Grandparents and other family members

Grandparenting is a special relationship. Grandparents can help give their own children and their grandchildren the support they need, especially during and after family separation.

When a son or daughter’s relationship ends, it can bring problems for some grandparents, especially in maintaining their relationship with their grandchildren.

Other extended family members, kinship groups and the community may also be impacted by the separation.

There are also many children in Australia who are being raised by their grandparents or other family members (called 'kinship carers') because of difficult family circumstances.

There are support services available for grandparents and other affected family members in these situations.

Information and support for grandparents and other family

Grandparents can access family law services for information, advice and Family Dispute Resolution services. Other extended family members affected by the separation and the care of children may also be able to use some family law services.

The Family Relationship Advice Line provides information about services for grandparents and other family members.

Grandparents, kinship carers and family law

Australian family law recognises the importance of children having relationships with their parents and other people who are significant to them. This includes grandparents and other extended family members including those recognised as members of the family within Australia’s First Nations cultures. Grandparents can apply to a family law court for a parenting order. This means that a family law court can make an order for a child to live, spend time, and communicate with a grandparent.

Extended family members who care for children may also apply to a family law court for parenting orders.

Peter and Pru helped to look after their grandson, Noah, from his birth until he was 3, when their son Jack and his girlfriend Nikki split up. Nikki and Noah then moved away to another town several hours drive away, and their son Jack moved interstate for work and doesn’t often see Noah. Nikki has now refused to let Peter and Pru see Noah on visits or to talk to them on the phone. Pru contacted the Family Relationship Advice Line, who set up telephone dispute resolution between Nikki and Pru. After the dispute resolution, Nikki agreed that Pru and Peter could talk to Noah regularly on the phone, send him cards and presents on his birthday, and visit him several times a year.

Related links

Family Relationship Advice Line

Find local help

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia: Grandparents and others

Next steps

Call the Family Relationship Advice Line

Try mediation or Family Dispute Resolution/p>

Read the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia’s information for grandparents and others/p>

Seek legal advice

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