• Tyson Beckman

In the Grand-parent Scheme of Things...

In what was an interesting week in the news, a couple in India are suing their son and daughter-in-law for almost $1 million ($895,402.36, to be more precise) for not giving them a grandchild.

According to the New York Times, the Grandparents spent considerable funds to allow their son to live in the United States, become a pilot, spent significant funds on his and his wife’s wedding and “assumed their investments would eventually pay off, in the form of a grandchild”.

The investment; however, has not paid dividends.

Although such an expectation by grandparents may not be an unusual aspect of Indian culture, it raised the question (for me at least) about what rights grandparents in Australia have with respect to their grandchildren?

The Family Law Act places somewhat of an emphasis on the importance of children being able to spend time with their grandparents and recognises the important roles that grandparents often play in children’s lives.

Section 65C(ba) of the Family Law Act is key to the question about what rights grandparents have, as grandparents are entitled to apply for Parenting Orders in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Grandparents are also specifically referred to in section 60B(2)(b) of the Family Law Act, which stipulates that children have a right to spend time on a regular basis with, and communicate on a regular basis with, both their parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development (such as grandparents and other relatives).

This of course goes without saying that the ultimate deciding factor for the Court in any parenting matter is: what is in the child’s best interests?

Parenting matters can be confusing and stressful, particularly for grandparents who, as a result of the dynamics of the family law matter, have not been able to spend time with their grandchildren and don’t know what they can do to see their grandchildren.


If you need assistance navigating Family Law or resolving Family Law disputes we have a Specialised Team who may assist you. Contact us at law@vrtlawyers.com.au or call 02 9264 7244 for an appointment at our City Office, 162 Goulburn Street or our Mascot Office, 1129 Botany Road, Mascot.

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