When it comes to separation or divorce, rarely is it just the spouses who are affected. Parent separation can affect the connection their child has with other family members, including grandparents. Ideally, parents make arrangements for their child to see both sides of the family, but the personal conflict separation brings can drive a wedge between extended family members too. If you have had your time with your grandchild restricted, a child custody lawyer in Coquitlam, like Valerie M. Little Family Law Corporation, may be able to help you negotiate for access. If negotiations can’t be met, you may have a right to seek out a court order, especially if it is determined by the law that it is in the child’s best interests for you to have contact with them.
There are a few ways in which the court and a child custody lawyer in Coquitlam, New Westminster, or the surrounding area can help a grandparent remain in contact with their grandchild. First, you will have to apply for a family order. Second, you will have to decide which court you will use. In most cases, grandparents seeking contact with their grandchildren use Provincial Court to obtain access under a law called the Family Law Act. However, if the parents of your grandchild are getting a divorce, you can also apply for access in Supreme Court. This will be considered a part of the divorce proceedings. Talk to a lawyer first because in order to be a part of the divorce proceedings, you will have to gain permission from the court.
Please keep in mind that even if the court makes an order that allows you contact with your grandchild, you will not be treated in the same manner as a parent seeking access. Your visits may not be as often or as long, for example.
Many grandparents find themselves raising their grandchildren. If this is the case, it may be well worth your best interests as well as your grandchild’s to seek out legal guardianship. Guardians have legal rights to make decisions for the children in their care. This can range from choosing what school the child will attend to what kind of medical care they will receive. Furthermore, legal guardians have a say over psychological and psychiatric care.
If you are interested in becoming your grandchild’s guardian, you will have to obtain a court order. A child custody lawyer in New Westminster like Valerie M. Little at Valerie M. Little Family Law Corporation can help. Contact our office to learn more.
It’s important to remember that, depending on the circumstances, even if you obtain legal guardianship of your grandchild, the child’s parents may still be entitled to certain visitations and other legal parental rights.
If you are a grandparent wishing to apply for access or legal guardianship of your grandchildren, please reach out to the child custody lawyer at New Westminster’s Valerie M. Little Family Law Corporation, and schedule an appointment. Together we can discuss your options.