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Understanding Grandparents’ Rights to Access Grandchildren in Ireland

By November 14, 2023 No Comments
Assisted Decision-Making Acts

In Ireland, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is cherished, but legal hurdles can sometimes limit access. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the steps grandparents can take to legally secure access to their grandchildren.

Key Points to Consider:

  • Legal Context: Grandparents in Ireland don’t have inherent legal rights to see their grandchildren. Parents can deny access for various reasons.
  • Acknowledgement by Law: The law understands the value of maintaining grandparent-grandchild bonds. Legal routes exist for grandparents to request access or custody.

Step-by-Step Guide to Seeking Access:

  1. Begin with Dialogue:
    • Initiate a conversation with the child’s parents or guardians.
    • Express your intentions to maintain a bond with your grandchildren.
  2. Explore Family Mediation:
    • If direct talks fail, consider family mediation.
    • Engage a professional mediator to facilitate discussions and find a mutually agreeable solution.
  3. Filing for Access:
    • If mediation doesn’t work, prepare to legally request access.
    • Use Form 58.19 from the Courts Service of Ireland for the application.
  4. Completing the Application:
    • Fill out Form 58.19 with all necessary details about yourself and the grandchildren.
    • Be thorough and clear in your reasoning for seeking access.
  5. Submitting the Application:
    • Take your completed form to the local District Court.
    • Check for any filing fees required.
  6. Notifying the Other Party:
    • Once filed, legally notify the child’s parents or guardians of your application.
    • Include a copy of the application and court date information.
  7. Attending Court:
    • Be present at the court hearing, ready to discuss your case.
    • Bring any relevant evidence or documents.
  8. Court’s Decision-making Process:
    • The court will consider various factors, prioritizing the child’s best interests.
    • Factors include your relationship with the child, potential impact on the child, and the child’s wishes.
  9. Seek Legal Advice:
    • It’s advisable to get legal representation from a solicitor experienced in family law.
    • A solicitor can guide and represent you during proceedings.
  10. Option to Appeal:
  • If the court decision is not favorable, consider appealing.
  • Discuss the feasibility of an appeal with your solicitor.

Note: In contentious cases, solicitors may not base their fees on a percentage of any award or settlement.


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