I’m a parent. Do my child’s grandparents have the right to spend time with them?
1. Talk to the grandparents
Talk to your child's grandparents to see if they will agree to a plan that allows your child to visit or keep in touch with them without going to court.
If you have concerns about your child spending time with their grandparents, you can talk to the grandparents about your concerns. If you or the grandparents have concerns about violence or abuse, it may not be suitable to discuss some issues directly. You can try to work out the issues with the help of a family law professional, such as a mediator, social worker, or a lawyer. It's important to keep your child out of the conflict.
A parenting plan checklist can help you with the things you may have to think about. Not everything on the checklist may apply to your situation.
For example, you can think about:
- when and how often visits take place
- how often your child keeps in touch with the grandparents, whether by telephone, email, skype, or text
- how to discuss things with the grandparents to avoid conflicts
- who's responsible for picking up and dropping off your child for visits
- how changes to the plan are made
- how to deal with changes in the future
If your child is older and emotionally mature, they can be asked what they want. Sometimes children don't want to be part of these decisions. But if they do, and if they can share their views and wishes freely, then it may be alright for you or someone else to talk to them about the options.
If you and the grandparents agree on a plan for contact, you can make a written agreement.
The agreement has to follow certain rules to make it binding and enforceable under the law. This means anyone who doesn't follow it can be ordered by the court to do what the agreement says.