As grandparents, are you entitled to visitation with your grandchild after a divorce?

Family law / Geen categorie

As grandparents, are you entitled to visitation with your grandchild after a divorce?

It is often said that in a divorce, not only a husband and wife separate, but the whole family. This is of course true, because when two people separate, contacts with other family members are also broken or at least reshaped. So a divorce is not only a drastic affair for the two ex-partners and of course the children, but also often for the rest of the family and certainly the grandparents involved.


As grandparents, are you entitled to visitation with your grandchild after a divorce?


Certainly and with the advent of the Threshold Reduction of Grandparent Access Act, it is now legally made easier for grandparents to be able to request visitation arrangements with the grandchild(ren), if contact has broken down beyond their wishes. In this article, I am happy to explain one thing and another.

Contact between grandparents and children after divorce almost always different

The effect of divorce on the contact between grandparents and grandchildren has now been studied. This research shows that for more than half of grandparents, contact with grandchildren changes after divorce.

This is not surprising either. After all, the parents divide the holidays, holidays and birthdays of the children in the parenting plan. This results in the children not being present with the family on a particular holiday, for example, simply because they will be with the other parent and therefore the other family. In some cases, it is even the case that grandparents are almost unable or not allowed to see the children.

Grandparents often bring peace and stability

Divorce is an intense event for children. Children feel very insecure during this period and often have a huge need for a stable factor. This is often the school and friends, but this can certainly also be grandparents. Especially in cases where grandparents already play an extensive role in the children’s lives. Therefore, keeping the child away from family certainly does not contribute to the child’s well-being. Thereby, of course, it is not only very sad for the grandchildren but also for grandpa or grandma. Fortunately, the Act on the Reduction of the Threshold for Access to Grandparents offers grandparents a better chance of getting access to their grandchild. Below, I would like to explain more about this law and the chances of a visitation arrangement grandparents.

Visiting grandparents/grandchild, what can you do?

If the contact between grandparents and grandchildren is prevented or severely reduced, there has always been the possibility for grandparents to ask the court to establish a visitation arrangement. One must then be able to prove that grandpa and grandma are in close personal relationship with the grandchild. Because there was already regular contact between grandpa and grandma and the grandchildren before the divorce, this is the case if, for example, the grandchildren were looked after once a week. But getting such a visitation arrangement was not so easy before.

Act to lower threshold for grandparent access

Those possibilities are therefore now being widened with the Act to lower the threshold for parental access. This means that it will become easier for grandparents to apply to the court for a visitation arrangement. However, it is of course true that in all cases the court will assess whether it should be considered in the child’s best interests to establish such a visitation arrangement. However, it is nice to see and note that the legislature is now increasing the possibilities in this and sees the importance of the role grandparents fill in a child’s life.

Do you have questions about visitation arrangements with your grandchild(ren)?

If you have any questions as a result of this article, or are you yourself about to make arrangements as a grandparent about access to your grandchildren after divorce? Then do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to help you!

The most frequently asked divorce questions

Often in the context of divorce, the same or similar questions are asked to lawyers. In this series of articles “The most frequently asked divorce questions” our family law attorneys will answer some of these questions.

If you have a question you would like to see answered in the next ” The most frequently asked divorce questions“, please let us know!

Written by

Anouk van Eijkeren

lawyer & mediator
family law, mediation