Practical advice; how to get contact with your grandchild away from the Family Court:

  1. Round-table meeting hosted at a family members house. Get a third party involved.
  2. If mediation is not possible, grandparent needs to make applications with the Family Court. They cannot make application as of right, must get Court permission.
  3. If filing on notice, will need to meet the pre-requisites for filing Court proceedings– three steps:
    1. Parenting through separation programme;
    2. Family Disputes resolution;
    3. Court proceedings.

Considerations for the grandmother or grandfather in The Family Court if filed:

  1. Whether there has been a substantially similar proceeding in the past? Section 139A of our Care of Children Act (COCA) 2004. (Highly unlikely – or at least arguable that grandparent access would not be included)
  2. Children’s wishes – not as relevant for a 3 year old as it would be for, example, a 10 year old.
  3. Overall what is in the child’s welfare and best interests: 
    1. Principle 5(e) of our COCA 2004, a child should continue to have a relationship with both of his or her parents, and that a child’s relationship with his or her family group, whānau, hapū, or iwi should be preserved and strengthened:
    2. Principle 5(f) of our COCA 2004, a child’s identity (including, without limitation, his or her culture, language, and religious denomination and practice) should be preserved and strengthened.