What rights do grandparents have over their grandchildren?

If you are facing difficulties in maintaining regular contact with your grandchildren due to a complicated relationship with your child or spouse, it is important to know your legal rights in Spain. 

According to the Spanish Civil Code, grandparents have the right to request a visiting regime that allows them to see their grandchildren, even if the parents or guardians do not agree.

This right extends not only to grandparents, but also to other close relatives of the child, such as siblings or other relatives. Where the parents prevent contact between the grandparents and their grandchildren, the grandparents have the option of applying to the Courts of First Instance of the place where the children reside to formally request access.

In normal situations, the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is recognised as beneficial for both parties. According to recent data, approximately 75% of children who maintain a close relationship with their grandparents experience significant benefits in their emotional and social development.

Performances by grandparents to see their grandchildren

Visitation is established through a court judgment, which can be requested through a legal process that includes the following steps:

  1. Filing a complaint: A complaint should be filed detailing the reasons why contact with the children is being prevented and requesting a specific access regime.

  2. Legal aid: You need a lawyer and a solicitor to represent your case in court. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can apply for a court-appointed lawyer.

  3. Judicial evaluation: The judge will hear testimony from all parties involved, including parents, grandparents and other relevant witnesses.

  4. Judicial decision: The judge will decide whether to establish a visiting arrangements and on what terms. It is important to bear in mind that visits cannot interfere with parenting time if the parents already have a visiting arrangement in place.

The types of visits may vary according to the age of the child and the geographical distance between the grandparents and the children, and may be day visits or even overnight visits in some cases. In any instance, the main objective is to foster and protect the family relationship between grandparents and grandchildren for the benefit of the latter.

Si se enfrenta a esta situación, es aconsejable buscar asesoramiento jurídico para comprender plenamente sus opciones y derechos con arreglo a la legislación española.