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What are rights of grandparents with respect to grandchildren?

When a couple goes through divorce, questions of child custody and child support are always brought to light. It is the hope of both parties that an agreement can be reached and everybody can move on with their life. Unfortunately, this situation often has an impact on more than the parents and child. It can also impact any grandparents who want to spend time with the child in the future.

Depending on which parent is granted custody, the other person's parents may find it difficult to gain access to the child.

It is important to note that grandparents do not have any automatic rights to see their grandchildren. Instead, this is always at the discretion of the parents. Even so, there are circumstances in which this does not always hold true. In these cases, grandparents could be granted permanent or temporary custody of a grandchild.

For example, are both parents considered unfit to raise the child? If this happens, the grandparents could step in and receive legal custody. The same holds true in the event that both parents pass away at the same time.

In an overall sense, the court will always look at what is in the best interest of the child. If this means granting custody to the grandparents, the court will not hesitate to do so.

Since grandparents have no automatic rights to visiting with their grandchildren, it is best for all parties to act in a responsible manner in an attempt to do what is best for the child. If you believe you should have custody as a grandparent, it's time to learn more about the court process associated with this.

Source: FindLaw Canada, "Do grandparents have legal rights to their grandchildren?," accessed May 25, 2016

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