9360 34 Ave NW Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5X8

Grandparent’s Rights in Alberta

Grandparent’s Rights in Alberta

06 June 2022

Separation and divorce affect children and parents alike. Grandparents play a crucial role in grandchildren's lives and can be involved when the children are divorced. Several studies show that grandparents often provide stability and support to grandchildren whenever a divorce happens between parents. But when there is a breakdown of the relationship between parents of children, grandparents are generally caught in the middle of a conflict between divorcing parents, or they have to cut off from the grandchildren. Grandparents might also be confronted by concerns about the grandchildren's health, safety, and welfare in extreme situations.

The family law of Alberta provides some options for the grandparents seeking to preserve access to the brainchildren out of the best interests. Firstly, it is essential to realize that grandparents in Alberta do not have an automatic right to contact or see their grandchildren. Courts typically presume that parents and guardians of the child are in the best position to decide whom the child should be allowed to see in general situations. But grandparents who have had any direct contact with their grandchildren cut off by parent parents in general, in certain situations, have a natural court contact re-established.

Grandparent contact following the separation or the death of any of the parent

According to the family law act, a grandparent might directly apply for contact with a grandchild if the parents are the child's legal guardians. However, the guardians are living separately and apart, or one of the guardians has died. Therefore, the grandparent's contact with the child has been interrupted by the divorce or death.

The grandparents can apply directly to the court for contact to be re-established if the separation of other parents or the death of one of the parents has resulted in a situation where the grandparent's contact with the grandchild was cut off. It means that grandparents are likely to apply directly for contact with their grandchild when that parent has died or no longer has the custody of the grandchild and the other parents deny the contact.

The courts will consider whether the re-establishing contact is the best bet or not when deciding whether to order a connection to be established. In addition, the court will consider different factors of potential interests in determining whether contact with a grandparent is perfect for a child. For example, courts will consider the reasonableness of the parent's refusal to allow the contact and whether the lack of grandparent contact will jeopardize the grandchild's physical or emotional health. Courts will also be considered if the grandchild wants to have contact with their grandparents are not, especially if the grandchild is more than 12 years old.

Albert escorts proper order of contact be re-established if the parent's denial is unreasonable and harmful to the child. A significant consideration for the court is how strong the grandparent's relationship was with a grandchild before the contact was cut off, like how often a grandparent regularly has a grandchild. But the courts are often quite sensible of the danger of conflict between the grandparent and parent, which will lead to emotional turmoil for the child. In such cases, courts will often refuse to grant grandparents’ access.

Grandparent contact without death or separation of a parent

Grandparents must take an extra step to have contact re-established through the courts if the reason that a grandparent's contact has been cut off is not due to any separation or the death of any parent. As per the family law act, the grandparents must first obtain the court's permission to apply for the contact. The contact application depends on the significance of the relationship between the grandparents and grandchild. A significant relationship is one where there is an established and positive relationship between the grandchild and the grandparent. The necessity of making the order to facilitate the contact is possible if the grandparent is able to have contact with the grandchild without any court order like the cooperation of the guardians. If the parents give the association, then the court will not grant permission to apply directly for the contact.

It doesn't mean that the court will order that the contact be established again if the court agrees to grant a grandparent permission. It means that the grandparent might ask the court to re-establish contact, and they must satisfy the court that it is in the grandchild's best bet to have contact with the grandparents based on the considerations. There are generally two steps that one needs to follow, and the success of the first step does not guarantee that one will be successful on the second one too. One must be warned when the parent and guardian oppose the contact with the grandparents. It is mainly because courts are often hesitant to grant an order of contact.

The courts that recognize each case is different, and there are several complex factors to be considered even though this information provides a brief outline of the rights of grandparents in Alberta.