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Grandparents’ Rights and the Family Law Act
Grandparents can have a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren in all sorts of ways. If the relationship between the parents has become strained, this can have a consequential impact on the relationship between grandparent and grandchild. The grandparents may even be prevented from seeing their grandchildren.
The Family Law Act 1975 states that children have a right to spend time on a regular basis, and communicate regularly, with both parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development, and this includes grandparents.
Sometimes issues may be resolved by the use of mediation, but if this does not prove possible, it may be necessary to apply to the Court for an order that you can spend time with or communicate you’re your grandchild. The Court will always consider what is in the best interests of the children concerned. The Court will consider, amongst other things, the likely effect on the children on separation from their grandparents and the capacity of the grandparents to provide for the needs of the children, including their emotional and intellectual needs.
Usually, a certificate from an accredited family dispute resolution practitioner showing that dispute resolution was attempted is required to be obtained prior to applying for Court Orders. There are however some circumstances where a certificate will not be needed.
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