It is often a large concern for grandparents of children to be worried about their access to their grandchildren. They can play significant roles in the love and care for the children, but after separation and in dire situations it can be unclear whether they will be allowed to see or even communicate with their children anymore. We’ll go into detail about what you can do to see your grandchildren.

What kinds of rights do you have?
With the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975, the Court began to recognize children alone as having the right to see both their parents and their grandparents. Conversely, parents and grandparents are not initially recognised as having the right to see the children. This means that grandparents do not naturally have the right to see their grandchildren.

The Family Law Act 1975 did on the other hand give grandparents the opportunity to apply for orders. These orders ensure that the Law will specifically consider grandparents and whatever relation they may have with the children. It provides that children also have the further right to contact and communicate with people who are beneficial to their care.

What should I do if I’m denied access seeing my grandchild?
The best way to resolve this is to reconcile with your children. The Family Law Act 1975 requires all individuals involved with a form of conflict such as this to attempt to resolve the issue through mediation or counselling. More than anything, this is the affordable and quickest way to gain access to seeing your grandchildren again.

However if you are denied from seeing your grandchildren, or there are prohibitions against it, you can gather the documents necessary to begin an application addressed towards the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court. This option is considered relatively expensive and lengthy and should only be considered as a last resort to meditation or counselling. If the orders are approved, your grandchildren will be given the right to stay and live with you, spend their time with you and communicate with you as they see fit.

How extensive is the legal process?
As a grandparent, if you are considering beginning an application for orders, the most important thing you can do is consult professional legal services. This process is very much complicated and stressful. The application will include a number of documents such as the Initiating Application, an Application in a Case, and an Affidavit to assist in proving your case. The Law will further require you to regularly attend Court sessions as well as other external sessions to resolve the conflict.