Can grandparents be legally entitled to visit their grandchildren?

It is often said that grandparents act as role models to their grandchildren, teaching them how to love unconditionally, to respect their elders and to care for others selflessly. It cannot be denied that grandparents play an active and influential role in their upbringing.

However, not every child is fortunate enough to spend time with their grandparents. There is a huge disparity between those grandparents who frequently see and look after their grandchildren and those who hardly get the chance to watch them grow up. There are even cases where grandparents are not even aware they even have grandchildren, due to lack of contact with their own children.

In such circumstances, is there any legal protection grandparents can seek to see their grandchildren on a regular basis? In Spain, there is. In fact, Law 42/2003 recognises the visitation rights of grandparents to their grandchildren. This legislation compels the judge to listen to the grandparents in cases of separation of the child’s parents, thus granting them priority to custody of the child over other close relatives and institutions. This legislation recognises the importance of a child having a stable, happy, and close-knit family unit around them.

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