A relationship between a grandparent and child, like all relationships between a child and extended family, can add to the emotional well-being of a child. A child can undoubtedly derive a benefit from understanding how each generation plays a part in creating security and spreading love for the child.
However, a disruption in the family, such as a separation between the parents or conflict between parents and a grandparent, can lead to an arbitrary decision to disrupt the positive relationship between child and grandparent.
The duty to create a relationship between a child and grandparent lies with the parents of the child. The court, in situations where the continuation of the positive relationship between child and grandparent has been disrupted, may intervene to protect that relationship. The key is preserving an already existing positive relationship, rather than using the court to create a relationship between a child and grandparent that does not exist. If the parents chose not to create a relationship between the child and grandparent, the court will not intervene to create such a relationship. As well, if the parents chose to stop a relationship between their child and a grandparent, and that decision was made in accordance with the best interests of the child, the court will respect the parents’ decision.
At Russell Alexander Family Lawyers, we regularly assist grandparents to continue their positive relationship with their grandchildren. We also assist parents to respond to requests for access made by grandparents when the parents made the right choice to suspend contact. If you require any assistance regarding a grandparent access matter, please contact us for more information.