GRANDPARENTS and ACCESS –The right to see your grandchildren.
Grandparents often receive the fallout from their chidren’s divorces – limited, restricted or no access to their often beloved grandchildren, In the past the law and the justice system were often inaccessible. This has all changed with the New Children’s Act whose main objectives are, amongst others to:
- make provision for structures, services and means for promoting and monitoring the sound physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional and social development of children;
- strengthen and develop community structures which can assist in providing care and protection for children;
- promote the preservation and strengthening of families;
And calls for
- the prioritisation of the best interest of the child,
- the right to the child being able to participate in any matter concerning that child,
- a child’s right of access to court.
One of the issues covered by the new Children’s Act, is giving the right of contact and care to an interested person, in this instance the grandparent, by order of court, Children’s or HighCourt,
It also makes provision for any person having an interest in the care, well-being and development of a child to apply to the High Court for an order granting guardianship .
The Court In making its order, will consider and take into account:
- the best interests of the child;
- the relationship between the applicant and the child
- the degree of commitment that the applicant has shown towards the child
- the extent to which the applicant has contributed towards expenses in connection with the birth and maintenance of the child; and
- any other fact that should, in the opinion of the court, be taken into account.