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Grandparents and divorce. Experts say the 2 best things to do.

Grandparents and Divorce

Grandparents and Divorce?

We’re worried about our position as grandparents and divorce. Is there anything I can do as a loving grandparent? Our advice on the 1st and best thing you can do is to be there for your grandchildren. No matter how well your grandchildren might appear to be coping, they can always use comfort, security, and someone to talk to who will listen with unquestioning love, and without judgement about what’s going on.

Where do grandparents stand under the law?

When it comes to grandparents and divorce, from a legal perspective, a lot of people think that only parents of the children are allowed to go to court to seek orders about children.  This is not true.  Section 65C of the Family Law Act says that the following people are allowed to file an application in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia:

  • The child’s parents (one or both);
  • The child;
  • A grandparent of the child; or
  • Any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.

If you are a grandparent, aunt, sibling or other family member or carer of a child or children and you need the court’s help, then you should speak to a lawyer to find out if you can file an application with the court.  A common example is where children are with their parents and the parents are struggling to care for the children.  This is often the result of alcohol, drugs, domestic violence or poor mental health, or a combination of these things.

If children are living in a home where their safety is a concern, then other family members should consider getting legal advice about what they can do to help the children.  So often families feel helpless and do not realise until child protection authorities become involved that they had options available to them.

Grandparents and Divorce. Going to court.

When it comes to grandparents and divorce, going to court does not have to mean a permanent, drastic change.  One option that may be available is to go to court seeking a short-term order that allows the children to stay with you until the parents address the concerning behaviours.  When the parents are back on their feet, then the orders can allow a safe return of the children to their parents.

If you do decide to proceed down this path and go to court, it can cause problems with your family and should not be used as a threat. However, our 2nd piece of advice is to make sure you have all the facts and evidence to support your concerns.

If there is no possibility of the children returning to their parents, then it may be possible to seek permanent orders about the children.

At Alliance Family Law we understand how complex these dynamics can be, and we want to help you to use the court system to keep the children in your life safe. We have lawyers who are experienced in complex trauma, child protection and family law. If you want more information as to how we might be able to help you in your circumstances, then call Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 and book an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

Our family law website. There is more information for grandparents available through the government’s Family Relationships website.

We know what it’s taken for you to reach the point where you are reaching out for legal advice. If you need a sympathetic family law firm, a well established firm of highly qualified family law specialists, that’s big enough to meet your needs but small enough to offer you personal support please take the next step and get in touch. We ensure sensitive, professional, confidential services.

You can be confident we will explain our costs up front, and you will only be charged fair fees. We can offer all the services you will need for your separation, divorce, parenting agreements, property settlements, mediation, binding financial agreements, and more. CONTACT US

Please note our blogs are  not legal advice.  For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Family Law.

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