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.

What are grandparents laws in Ontario?

In Ontario, the laws regarding grandparents’ rights are shaped by the primary consideration of the child’s best interests. While grandparents do not possess an inherent right to parenting time of their grandchildren, they play a crucial role in many children’s lives and can apply to the court for a parenting time order. This often arises in cases of familial disputes or conflicts. The court considers various factors when making a decision, such as the child’s physical and emotional well-being, the pre-existing relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild, the grandchild’s wishes, and any potential disruption a parenting time order may cause in the child’s life. It’s crucial to remember that these laws aim to protect and uphold the child’s welfare above all. Each case is treated individually, taking into account its unique circumstances, which makes professional legal advice a valuable resource in these situations.

Can grandparents get decision making responsibility for grandchildren in Ontario?

In Ontario, grandparents do indeed have the potential to have decision making responsibility for their grandchildren. While parental rights are typically prioritized, grandparents, or any other individuals, may apply to the court for an order concerning the child’s decision making responsibilities or parenting time. This process involves demonstrating to the court that their decision making responsibility  of the child is in the child’s best interests, a principle that guides the Ontario Family Law. Factors considered include the emotional ties between the child and the grandparent, the grandparent’s capacity to provide for the child, and the child’s views and preferences, depending on their age and maturity. It’s essential to understand that each case is unique and handled based on its specific circumstances, and legal counsel is often crucial in navigating this complex process.

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 Collaborative Family Lawyers, we regularly assist grandparents to continue their positive relationship with their grandchildren. We also assist parents with responding to requests made by grandparents when the parents made the right choice to suspend contact. Please contact us if you require any assistance regarding a grandparent matter.