I am a grandfather in Alberta who has been denied access to visit local grandchildren for almost a year now. I do not know the reason, but my daughter will not talk about it, answer emails, text messages or return phone calls. I still send birthday cards, Christmas cards and gifts, and in general do the normal things a grand parent would do with grandchildren.Do I have any legal recourse of any kind to see these (3) grandchildren on a regular basis? I was hoping not to consult with legal counsel, but I have no where else to turn at the moment.Thank you for your reply.
Phoning, letter and texting communications.
I am sorry this is happening to you.
You can apply to a court to seek an order that you be allowed access to grandchildren. It is not automatic that this will be granted, as there are no guaranteed rights that grandparents have to see grandchildren. The court will determine in each case if such visitation would be in the best interests of the children. A court would conclude that generally it is best for children to have a connection and relationship with grandparents, depending on the circumstances. In making that assessment, the courts give a lot of weight to the viewpoints of the children's parents, on the rationale that generally a child's parents know the most about such a situation and are highly motivated to act in a child's best interests. So if the parents have what seems to be a reasonable explanation for not allowing access, that might be the end of the matter. But if the court concludes that the parents seem to be denying access for a reason that is not fully considering the best interests of the children, and is unreasonable or illogical or just an arbitrary or selfish decision of a parent, then the court can order that access will take place. The court can specify when and how such access will occur, and would not likely just leave it up to the parents.
Short of applying to the court, you could demand that you have access or you will take them to court. Or you could offer to attend counseling or mediation together with the parents to discuss the situation and try to come to some resolution without the need for litigation. You may want to tell them in a letter that you want to avoid taking them to court, but will do so if this cannot be resolved, and you would much prefer to try and resolve it through discussion and cooperation, than in court. Maybe that will work, maybe it will fall on deaf ears.
If you decide that there is no way to deal with this by cooperation with the parents (if they refuse to meet with you for example), and court is the last option, then it is not mandatory that you have a lawyer. But the law and procedure involved in such an application is not simple, and I would recommend that you have experienced family law lawyer to help you. If you need a referral to such a lawyer, we cannot give you our names or other lawyers names through this site. But you can contact the Law Society of Alberta at 1(NNN) NNN-NNNN as they have a free lawyer referral site. You can be given names of several lawyers, and each will give you a free 30 minute interview so that you can decide if you are interested in hiring them or not.
with over 15 years experience.