Grandparents and custody: What's the law in NSW?

Published 30 Oct 2017

Being a grandparent, especially when you don't feel that your grandchildren are being properly cared for, can be difficult. In some cases, you might even be concerned for the wellbeing of the children, should they remain with (or return to) their birth parents. What can you do about it?

Luckily, grandparents in NSW have some rights when it comes to the custody and protection of their grandkids. Let's take a closer look at the legislation surrounding this, and offer suggestions for how they can work with a family law specialist to ensure their grandchildren stay safe and happy.

What rights do grandparents have in NSW?

In some unfortunate circumstances, the relationship between you and your child may have broken down - does this mean they can prevent you from seeing your grandchild? Under NSW law, grandparents do not have implicit rights to have a relationship with their grandchild. However, like any other person who has a vested interest in the child's well-being, they can apply for a parenting order to try and secure visitation rights.

There are a number of situations in which a grandparent might wish to have custody of their grandchild. If you believe the child is in danger, the first step is to go to the police - from there, you can apply to the Family Court in Parramatta for a parenting order that, if granted, would give you custody of your grandchild.

Some grandparents might already have implied custody of their grandchildren, meaning the kids live with them on a full-time basis. If this arrangement is working well, it probably makes sense to solidify it legally in case something were to happen down the road. To do this, you'll need to gain written permission from all current legal guardians and provide it to the court, so they can issue a parenting order giving you legal custody.

How do I go about getting a parenting order?

In order to get one of the parenting orders described above, grandparents must be able to prove to the court that they have the child's best interest in mind. This requires more than a heartfelt speech or letter - you'll need to have evidence supporting the notion that you will make a better guardian than the one they currently have.

In such cases, it's important to seek the help of a Parramatta family lawyer. Our team of qualified, experienced legal specialists at Malouf Solicitors is ready to help you gain custody of your grandkids. Reach out to a representative today for more information.

Please call us on 02 8833 2000 to speak with a lawyer

I remain extremely grateful for Maloufs legal representation related to my financial management of the estate of my brother and for your continuing help and advice in this matter. As an aside, I always recommend Maloufs to my friends and family members who are seeking the best legal representation - only last week, I strongly advised a close family friend that their best interests would be served by arranging an appointment at your Parramatta offices.
John of Parramatta NSW

Parramatta Office:

Level 5/146 Marsden Street
Parramatta NSW 2124

PO Box 945
Parramatta NSW 2124

Phone: 02 8833 2000
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