Grandparents & Parenting Plans – Avoiding Court
How to see a Grandchild but not go to Court
If the parents of a Grandchild have been able to reach agreement and who their Child lives with, how much time is spent with the other parent and parenting arrangements generally, then they can make a Parenting Plan for the Child or Children to document that agreement and the Grandparents can also be included in that same Parenting Plan.
Alternatively a new Parenting Plan which also then includes the Grandparents, as well as any other extended family members, could also be prepared and signed.
What goes in the agreement about Grandparents?
If arrangements about a child and their Grandparents are included in a Parenting Plan, then the sorts of things a Parenting Plan can include and detail are:
- Time Grandparents will spend with their Grandchildren, including the frequency, where and how that time will occur and the like;
- Whether the time is physical time, telephone time, by skype etc;
- Whether or not anyone else is to be present during that time;
- The communication the Grandparent can have with the Child such as ability to make phone calls outside the specific time set aside for the Grandparent to spend with the Child;
- If it is necessary provision regarding the ability of a Grandparent to send letters, cards, gifts etc and how they be sent.
Parenting Plan: What, How etc
A Parenting Plan is a written agreement signed by both parents which details the parenting arrangements for the Child.
If a Grandparent is included in the Parenting Plan then they can also sign the Parenting Plan.
A Parenting Plan is unfortunately, not legally binding or enforceable. But…
If a signed Parenting Plan was made previously, then a Court will want to see a copy of the Parenting Plan and will consider the Parenting Plan as being evidence of what the parties agreed was probably in the best interests of the child or children at the time.
If you would like to arrange to spend time with your Grandchildren then you should contact a Family Dispute Resolution Provider such as your local Family Relationships Centre to initiate and find out about a Family Dispute Resoution Conference being arranged.
A FDR Conference is similar to a Mediation and except in cases of urgency (like child abuse or family violence), before you can go to Court to obtain an Order regarding a Child (including a Grandchild), you must file a Section 60I Certificate from a FDR provider showing there was at least an attempt to go to an FDR Conference first.
More about this is detailed on our Why must Grandparents attend Mediation page.
If you cannot reach agreement about the time to be spent between a Grandparent and Grandchild our page How a Grandparent goes to Court explains more.
Read more also about Why Children have an entitlement to spend time with their Grandparents as you should know this information.
Grandparents time with Grandchildren: More Information
We also have the following information sheets on the topic of Grandparents spending time with their Grandchildren, Grandparents rights and similar issues facing Grandparents:
- What are Grandparents’ rights to see their Grandchildren
- Can a Grandparent apply to the Court for a Court Order to see their Grandchild
- Can a Grandparent attend Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) to arrange to see their Grandchild
- Putting arrangements for Grandparents in Parenting Plans
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All Topics in the Child Issues Section
- Types of Parental Responsibility Orders
- Child’s Time with Parents: Shared Care or not
- Grandparents: Rights to see Grandchildren
- Documenting a Parenting Agreement
- Best Interests of the Children
- Relocation of a Parent with a Child
- Change of a Child’s Surname
- Child Passports & Overseas Travel after Separation or Divorce
- How to change a Final Parenting Order previously made by the Court
- International Child Abduction