Parents Coalition of British Columbia


There is truth to the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Fostering healthy relationships with grandparents and other extended family members is important to a child's sense of well-being and their place in this world. They can provide stability, support, wisdom and experience with the children.

When a relationship between parents breaks down, sometimes this important bond between children and their grandparents suffers as well. Particularly in cases where there are custody disputes between the parents or when one parent remarries, grandparents can find themselves denied access to see or communicate with their grandchildren. In other situations, grandparents may get involved in gaining custody of the grandchildren themselves.

Grandparents' Rights in BC

The following information is general in nature and does not serve as legal advice.

Normally grandparents may get involved in legal suits regarding their grandchildren when they are denied access to the grandchildren, they feel the need to be involved with the supervision of the parenting of the grandchildren, or they want custody of the grandchildren. Such cases fall under two laws, the Divorce Act if the parents are in legal proceedings regarding the children, or the Family Relations Act if they are not.

The biggest challenge facing grandparents in such legal situations is that the courts give paramount consideration to the custodial parents and their determination of what is in the best interest of their children. Under BC laws, grandparents do not automatically have a right of access to children under either the Divorce Act or the Family Relations Act. However, they can certainly approach the court for an order that would give them access to their grandchildren. In cases for custody, grandparents must have strong evidence that shows that the children are suffering in the care of the parents.

You can approach your local Court House, Duty Council or Family Justice Centre for assistance with application forms.

Though it may be challenging, do not lose hope, as there are many cases of grandparental rights of access and custody granted.

You Are Not Alone!

The PCBC offers workshops on the rights of grandparents as well as regular group support meetings. The intention of the support groups is to provide a forum for grandparents to share their experiences with each other, help each other with solutions and networking contacts for professional advice.

Please watch our Meetings and Events page for announcements of details for locations, dates and times of the upcoming workshops and meetings. If you would like to be added to our wait list, please contact the Coordinator at or 604-415-4780. Then we will contact you when a session is scheduled in your area.

Peer Support Group Volunteer Facilitators

PCBC is grateful for the help of volunteers to conduct and expand our programs. If you are able to help facilitate a support group for grandparents in your area, please contact the PCBC Coordinator at or 604- 415-4780. Thank you.

Resource Links

JP Boyd's BC Family Law Resource

BC Ministry of Attorney General

Locating a Family Justice Centre in your area

“The Child's Right to Love” & The People's Law School

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Bill C-422
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