It’s not just parents who can apply for parenting orders

Mention the breakdown of a marriage where young children are involved and most people will have in mind the effect on children of separation from a parent and the distress that it can cause the parent who is not the day to day carer of the children.

Less obvious is the effect of the marital breakdown on the relationship that grandchildren have with their grandparents.

Australian law recognises the importance to a child of maintaining a relationship with any person who has been regularly concerned with their care.  This is usually the child’s parents but courts have frequently displayed a willingness to make orders for children to spend time with grandparents and sometimes with other family members or close friends of the family who have had an important role in their upbringing.

What orders can be made?
The orders can range from simple arrangements concerning telephone or facetime contact to orders allowing the children to spend time with a grandparent or other significant person or, in some cases, to live with that grandparent or other person.

Essential factor
In each case the primary consideration will be to promote the welfare of the child.  If that is best achieved by promoting regular contact with a grandparent then that order is likely to be made.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require assistance or more information on seeking Orders for time and/or communication with your grandchildren please contact us on (02) 9525 8688.