Can Grandparents Contact Kids Once Parents Are Separated?
Some parents may find themselves in a situation where they need to limit or stop contact between their children and grandparents or other extended family members. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as a disagreement over parenting styles, a move to a new home, or concerns about the safety or well-being of the children. Parents who find themselves in this situation may wonder what their options are.
The Court of Appeal noted that, in assessing the best interests of a child, a court must consider a number of factors, including the child's age and stage of development, the nature of the relationship between the child and the proposed contact person, the history of the relationship between the child and the proposed contact person, and the reasons for the proposed contact.
In this guide, we'll go over exactly how this process works and who decides whether grandparents can remain in contact with their grandchildren.
Who Decides Whether Grandparents Can Remain in Contact with Kids?
The decision of whether or not to allow grandparents continued contact with their grandchildren is ultimately up to the court. The court will consider a number of factors in making its decision, including the child's age and stage of development, the nature of the relationship between the child and the proposed contact person, and the reasons for the proposed contact.
If one or both of the child's parents are opposed to the contact, the court will give greater weight to the parents' views. However, the court will not automatically defer to the parents' wishes, and may still decide that contact is in the child's best interests even if the parents are opposed.
The court may also order that a guardian be appointed to represent the child's interests in the matter.
Testing for Access
If the court is considering allowing a grandparent access to a child, it may order that the grandparent undergo a parenting assessment. This assessment will help the court to determine whether or not the grandparent is suitable to have contact with the child. The assessment will look at things like the grandparent’s mental and physical health, as well as their relationship with the child and the child’s parents.
The courts recognise that parents have a right to make decisions about their children without interference from others, including grandparents. This is known as parental autonomy. In order to protect this right, the court will only allow a grandparent access to a child if it is in the child’s best interests.
The decision by the VW court in regard to grandparents visitation rights shows that careful thought must be put into the matter when it comes to deciding if grandparents should have access to their grandchildren. There is no set rule that says grandparents should or should not be allowed to visit their grandchildren and it is up to the court to look at all the circumstances of the case before making a decision.
There is no definitive answer as to whether or not grandparents can contact their grandchildren after the parents have separated. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide whether or not grandparents can have contact with their children.
If you need help from reliable lawyers, Hamilton Cahoon can help. We are a children's lawyer in Medicine Hat that can work with you to provide quality legal advice. Consult with us today to get started.