In a conventional sense, when parents get separated, the child ends up with one of the parents under law and order. The Children’s Law Reform Act and The Divorce Act only talks about child custody power of either of the parents.
However, things have changed in Canada. Grandparents now pose the right to have and apply for custody under the legal rights of grandparents. So let’s know more about it.
Legal Rights of Grandparents in Canada
The relationship between parents and children is considered to be the most imperative in the upbringing of a child. But grandparents are essential for the growth of a child as well.
Research has shown that children living with separated parents end up with different psychological drawbacks in their adulthood, and having another relative who they can run for infinite love and care proved noteworthy for the betterment of the child’s mind. So, a child maintaining a good, healthy, and frequent relationship with his/her grandparents is very important for the child’s development.
Grandparents in Canada now have the legal right to apply for parenthood and legal custody in court. If it is in the best interest of the child, they might even get the decision in their favor. Under many other considerations, the court can decide on the grandchildren’s custody for the grandparents. So, having a lawyer is also important for the grandparents as the law now favors them to be a legal parent or adopt their grandchildren through an adoption center.
However favored the new law might be to the grandparent’s rights, the case where grandchildren go to in custody of the grandparents is exceptional and only possible under close assessments and extraordinary conditions. For example, a court may grant the grandparents the custody of their grandchildren when both the biological parents are deemed completely unfit to take care of their children.
What Lawyers Do the Grandparents Need for Their Custody Right?
The grandchildren’s child custody and visitation right can be a very tricky and complicated decision for the court. In most scenarios, the judgment and verdict go on the favor of the parents. But, having professional help can prove to be decisive in getting the verdict in support of the grandparents.
A lawyer can help the grandparents understand legal procedures and their legal rights and obligations that can help to create and uphold the best possible outcome for the custody of the grandchildren. So, it is highly recommended to pursue legal help.
Grandparents can do this in two ways, either they can represent themselves in the court in front of the judge, or they can hire a lawyer to be a representative on their behalf. To represent themselves, the grandparents can seek to assist the family law coach.
A family law coach can provide them with information, legal assistance, and data, legal advice, and tips to prepare their own case that can prove match-winning for the grandparents. They can also hire lawyers, in particular to this matter, a family lawyer who is experienced and well recognized in family matters and family laws.
Factors that the Court Considers in Deciding the Grandchildren Custody to the Grandparents
The basic thought process behind the verdict of the court in child custody is what the best outcome will be for the child. Anyone who poses the best possible interest for the child’s development and upbringing can file a custody case, and grandparents are no different here.
However, there are other factors that the court takes into consideration and thoroughly asses before deciding the outcome.
Firstly, the court will assess the relationship between the child and the grandparents and be entirely sure about their relationship. The court needs to be sure that the relation between the child and the grandparents is important for the upbringing and development of the child.
So it is essential to convince the court about the closeness and affection between the child and the grandparents. It is vital to prove to the court by providing evidence of past contacts and times together so that the court is convinced that there is a healthy relationship between them.
Although this is a rare case where the court completely denies physical contact between the child and the grandparents, some cases can make a rise in such a decision. Whether the child wants to be with the grandparents or not is also very important.
There are cases where a grandmother was denied physical contact and was granted to write letters only when the child didn’t want to keep in touch with the grandparents. So the higher the grandparents are involved in the grandchildren’s life, the better chance there is to grant a decision of custody on their favor.
Secondly, although the custodian parents are being separated, the court takes great consideration into the wishes of the parents in deciding a verdict on the grandparents’ right to custody. The parent may determine that contact with grandparents is not necessary for the child’s development, and the court will agree to that, given that the parents are reasonable and fair to the child.
However, if the parents are entirely unfit and proved to have an unhealthy relationship in terms of a non-separation scenario, the court will not take the parents’ wish into account. In this case, the grandparents and their lawyer must prove that living with them is the best possible environment for the child.
Lastly, if there is a conflict between parents and the grandparents, the court will assess that situation closely as well. No court will want the child to fall into the middle of an adverse situation and experience hatred and immense family drama.
So, the court will just advise the parents and the grandparents to sort things out themselves and decide to give the child custody to the parents or take the security of the child into their own hands.
However, if the parents allege conflict with grandparents only to prevent the grandparents their rights, the court will consider that as well and may decide custody in favor of the grandparents.
It is a great joy that the grandparents now have right on the custody and contact of their grandchildren. For a healthy life and development, the relationship and frequent contact between a child and grandparents are significant. The law now upholds grandparents’ rights, and thus, there is every bit of option to choose the best possible outcome for the child.