The Sydney Morning Herald quotes Caroline Counsel

Accredited Family Law Specialist Caroline Counsel says that grandparents are specifically mentioned under the Family Law Act as being able to commence proceedings in relation to their grandchildren, but that doesn’t, however, give grandparents an automatic “right” to their grandchildren.

“Each case is decided on the basis of what is in the best interests of children,” says Counsel.

“The extent to which [grandparents] may be able to be legally involved in their grandkids’ lives will very much depend on the nature of their relationship”.

There are many degrees of involvement by grandparents, she says, ranging from sending $5.00 once a year in a birthday card from afar, to providing daily care of their grandchildren.

 A grandparent who has done little more than cough up for a birthday card once a year is unlikely to establish their credentials as someone who could seek a “live with” or “spend time with” order.

“The actively engaged grandparent can seek orders that provide time with their grandkids if they’ve been shut out post separation of the parents, however their time with the grandkids will rank further down the line after the parents”, says Counsel.

“Children have the right to grow up knowing and being cared for by their parents. So grandparents may come in second place after the parents. But not always.”

Click the here to read the article.

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