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Grandparents’ Rights

Written by Leanne Abela

The Family Law Act (“FLA”) gives recognition to grandparents as well as other extended family members when it comes to parenting matters.

It is not the grandparents’ right but, rather, it is considered the child or children’s right to have an ongoing and meaningful relationship with extended family once their parents separate as would children in an intact family. In other words, it is considered from the child’s perspective not from that of the grandparents or other family members. What the Court takes into account is the child’s best interests.

Provided that the child is protected from physical, psychological and other harm, it would generally be considered to be in a child’s best interests to spend time and communicate with extended family including grandparents.

Each case obviously depends on its own facts and cases differ from one to the other.

The main take aways are:

  1. The FLA specifically makes reference to children spending time and communicating with other persons of interest which would include grandparents and extended family;
  2. Children being protected from harm;
  3. Unless there is an exemption, parties (including grandparents) will be required to attend mediation in an effort to reach agreement about parenting matters before litigating; and
  4. It is important that legal advice is obtained as a vast body of case law has developed over the past five decades or so.

Pearsons Lawyers

This is general advice only. Pearsons Lawyers have a team of specialist family lawyers who can provide timely and accurate advice on all matters that need to be dealt with following a separation including parenting and property matters. To arrange your free initial consultation contact Pearsons Lawyers today on 1300 699 688 and “know where you stand”.

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