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When Grandparents Apply for Legal Rights: Case Example

Today we will be discussing previous cases where grandparents were granted access to their grandchildren as well as situations where grandparents were deemed a factor in custody and access applications.

Case Example: Torabi v. Patterson 2016 ONCJ 210

In Torabi v. Patterson 2016 ONCJ 210, the young child named Dylan, lost his mother who tragically passed away from cancer when Dylan was a toddler. The father retained primary custody over Dylan, but his deceased wife’s family, Dylan’s maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles applied for unsupervised access visits with Dylan.

There was unfortunately, a significant amount of conflict between Dylan’s father who resisted the motion and Dylan’s maternal grandparents and extended family. Dylan’s father alleged that his deceased wife’s family defamed him and for their part, the maternal extended family claimed the father was denying them proper access to Dylan contrary to the child’s best interests and his mother’s last wishes.

Upon review of the facts, the judge granted Dylan’s maternal grandmother and aunt temporary unsupervised access for one day of the weekend per month. However, one of the conditions was that the family could not speak ill of Dylan’s father during these access visits.

Grandparents as a Factor in Custody & Access Applications

Grandparents are also often factors that are considered in determining which parent ought to be granted custody or access.

In Wharton v. Prieur, 2015 ONSC 5129, the father was granted primary custody in Grimsby with access to the mother permitted. The mother moved to have the daughter relocate to Ajax and reside primarily with her.

As the mother was located in a different city, Ajax, the judge considered the fact that both sets of grandparents resided in the same city as the father.

The presence of the grandparents enhanced the child’s roots in the father’s community and the grandparent support was cited as a factor that softened the impact of the decision to deny the mother’s motion to have the child relocate to Ajax.

Contact Epstein & Associates, Child Custody Lawyers in Barrie

As is evident from the examples above and our discussion last week, grandparent’s rights in custody and access disputes are not clearly defined in legislation. Having a trusted family lawyer assist you with your legal request for access can make a significant difference. Decisions about custody are often technical and fact-specific. Let Epstein & Associates help you achieve what you believe is in the best interests of your grandchild. Contact our Barrie family lawyers to schedule your consultation at 705-720-2210.