Your selected location:
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. HHG Articles
  4. /
  5. My Grandchild is at Risk and I want to Intervene – What Should I Do?
2 May 2016

It is becoming increasingly common for grandparents to play a major role in their grandchildren’s ongoing care and development. Accordingly, the Family Court places significant weight upon the benefit of a child having a meaningful relationship with their grandparents. 


Section 65C of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) says that grandparent can apply to the Family Court for orders in relation to their grandchild. Grandparents are specifically referred to in the legislation along with parents and any other person concerned with the care, welfare and development of a child. This therefore entitles a grandparent to apply to the Family Court for orders that the child live with or spend time with them.


Further, under the Family Law Act 1975, the best interests of a child are the paramount consideration when making parenting orders. In determining what is in a child’s best interests, there are two primary considerations:


The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and

The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.


In circumstances where there is evidence to suggest the child is at risk the Court will give greater weight to the need to protect a child from harm over and above the benefit of the child having a meaningful relationship with both parents.


There could any number of reasons why a grandparent may be concerned that their grandchild is at risk. Common scenarios include drug or alcohol use by one or both parents, mental health issues that impact temporarily on their parenting capacity, exposure of the child to family violence, or simply that a parent does not want to care for the children any longer.


If a child is at risk of harm in the care of his/her parents, and sufficient evidence can be provided, the Family Court may consider placing the child in the care of a grandparent until such time as the parent/s can show that they have the ability to care for the child. In the absence of evidence that it is safe for the child to return, the Court may consider that it is in the child’s best interests to live with his/her grandparents full time.


In determining whether it would be in the child’s best interests to live with their grandparents, whether on an interim or final basis, the Family Court will also take into account the nature of the child’s relationship with their grandparents and the role they have placed in the child’s care and development.


Normally parties to a Family Law matter must participate in Family Dispute Resolution prior to making an application to the Family Court. There are, however, exceptions to this in circumstances where there has been child abuse or family violence or where it would not be appropriate for the parties to attempt any kind of mediation.


If you are concerned that your grandchild is at risk of harm, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. You may need to take action immediately. If your concerns are genuine and well-founded, it could prejudice your case for you to do nothing.


Contact us and speak to our expert Family Law team if you would like advice about how best to protect your grandchild. 


This is only general information and does not constitute specific legal advice. The circumstances of each case are different. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact our office on Freecall 1800 609 945 or email us now.


*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"


My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"


"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."


"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"


"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."


"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."


"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."


"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."


"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."


"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."


"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve and Jane

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."


"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."


"I had a fantastic lawyer in Matthew Lilly. He helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Matthew"


"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."


"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."


"Good service you can count on."


"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."


"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Matthew."


"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Lawyer in Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."


Select your location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.