Do grandparents have legal rights to their grandkids?

Amanda - posted on 10/18/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )




I live in New Brunswick, Canda and I was wondering if grandparents have any legal claim to their grandchildren? My friend had a baby almost 3 years ago and his ex girlfriend won't let his family see the boy. They go months without seeing him because the mom comes up with reason why she can't take him to visit. Even when he does visit she refuses to leave a car seat because they're not allowed to take him anywhere. She won't let them take the boy to family functions or even to the park! My friends mom, who would be the little boy's grandmother, said if her son won't file the proper papers to get his legal rights enforced she will. She's said he's her grandson and she should be able to have him sleep over, go to family events and go the park with them.

I was just wondering if anyone else has been in, or knows someone who's been in this situation before. Do grandparents have any legal rights to their grandkids here in Canada? How do I find out?


Charlie - posted on 10/18/2010




Yes in Canada grandparents do have rights if they can prove they are being witheld their rights to visitation !

Jessica - posted on 10/19/2010




OMG yes and there is a goup on here called Grandparents was created by a woman that did everything that she could and now wants to share her story and help other grandparents through it...let me figure out the link and I'll give it to you!! I think that she could be a great help if you want!!

Denikka - posted on 10/18/2010




It's touchy. The thing is, yes, grandparents have a right to access. But hat just means that they CAN see the child and aren't being withheld entirely. How often and the circumstances are still set up by the person who has physical custody of the child at the time (if mom and dad share custody for example, dad can say yes while the child is in his care and mom can say no while the child is in her care)
My grandparents went through this about 18 years ago in BC with me. They fought in court for almost 3 years attempting to prove my mother as unfit and fight for custody of me. They got guardianship instead, and visitation rights.
Technically, the grandparents CAN go to court and fight for visitation (which is different from access) but it's not guaranteed.
Access just means that they have reasonable access to visit the child. When, for how long, and under what circumstances is still decided by the parent.
Visitation is court appointed times and circumstances.

If the child is not being unjustly withheld for seeing the grandparents, I don't think they have much of a legal leg to stand on, but definitely suggest talking to a lawyer about what they can do about it :)

Ashley - posted on 10/20/2010




I believe in some places in canada there are I am from ontario and I think there is grandparents rights if they can prove they are good enough to see the child and the reasons the parents arent letting them are tottally off base call your local legal aid and just ask them

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Tomaro - posted on 11/10/2012




I have a question to all of you that are familiar with the Grandparent's Rights. My brother resides in Pennsylvania; his daughter in Canada. They went to court for visitation and support; the support was ordered along with rotating visitation. When he is allowed to see her he travels over 12 hours both ways...gas and toll on him; he pays support, plus gives his daughter almost anything she wants (within means); and the mother still continues to cancel his visits. For example, he was supposed to have her for Thanksgiving; just finding out she cancelled, and he has already been told that he couldn't visit him on Christmas. However, she says he can have her after the holidays; which family will be gone and he will be going back to work.

My question is considering the above, does my mother (who lives in Alabama and only sees us on holiday) have any rights? Is she able to try and get visitation with her grand-daughter?

Thank you!

Amanda - posted on 10/19/2010




In Canada grandparents have rights if theres a divorce/seperation or a death. So yes in this case this grandmother has every right to file the papers instead of the father.

Michelle - posted on 10/18/2010




Yes here in Canada Grandparents do have rights to visitation and such tell her to contact a lawyer about it because I am not sure to what extent they are but I do know they do have rights and if she is witholding the child from dad as well she could end up in a lot of trouble.

Colleen - posted on 10/18/2010




I know that here int he states grandparents don't have any legal right to enforce visitation or custody either on behalf of their child the parent or on their own behalf. Canada may be different, but I'd be surprised. They should be able to call their local court to find out (we have a specific division for custody that everybody has access to), or they may try an attorney. We also have several attorneys who have a LOT of information on their websites, I would recommend doing a simple google search and see what turns up. OK, I googled it for you (I was curious) and found:
As early as 1980, Canadian provinces also enacted grandparent access laws based on the best interests of the child (R.S.B.C. 1996 C. 128, s. 24; R.S.B.C. 1996 C. 128, s. 35; R.S.A. 1980, c. P-20, s. 32.1). Factors to be considered when determining if grandparent visitation or access serves the child's best interests involve examining both the wishes and views of the child and the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Other factors to be considered include the child's mental and physical health, the education and training needs of the child, and the ability of the grandparents (or adults seeking access) to adequately care for the child. In Canada, grandparent visitation rights tend to focus more on the child's needs than parental rights. For example, in the case of Sparks v. Sparks (2001), the court reasoned "in no case may the father or mother, without grave reasons interfere with personal relations between the child and his grandparents" (p. 6). Despite the statutory and judicial efforts to provide grandparents' access to their grandchildren, Edward Kruk (1995) found that parental divorce, conflictual grandparent-parent relations, and step-parent adoption after remarriage continue to inhibit this access.

Read more: Grandparents' Rights - Grandparent Visitation Rights In Canada - Child, Access, Sparks, Considered, Factors, and Parental

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