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Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Grandparents who are concerned about their grandchild’s safety or well-being may be uncertain about what rights they have in Family Law when it comes to their grandchildren.

The Family Law Act 1975[1] recognises the very special role of grandparents in children’s lives.

The Act acknowledges the importance of a child having and maintaining a relationship with their grandparents, even if the child’s parents have separated, and if it is in the best interests of the child.

As a grandparent, you may be unsure whether you will continue to have the same amount of time with your grandchildren if their parents separate. In this situation, it is always a good idea to talk to the children’s parents about including you in their parenting plan or consent orders.

However, if there are disagreements between yourself and the parents about what contact you can have with the children, or if a parent is preventing the child from spending time with or communicating with a grandparent, grandparents are able to apply to the court for parenting orders about their grandchildren.

Grandparents may also want to apply for orders if there is a situation where the parent is unable to care for the child or if there is a risk of harm to the child in a parent’s care.

These parenting orders may deal with how much time the child spends with their grandparent, how the child can communicate with their grandparent or any other aspect in relation to the care, welfare, or development of the child.

Finally, it’s important to remember that the court will only make parenting orders that are in the ‘best interest of the child.’

If you find yourself needing legal advice about your options when it comes to your grandchildren in Family Law, please reach out to our office on 02 6742 2122 or email to book a consult with our Family Lawyer, Katie Jolliffe.

Gunnedah & Newcastle in office, and visits are available in Muswellbrook, Singleton, Scone, Murrurundi, and Tamworth.


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