The following article analyses the rights that relatives have such as being in contact with their children and, specifically, the stays and communication regime between grandparents and their grandchildren. Grandparents, unless it is contrary to the grandchildren interests, have the right to be in contact with its grandchildren. This right is regulated in articles 94 and 160 of the Civil Code that stablishes the right of communications and stays between grandparents and grandchildren, this regime should be facilitated by parents and cannot be prevented without legitimate reasons. Likewise, it is regulated by article 236-4.2 of the Catalan Civil Code. This right is also applied to siblings and other closer people such as relatives. In an international level, the reference is in article 8.1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child or New York Convention.

Article 39 of Spanish Constitution stablishes that public authorities must promote the comprehensive protection of minors and the family and, for the judicial resolution about the stays and communications regime between grandparents and grandchildren, the Judge shall make a prudent and pondered judgement attending the particularities of the concrete case and it will be guided fundamentally by the best interests of the child.

The Spanish Supreme Court has set doctrine on this issue and in its judgements -as the one of 20th February 2015- establishes that the relationship between grandchildren and grandparents is enriching and both have the legitimate right to have a close personal contact due to their special kinship, since they are directly linked and the relationship is of great affection. What is more, grandparents perform a fundamental cohesion paper and transmit the values of the family. Therefore, it is not possible to impede or restrict the grandchildren right to be in contact with its grandparents just because the lack of understanding between them and the parents. The lack of understanding is not a just cause to prevent the relationship between grandchildren and grandparents, unless there is conclusive evidence of the harm to minors that would result from it.

Susana Rodríguez

Author Susana Rodríguez

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