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Should Access Rights to Children Include Grandparents?

The Court of Justice of the European Union has recently been asked to consider whether rights of access to children should also sometimes include grandparents. 

The case in question concerns a Belgian grandmother who was trying to gain access to her grandson, who lived in Greece with his Greek national father. She had not met with any success in her dealings with the Greek authorities and so applied to the Belgian courts for access rights. She requested that she be able to see her grandson one weekend a month, and also have him to stay with her for several weeks during the holidays.

Her application and subsequent appeal were both dismissed by the Belgian courts on the grounds of jurisdiction. She then appealed to the Belgian court of last instance, which referred the case to the Court of Justice for a decision on whether the Brussels IIa Regulation applies to the rights of access of grandparents, as this was an important factor in determining which country’s courts had jurisdiction.

An Advocate General of the Court has now given an Opinion on the matter. It is important to note however, that this Opinion is not binding on the Court of Justice. Advocate Generals present an independent legal solution to the case, which the Judges will take into consideration as part of their deliberations.

The Opinion put forward by Advocate General Maciej Szpunar has concluded that the concept of rights of access includes persons other than parents, since those persons have family ties to the child based on law or on fact. He therefore proposes that the Court of Justice rules that in matters of parental responsibility rights of access include the rights of access of grandparents.

The Judges of the Court are deliberating the case and will give their judgment at a later date. 

Child Contact Lawyers Aberdeen

Family Law Aberdeen are a trusted and friendly team of local lawyers who can assist you with all aspects of child contact and child residence. Contact us today to find out how we can help.


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