Kawartha Lakes Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer

Grandparents often share a special relationship with their grandchildren. Sometimes, unfortunate family circumstances interfere with a grandparent’s opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren. If you seek time with your grandchildren but the complex legal landscape overwhelms you, contact a skilled family lawyer at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm with experience handling grandparents’ rights cases.

A Kawartha Lakes grandparents’ rights lawyer understands the legal, social, and emotional considerations that drive court decisions about grandparent access to children. Schedule a consultation with Paul Riley to assess the best strategy to achieve your goals.

The Best Interest of the Children Is Key

Various situations could affect a grandparent’s access to their grandchildren. A separation between the grandchildren’s parents, the death of one of the grandchildren’s parents, or animosity between the grandparents and the grandchildren’s parents could lead to limited contact.

Courts defer to parents’ judgment regarding who has contact with their children. A grandparent seeking to overrule a parent’s decision to prevent or limit contact must prove it is not in the grandchildren’s best interests, as defined in the Ontario Children’s Law Reform Act s.24. When acrimony exists between a child’s parents and the grandparents, the court favors protecting the child from exposure to the conflict over supporting grandparent contact.

A court considers the relationship between the grandparents and grandchildren and whether severing the relationship would deleteriously impact the children’s physical, emotional, and psychological safety. An experienced grandparents’ rights lawyer in Kawartha Lakes could emphasize the stability, cultural knowledge, and guidance you can offer your grandchildren.

Obtaining a Contact Order in Court

The law offers two mechanisms for grandparents seeking contact with grandchildren. One is a request for contact under the Divorce Act, and one is under the Children’s Law Reform Act.

When your grandchild’s parents divorce and you want to preserve your relationship with them, you could submit a petition for contact to the court. In most cases, courts assume that maternal grandparents could see the children during the mother’s parenting time and paternal grandparents would see them during the father’s parenting time. However, if one parent has limited or restricted parenting time, the grandparents on that side of the family might have success requesting a contact order as part of the divorce settlement.

The Children’s Law Reform Act also allows grandparents to apply for contact with a child. Typically, a Kawartha Lakes grandparents’ rights advocate would advise using the provisions of this act to request contact if the grandchildren’s parents are living together or if one of them has died.

Grandparents Could Request a Parenting Order

Sometimes, grandparents request parenting orders under the Children’s Law Reform Act. The court may grant such an order if the grandparent has acted as the children’s parent or provided them with a home. This is often the case if the parents have issues with mental health, addiction, or have been incarcerated. A parenting order gives the grandparent the authority to register a child for school, apply for a passport, consent to healthcare, and apply for other benefits they might be eligible to receive. A Kawartha Lakes legal professional could help grandparents ensure they have the appropriate legal authority to act in a parental role for their grandchildren.

Even if the grandchildren do not live full-time with their grandparents, the court might issue a parenting order if it is in the children’s best interest. The order might permit grandparents decision-making responsibility or award them the right to provide a home for the children.

As in any case involving children, the judge will consider a child’s best interests above all. A grandparent must show that the children’s parent or parents are unfit or temporarily unable to provide an appropriate home or guidance. Issuing a parenting order to the grandparents is the best way to ensure the children’s physical and psychological safety and emotional well-being.

Consult a Lawyer in Kawartha Lakes About Grandparents’ Rights

When you seek more contact with your grandchildren, a legal professional could clarify your options and fight on your behalf in court.

A Kawartha Lakes grandparents’ rights lawyer like Paul Riley could bring his knowledge and skills to help you achieve the best result for your family. At the Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm, someone will respond to your inquiry 24/7, so reach out anytime to get started.

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