I’m a grandparent. Do I have the right to spend time with my grandchild?
Grandparents usually see their grandchildren when they spend time with their own children. But sometimes a parent may not allow a grandparent to spend time with their grandchildren, for example:
- after the parents separate or
- after the other parent dies
- if a parent doesn't have a good relationship with a grandparent
As a grandparent, you may apply to the court and ask for a . This allows you to spend time with your grandchildren.
The judge uses a legal test called the to decide if you can spend time with your grandchildren, and on what conditions. The most important factor in the best interests of the child test is your grandchild's physical, emotional, and psychological safety, security, and well-being.
The judge also looks at the relationship between you and your grandchild, and why the parent doesn't want you to have contact. For example, the judge looks at whether:
- you've acted in ways that are in your grandchild's best interests
- you're making unfair demands for contact
- there's a strong, positive relationship between the you and your grandchild
- you've been your grandchild's caregiver in the past
- your grandchild has lived with you in the past
- you're likely to play a positive role in your grandchild's life
If you and the parent don't agree, it's important to keep your grandchild out of the conflict. That means you should not speak badly about the parent in front of your grandchild.