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Formalising Grandparenting Agreements

As a grandparent, you may find yourself looking after your grandchildren if the child’s parents can’t take care of them. 

This can be for any one or more of the following reasons:

  • child protection agency issues
  • drug or alcohol problems
  • mental health concerns
  • incarcerated
  • not physically present to provide care

 

What are the ‘rights’  of Grandparents?

The courts believe that children have the right to communicate with or spend time with their parents and grandparents or any other people who the courts consider important.  In family law cases, the best interests of the child are the most important factor the Family Law courts will consider when making a decision.

What can ‘you’ as a Grandparent do?

The most important things you must do with regard to looking after your grandchildren is to formalise a ‘grandparenting’ arrangement.   Where all parents and grandparents on either side have the best interests of the children in mind, you may not need to the court to establish your role, responsibilities and expectations, however a documented formal agreement will be needed in the following instances:.

  • seeking financial support
  • consenting to medical treatment for the child
  • enrolling in school or childcare.

This formal arrangement will be crucial if the relationship between any of the parties’ changes in the future or if you need to enforce an existing arrangement or informal agreement via the Court system.

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