Grandparents & Parenting Plans – Avoiding Court
If the parents of a Grandchild agree to make a Parenting Plan for the Child or Children, then Grandparents can also be included in that same Parenting Plan.
Alternatively a new Parenting Plan which also then included the Grandparents or any other extended family members could also be prepared.
When Grandparents are included in a Parenting Plan, the Parenting Plan can include any of the following:
- 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.
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 not binding or enforceable.
The Court will however consider the Parenting Plan as 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 can contact a Family Dispute Resolution Provider such as your local Family Relationships Centre to initiate a Family Dispute Resoution Conference.
A FDR Conference is similar to a Mediation and except in cases of urgency, before you can go to Court to obtain an Order, you must file a Section 60I Certificate from a FDR provider showing there was at least an attempt to go to a FDR Conference first.
More is explained in 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.
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