Grandparents’ rights gets a boost

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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Government introduces changes to Maintenance and Custody Act

HALIFAX - A long-standing campaign by Pauline Glenn to enhance grandparents' rights during custody disputes got a boost from the new Liberal government on Monday.

Grandparents Rights Association president Pauline Glenn was one of about 15 grandparents who protested Thursday near NDP MLA Lenore Zann's office in Truro to lobby support for grandparents' rights to see their grandchildren after family breakups. There is no legislation allowing visitation rights without consent of the child's parent. Matt Veno - Truro Daily News

Sometimes grandparents need the court's help to see their grandchildren, especially when parents separate or divorce. Amendments to the Maintenance and Custody Act will remove a step for grandparents seeking access, and add more considerations to determine the best interests of the child.

"Grandparents often play a key role in children's lives," said Justice Minister Lena Diab in a press release. "They can provide love and stability, which is especially important for children going through difficult situations such as family separations.

"These changes stress the importance of grandparents and provide them with direct access to the court when needed to stay involved in their grandchildren's lives."

Currently, grandparents seeking access have to ask the court's permission for standing before they can proceed to a hearing. The amendments remove this initial step, so courts will proceed directly to considering the grandparents' request for contact.

"These are changes we have requested for a very long time," said Wallace resident Pauline Glenn, president of the Grandparents' Rights for Nova Scotia Association. "We have so much to offer our grandchildren and their parents, and we want to play an important role in their lives."

Other clauses in the amendments ensure that when grandparents apply for access, the courts will consider including contact with grandparents as a factor to determine what is in the best interests of a child.

Glenn’s association has waged a long battle to improve grandparents’ access to their grandchildren.

The NDP government voted against a Conservative-sponsored bill in 2010 to enhance grandparents’ rights.

In 2009, her organization presented a petition with 7,377 signatures calling for legislation to give grandparents stronger rights.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Association

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  • Cindy Rivera
    April 08, 2014 - 21:53

    I wonder how far this will really go. I got a court order to have my grandson every other weekend, and rotate holidays. The judge who gave me the court order. Has resign due cancer. The new judge said I being peddie when I took my ex-daughter on law to court for not allowing me the order. My difference is my son pass away. Now she is send him to a private boarding school out of state to live. The other judge told her she could not take the child out of the state with out the courts permission. This new judge said I need to remember that I am grandma not his mom. SO I TRULY BELIEVE. That no matter what the Judge has the final say. Thank you Cindy

  • jane logan
    April 08, 2014 - 19:28

    need help to get acess to my grandson had it for 3 years now mother has new man and refusing access i am heartbroken please help