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Grandparents Access Rights

The family is a fundamental foundation in today’s society. However, conflicts can arise in even the best families.

According to the Civil Code of Quebec, grandparents have rights regarding their grandchildren. Thus, parents cannot prevent their children from developing a relationship with them.

However, like any custody request, the child’s best interest is obviously taken into account. Indeed, it should be noted that the sole objective of the law is for grandparents to develop a healthy relationship with their grandchildren. Access could be exercised in the form of telephone conversations, videoconferencing, sending letters, or simply in person.

Exceptions to Obtaining Access Rights

For serious reasons, a parent could refuse contact between the grandparents and the grandchildren. Indeed, even if a simple quarrel does not constitute a serious reason to restrict access rights, it’s important to keep in mind that the Court will always prioritize the best interest of the child and not that of the parents or grandparents.

There’s a nuance to add, a major conflict could prevent contact between grandparents and grandchildren, however minimal it may be. It must be remembered that the goal of the law is to protect the child. The conflict should in no way affect the children.

The fact that grandparents are verbally or physically violent or try to replace the parents in terms of their parental authority could also be perceived as serious reasons by the Court.

Each case is unique, and a case where a grandparent harasses the parent to see the child could also result in the removal of access rights.

Grandparents Custody Rights

In some cases, grandparents may be granted custody of their grandchildren. The courts’ goal is always to protect the children. If the parent is likely to endanger the child’s life or is temporarily unable to take care of the child, the Judge may grant custody to the grandparents.

It should also be specified that parent-child contact will always be prioritized, so it’s rare for the Court to grant grandparents extended access rights on the same level as a parent.

Do you have questions regarding this article or are you currently in this situation? Schedule an appointment for a one-hour consultation with one of our excellent family law attorneys. They specialize in family law and youth protection.

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