court order, there are several factors that may affect the court’s decision for or against you, most of these factors are as applicable to parents as they are to grandparents:
- The need to protect the child from neglect, abuse or violence
- The kind of relationship the child enjoys with their parents and grandparents
- The financial support available for the child
- Your ability to contribute to the child’s emotional and other needs
- Your attitude towards the child
- The child’s views towards his or her grandparents. This will be considered in the light of the child’s age, understanding and maturity levels.
- Practical considerations in terms of contact, length and duration of visits and communication
As experienced family lawyers in Sydney, we can provide detailed guidance regarding visiting, access and custodial rights of grandparents. Contact Owen Hodges Lawyers today on 1800 770 780 for assistance.