Family Law Real 101 Episodes

What are Grandparents Rights in Custody and Access to their Grandchildren?

In this episode of Real Estate 101: The Home Buying & Selling Show, Family Lawyer Rosemary Gallo of Devry Smith Frank discusses family law and, more specifically grandparents rights.

What are Grandparents Rights in Access and Custody Over Their Grandchildren?

Often, when families get separated, or go through a transition, grandparents are often left in the shuffle. This can be a problem for the child if the grandparent before had a big part in its life.

The recently changed Ontario Family Law now states that the judge must specifically consider grandparents in both access and custody over their grandchildren. Until recently, this wasn’t the case and only parents were specifically considered, but with this new law, grandparents rights have increased greatly.

This acknowledges the fact that the grandparent is not just another person, but is important in the child’s life and have a big role in it. It also allows grandparents that have become estranged from their own children to form a better connection with their grandchildren.

How Does the New Law Improve Grandparents Rights?

If the grandparent isn’t able to see their grandchild, they can now bring an application to the court. While this was possible before as well, the difference is that the court must now specifically consider grandparents, whereas before this wasn’t the case.

Maintaining close bonds with relatives, especially grandparents is in best interest of the child and the law now states that the grandparents connection and love for their grandchildren must be considered.

If the grandparent is not seeing their grandchildren, they should first try and communicate with the parents of the child. Working things out, without going to court, is better for all involved, especially children.

When this fails, grandparents should contact a lawyer, who can explain grandparents rights to them, how they can write an application to the court and walk them through the process in order to get access to their grandchildren.

What Should the Application Include?

In the application, the grandparent should explain his or her connection with the child. What is their bond? What was their role so far in the child’s life? The grandparent can be an important support figure for the child when its parents are separating.

How the child might be affected if its parents are separated and the don’t have a supporting figure at the time to help them through this?

Judges always look for the best interest of the child. This means they will look at the bond and love grandparents have for their grandchildren, as well as the guidance they can provide. All of this must be considered when the court decides whether the grandparent should get access to the grandchild.

Watch this episode to learn more about grandparents rights

For more information on family law contact:

Rosemary Gallo

Website: Devry Smith Frank LLP

Phone: 416.446.3319

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