When the relationship between parents ends, sometimes the children’s relationship with their grandparents is a casualty of the break-up. Parents could deny access to the children out of anger at the other parent or for some other inappropriate reason.
In other cases, grandparents might feel that the child’s parents are not fit to provide a good home, and they might feel they should seek custody.
If your grandchild’s parents are denying you the opportunity to have meaningful contact, or if you believe they would be safer in your care, you could pursue the issue in court. A Toronto grandparents’ rights lawyer could explain your legal options to preserve your relationship with your grandchildren and protect them from harm. Reach out to dedicated family lawyer Paul Riley for sound legal counsel.
Sometimes parents are not well-equipped to raise a child and you might feel that your grandchild is not safe under your child’s care. This issue often arises when an adult child has a substance abuse problem or is involved in a violent relationship.
As the child’s grandparent, you have the right to seek custody of your grandchild if you feel the child’s parents are unfit. Though, this is a complicated legal process and can be an emotionally wrenching ordeal. A Toronto grandparents’ custody rights lawyer could provide candid advice about the pros and cons of seeking care of your grandchild.
In other cases, a break-up or family conflict might cause a parent to deny you access to your grandchild. If you cannot negotiate a satisfactory arrangement with the resistant parent, you could seek contact with your grandchild through the courts.
The Children’s Law Reform Act §24(3) gives grandparents the right to seek custody of or contact with their grandchildren. You must file an affidavit with the court explaining the relevant family history and how you propose to care for or resume a relationship with your grandchild. The document also must explain why granting your petition is in the child’s best interest.
A court will make a decision based on what benefits the child. When you seek resumed contact with a grandchild, factors the court will consider include the:
If you are seeking custody of the child, your affidavit must explain your plan to provide a stable home and meet the child’s physical, emotional, psychological, educational, and financial needs. A Toronto grandparents’ rights lawyer with experience in child custody matters could help you prepare a compelling case for gaining custody of your grandchild or resuming contact with them.
Courts usually give considerable deference to parents in child-rearing, including the child’s relationships with relatives. If you are seeking contact with your grandchild, you must establish that the child’s parent is unreasonable in denying you contact and that maintaining a relationship with you benefits the child.
Courts are more inclined to grant grandparent visitation when the relationship resembles a parent-child relationship. For example, if you lived with the child, had primary caretaking responsibility, or were intimately involved in the child’s life on a day-to-day basis for a significant period, a court is more likely to find the disruption of that relationship harmful.
Courts also might be more sympathetic to your plea for contact if your child—the grandchild’s parent—has died. When you are the means of connecting a child to one side of their family, a court could try to preserve that connection by allowing contact even over a surviving parent’s objection.
The relationship between you and your grandchild is one of the most significant and nourishing relationships you and they will ever have. If that relationship is disrupted because of parental unfitness, divorce, or family tensions, you could seek recourse in the courts.
A Toronto grandparents’ rights lawyer will do all they can to help you reestablish that precious relationship. Reach out to committed legal professional Paul Riley at any time of the day or night to begin exploring your legal options.
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