Section 65C(ba) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (“the Act”) provides that a grandparent is able to apply for a parenting order. A grandparent is able to make application to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia for their grandchildren to live with, spend time with and/or communicate with them if it is in the children’s best interests.
Section 60B(2)(b) of the Act provides that “children have the right to spend time on a regular basis with, and communicate on a regular basis with, both their parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development (such as grandparents and other relatives)”. This means that grandparents do not have an automatic right to see their grandchildren but grandchildren do have a right to see their grandparents.
When looking at an application made to the Court by a grandparent, the Court will consider what are commonly referred to as section 60CC factors. These factors are outlined as primary considerations and additional considerations in determining what is in the children’s best interests.
An additional consideration to consider when determining what is in the children’s best interests is:
a. each of the child’s parents; and
b. other persons (including any grandparent or other relative of the child).
The relationship between the grandchildren and their grandparents will be considered in determining whether an order should be made for the grandparents to spend time with the grandchildren and to communicate with the grandchildren.
The Court does value the role of grandparents in the lives of children. It will consider what is in the children’s best interests when deciding whether to make a parenting order for their grandchildren to live with, spend time with and/or communicate with them.
If you, as a grandparent or other significant relative, would like to receive further information or assistance in making an Application for Parentings Orders, please contact our friendly Family Law team today. It is always free to have an initial discussion at Stevens Law.
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