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Do Grandparents Have Legal Rights To Their Grandchildren?

When a couple separates and divorces, extended family members are often affected by the change in the couple’s status. If a couple have children, the grandparents’ right to have access to their grandchildren can become an issue.

What Are Grandparent’s Rights Under The Law?

Grandparents have no automatic right to see their grandchildren. The parents usually decide when and how often the grandparents can visit their grandchildren.

Grandparents can try to work out an agreement with the parents as to visitation. In such cases, it is best that this agreement be set down in writing.

In cases where a separation or divorce is less than amicable, the grandparents can become entangled in the conflict. This can sometimes result in their being unable to see their grandchild.

What Happens If I Cannot See My Grandchild?

If the parents refuse to let you see your grandchild, then you will likely need to go to court to get an order allowing you to spend time with the child. Under British Columbia family law, this is known as “contact with a child.”

The court will look at whether it is in the best interest of the child to visit with the grandparents. The court can be reluctant to issue orders against the wishes of the parent or guardian. If you are a grandparent with some contact with the child, but you wish for more, you will need to prove to the court that increased contact with you is beneficial to the child.

If you are having issues in accessing your grandchildren, you should contact a family lawyer.

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