Do Family Members have Any Rights towards My Children?

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23 May 2014
I have recently had to cut a family member and their partner from my life. I have children and I am wondering if they have any legal right under family law to ask for access towards the children? This would be detrimental to both myself and my kids.

Thank you in advance.


Well-Known Member
8 April 2014
G'day Imissnormalpeople,
The Family Law Act recognises that children have the right to know and be cared for by both parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development, such as grandparents. However, family members other than parents do not have an automatic right to spend time or have contact with those children. Family Relationships Online has some facts sheets about family relationship issues that you might find information.

The Family Law Courts 'Family Law Principles' page sets out that:
When a court is making a parenting order, the Family Law Act requires it to regard the best interests of the child as the most important consideration. Parents must also use this principle when making parenting plans.

Primary considerations:

  • the benefit to children of meaningful relationships with both parents
  • the need to protect children from physical or psychological harm (from being subjected or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence).

So it seems that those family members don’t have an automatic right to have contact with your children, and if their behaviour is considered detrimental to/not the best interests of your children, then they shouldn’t be allowed contact with your children.