GRANDPARENTS HAVE RIGHTS ALSO

The general rule and consensus would have it that grandparents are entitled to see their grandchildren notwithstanding the divorce or separation proceedings pending. Parents should help maintain their relationship, unless there are serious grounds for not doing so.

Separation and divorce matters are already difficult to begin with. The children are affected by the ongoing no matter how much some parents try to shield them.

Unfortunately, in some cases the children are not shielded from the proceedings and they are torn away from the family members that they once had contact with on a regular basis. Some children have extended families that they interact with on a regular basis.

Grandparents may be an important part of their lives and growth. In the event of a divorce or separation, grandparents and their grandchildren may be deprived of this interaction.There are also situations when the parents, who are still together, and grandparents do not get along and the grandparents are not able to see their grandchildren.

 

Article 611 of the Civil Code of Quebec reads as follows:

In no case may the father or mother, without a grave reason, interfere with personal relations between the child and his grandparents. Failing agreement between the parties, the terms and conditions of these relations are decided by the court.

In such situations, grandparents who wish to maintain their access rights may enter into an agreement with the parent or parents who have custody of the children. If it is impossible to reach an agreement, the grandparents may file a motion before the court for access rights to their grandchildren.

 

The goal is to have the children get to know their grandparents and develop emotional ties with them.
They are granted in accordance with the best interests of the children. The court establishes, in particular, the frequency and terms of visits between the grandchildren and their grandparents. Parents may oppose a motion for access rights by the grandparents if they have serious grounds for doing so, for example:

  • the grandparents have a harmful influence on the grandchildren;
  • the grandparents abuse the grandchildren verbally or physically.

Grandparents presenting a motion before the court may ask a judge to allow them access rights to their grandchildren as often as prior to when the problem arose.
However, it is important to comprehend that grandparents will not have more access rights to a child than a parent who does not have custody of a child after a divorce or separation unless particular circumstances warrant same.

No matter what the situation, the court renders decisions based on article 33 of our Civil Code of Quebec which reads as follows:

Every decision concerning a child shall be taken in light of the child’s interests and the respect of his rights. Consideration is given, in addition to the moral, intellectual, emotional and physical needs of the child, to the child’s age, health, personality and family environment, and to the other aspects of his situation.

he court shall take into account the reason behind the grandparent`s requesting access rights.

In rendering their decision, the court may decide that contact between the grandparents and grandchildren be limited to phone calls, letters or family get together or that there be no contact at all, again depending on the particular circumstances that warrant same.

Please do not hesitate to communicate with our firm in order to discuss grandparent’s rights or any other family law related issues you may be concerned by . 514-499-2010< Ofelia Lamanna, Attorney
Azran & Associés Avocats inc.

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