What rights as a loving, respectful grandmother do I have to see my 4 year old grand daughter?
Hello and thank you for your question.
Grand parents are entitled to seek parenting orders under the Family Law Act, and this includes an application for access or even custody.
Information on the procedure for applying for parenting orders can be found at the Federal Magistrates Court:
You will need to complete and file an initiating application and attach an affidavit setting out the facts which explain the requirement for the courts orders.
The website has guides to assist unrepresented parties to complete these documents for unrepresented parties, however, The assistance of a family lawyer is strongly recommended as your chances of success will greatly increase if the application is properly prepared and you are legally represented.
When deciding an access application by a grandparent, the court treats the interests of the child as paramount and with that in mind the court will generally consider issues such as:
Whilst a court will not make the same presumptions in favour of access for a grandparent, as it would if a parent were seeking access orders, such an application can succeed if the above considerations warrant it.
Where a child is older (say ten or more) the wishes of the child may also be relevant, although the wishes of a four year old are generally not taken into account.
I trust the above assists your understanding.
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