Our specialties > Grandparents’ Rights
Parents are not the only ones who can ask for decision-making responsibility or time with their children. Grandparents may ask the court to permit them decision making responsibility or the ability to visit or to have “contact” with their grandchildren.
The Divorce Act allows grandparents to seek an order for contact with their grand-children if the parents refuse to allow contact. The child’s parents must be in a legal marriage or must have been legally married. Grandparents do not have to apply for permission from the court to do this.
keeping the child's best interest in mind
The court’s deliberations include, as usual, the “best interest of the child” which includes, a consideration of:
- the grandparent’s conduct toward their grandchildren, the reasonableness of that conduct and its impact on the grandchildren;
- the length and quality of the relationship between the grandparent and grandchildren historically and in the present;
- whether and for what duration of time the child resided with the grandparent in the past;
- whether the grandparent is likely to take good care of, or have a positive influence on the grandchild’s life; and
- whether overall the “contact” is in the grandchild’s best interests.
Where the non- parent is a grandparent
The court may approve the application, and the grandparents may be entitled to spend more time with their grandchildren if the court finds that doing so would be in the children’s best interests. To reach this decision, the court will consider the grandchildren’s physical and emotional well-being as well as their safety.