Grandparents’ rights can be a touchy subject

Do parents have the right to prevent their children from visiting with their grandparents? The issue of grandparents’ rights has become a hot topic, with many young British Columbia residents suffering because they do not have the ability to interact with their grandparents. If you are a grandparent who is being shut out of your family’s life, you may have legal rights in Provincial Court under the Family Law Act. You do not have to endure isolation from your grandchildren any more — consider contacting a family lawyer to help you navigate the process.

In general, the court standard for awarding grandparent access hinges on the “best interests of the child” concept. That is, the courts want to make sure that any agreements ultimately benefit the child, rather than putting additional strain or suffering on the youngster. Grandparents can obtain court orders for contact with a child through provisions in the provincial family law. In general, court decisions reinforce the idea that it is best for a child to have contact with his or her extended relatives as a community. However, the court ultimately has a responsibility to protect the rights of the child’s biological parents, so if you have a rocky relationship with mom or dad, you could end up in a losing situation if you use the wrong strategy.

Applying for contact with your grandchild is not as difficult as you might think — in fact, you can take many of the preliminary steps on your own. However, a skilled family lawyer can help ease the process and improve your chances of gaining access by determining which court would be best for your case. If the grandchild’s parents are divorcing, for instance, you would seek relief through the Supreme Court. Most people use Provincial Court systems to achieve their access goals.

It is a smart idea to get legal advice before you attempt to pursue a contact order. Grandparents’ rights cases can present special challenges for the layperson. Trusting your case to a skilled lawyer can give you the peace of mind you need as you proceed through this critical legal process.

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