When we talk about divorce, most of our attention is usually focused on measures related to parent-child relationships, but in the context of a family rupture, it is also essential for lawyers specializing in family law to consider the grandparents’ role. How can it be guaranteed, in case of conflict, that they have the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren?
The Spanish Civil Code (applicable in autonomous regions where there is no specific regional regulation) establishes the possibility of judges determining rights of communication and visitation between grandparents and grandchildren, which must be done after a hearing with the parents and grandparents, who must give their consent. Therefore, it can be said that in Spain, the door is open to introducing a visitation schedule for grandparents and grandchildren, in the same way that parent-child visits are regulated.
With this legal framework, several decisions have been issued in Spain that have established visitation schedules for grandparents that are similar to those for parents, although other decisions have denied them. The Supreme Court has failed in this regard, according to case law. In short, unlike what happens with parents, for whom the establishment of a visitation schedule is considered to be an essential part of any amicable or contested divorce, grandparents may be forced to go to court if they want to establish a visitation schedule, and the court decision will depend on the judge’s assessment of the child’s best interests and the existing emotional ties in each specific case. Yet what cannot be denied is that at present, Spanish law has reinforced grandparents’ role in the family with respect to their grandchildren. The Civil Code states that personal relationships between a child and their siblings, grandparents and other relatives and close friends may not be prevented without just cause, as well as specifying the obligation to facilitate such contact without violating any measure suspending or restricting relations with one of the parents.
When confronting the complexity of such situations, it is ideal to turn to lawyers specializing in family law who are thoroughly familiar with the legal framework related to these kinds of cases. At ICN LEGAL, we’re prepared to give you personal, qualified advice if your relationship with your grandchildren is being hindered or threatened.