Today we acknowledge all the wonderful grandparents in our lives. Whether they are your own grandparents, grandparents to your children, grandparents you work with, grandparents you work for, or maybe you are a grandparent yourself. Grandparents can be key members in a family dynamic. In celebration of Grandparents Day on September 11, 2022, let’s discuss the role they play in family law.
A relationship between a grandparent and child, like all relationships between a child and extended family, can add to the emotional well-being of a child. A child can undoubtedly derive a benefit from understanding how each generation plays a part in creating security and spreading love for the child.
However, a disruption in the family, such as a separation between the parents or conflict between parents and a grandparent, can lead to an arbitrary decision to disrupt the positive relationship between child and grandparent.
The duty to create a relationship between a child and grandparent lies with the parents of the child. The court, in situations where the continuation of the positive relationship between child and grandparent has been disrupted, may intervene to protect that relationship. The key is preserving an already existing positive relationship, rather than using the court to create a relationship between a child and grandparent that does not exist. If the parents chose not to create a relationship between the child and grandparent, the court will not intervene to create such a relationship. As well, if the parents chose to stop a relationship between their child and a grandparent, and that decision was made in accordance with the best interests of the child, the court will respect the parents’ decision.
Learn more about grandparents in family law:
Can Grandparents be Sued for Child Support?
Access to Children by Grandparents: Does a Parent Have Automatic Veto Power?
Grandparents Battle It Out for Custody – Should Kids Stay Put Until After Appeal?