Visitation Rights for Grandparents Finally Enshrined in Legislation

On December 8, 2016 Bill 34, An Act to Amend the Children’s Law Reform Act with respect to the relationship between a child and the child’s grandparents received Royal assent. This means that the grandparent’s rights to visit with their grandchildren is now recognized in the legislation. Subsection 21(1) of the Act which sets out who may apply to a court for a child custody or access order is amended to make specific reference to grandparents. Furthermore sub-clause 24(2)(a)(i) of the Act is amended to have the courts, in determining a custody or access application, to consider the relationship between the child and each parent and grandparent.  Although under the Act, grandparents have always been permitted to seek court orders for custody or access under the “any other person” provision, the amendment now gives grandparents specific reference and a stronger mandate  to seek a court order for regular, guaranteed visitation with their grandchildren.