Do Grandparents Have Access Rights under Family Law?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Brenda Howard

6 June 2014
I have looked after and cared for all five of my grandchildren for over sixteen years. Now, because of an argument between my daughters, one daughter has banned access to my granddaughter and grandson from that family.

Up until the day before the argument, I had the youngest granddaughter (8 years old) every day, and gave her breakfast, got her ready for school and transported her to school. I attended school functions that I was made aware of, cared for her when sick, and had her and her brother (15 years old) throughout all school holidays when their parents were not able to take leave. I have been blocked from her phones, her Facebook, her work email, and her home email. My husband has spoken to her a couple of times, and treated with complete indifference to our pleas to see the children. Although I received pages of poisonous emails from her originally, I have not responded other than to ask to see the children and somehow sort this out. I have sent only very short specific emails or messages, all of which has been unanswered.

My concerns are over the children's safety and care on a day to day basis and especially when my daughter goes to London for a couple of weeks later this month (on her own). How is her husband going to be able to get the kids to and from school? Is a 15 year old responsible enough to look after his little sister?

I am desperate to see the kids that I love so dearly and I am heartbroken. Do I have any legal grounds (grandparents rights) under family law for access?

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
Do I have any legal ground for access?
As a general rule, and expressly not with reference your specific case,
absent any Family Law matters in play (separation, divorce, shared care, etc),
and absent any Care and Protection type issues (parent a druggie, parent incompetent, parent neglectful),
the answer is "no".

That is - no, grandparents do not have a general right to a relationship with their grandchildren.

Have a read of this:

and this:


17 July 2014
Hey im in the opposite situation im the father on a 15 month old me and my partner are still together and thriving however my parnters mother is taking us to FDR for visitations rights and such as I said he is just over one she has never seen him and has only asked to see him once which was this easter just gone she is a q horrid woman no offence to anyone but she is the kind of person who I dont want in my sons life the people around her do drugs herself im sure does it occasiinally but she has also assaulted her own daughter twice to my knowledge as well as she has assaulted her childrens friends that come over so I really need to know where I stand and if it goes to court what are my options can I just ignore everything it seems easy enough ?

Jacob Romano

Active Member
19 July 2014
The answer is no.

It has been tested a few times in Court, but alas, and despite how unfair it can be, grandparents have no more rights to a grandchild in normal circumstances than a stranger.