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Understanding Grandparents’ Rights to Access Grandchildren in Ireland

By November 14, 2023 No Comments

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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