It is a sad reality that sometimes families don’t always see eye to eye and people find themselves in situations where they no longer speak to their family or in-laws. For some families, the falling-out can last for years and often this can mean that grandparents don’t get to see their grandchildren.
Any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.
The last point may seem like it could be anyone, but the Court is very strict when deciding who can apply for orders if that person is not a parent or a grandparent. If you are not a parent or grandparent, a court would expect you to be able to show why you should be spending time the child.
There have been many cases before the Courts where Judges have made orders for children to spend regular time with their grandparents even if the parents and the grandparents don’t think they will be able to get along in the future.
When a court is asked to make orders such as those, it will always consider what is the children’s best interest over the rights of the grandparents. When deciding what is in the child’s best interests, the child’s safety and well-being will always be the most important matter.
The court often takes the view that a child has the right to spend time with their maternal and paternal families and will carefully consider an application by grandparents asking to spend time with their grandchildren.
In a case before the Family Court of Australia grandparents had made an application to the Court asking for orders that they spend time with their grandchildren aged 9 and 7. The grandparents had not spent time with their grandchildren for nearly 6 years, but had tried many times to see their grandchildren and felt they had little option left but to seek assistance from the Court. The court found that as there were no risk factors to the children in spending time with their grandparents it made orders for the children to regularly see their grandparents.