Grandparents need visitation rights in divorce: CDA

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Grandparents (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Steve Evans). (Grandparents (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Steve Evans))

The CDA wants grandparents to also get visitation rights with their grandchildren in a divorce, NOS reports. According to parliamentarians Peter Oskam and Mona Keijzer, there can be heartbreaking consequences if children can't have contact with their grandparents.

"Generally it can be said that itis also in the interest of grandchildren to have contact with their grandparents, among other things to learn more about their origin." the parliamentarians wrote in their initiative memorandum.

Currently grandparents first have to prove that they have a close personal relationship with a grandchild before qualifying for visitation rights. The CDA wants to remove this condition and include right to contact and information explicitly in the law. Visitation rights for grandparents can only be rejected if it is not in the interest of the child.

A majority in the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) is against the CDA's plan. The VVD and PvdA think that it is a sympathetic plan, but impractical. VVD parliamentarian Jeroen van Wijngaarden says that parents and grandparents mostly sort things out themselves, and you have to think carefully before "you turn the law upside down" for the exceptions. He points out that there are grandparents who haven't seen their grandchild in a decade and will now be forced to make contact because of the CDA's proposal.

PvdD parliamentarian Keklik Yucel agrees that the decision should be left up to the parents. "I think that parents are the first appointed responsible persons and I think that we should not make that circle bigger. That only brings more chaos and struggle with it and that is not good for the children."

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