Arguably the rights among family members to gain access to other family members such as the relationship that grows between grandparents and their grandchildren, seem to be non-existent. The law does not recognize anyone other than the genetic parents as having any rights to access to a child or children. In addition, it is legally within the parents’ right to restrict other family members from having any access whatsoever.

In most cases the grandparents may lose visitation due to the death of their own child, which causes the widowed spouse to move away with the grandchild or children. A divorce can result in a similar circumstance because of custody battles between the parents leaving the grandparents of out of the loop so to speak. A third scenario is that the grandparents and their own child may have had a falling out which restricts access to the grandchildren.

As stated under the law here in Ontario it is the parent or parents of the child that has full power over such decisions that affect which family members, (outside the immediate family, the husband or wife), are able to see their children. The best case scenario is to try to work with the estranged situation because of the inability of the courts to affect any type of change in these matters.

Visitation Rights of the Grandparents

While no tangible reason exists to grant full visitation, grandparent’s may wish to apply to the court for access to their grandchildren under the “third-party members” motion. Nonetheless, this motion does not grant any special rights to the child or children involved. Normally, this comes as a last effort after any negotiation or mediation has failed to produce any result in allowing visitation.

As a legal recourse there is difficulty with applying this motion. The difficulty lies in getting the police and the Children’s Aid Society to clear and ensure that a viable relationship does in fact exist between the child, or children and the grandparents. This takes proving the relationship prior to filing the motion, which then presents the reason for moving forward in this manner.

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