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Grey Power On Shared Parenting Bill

Statement by Violet McCowatt, Grey Power social services spokesperson:

“I believe the Shared Parenting Bill being debated in Parliament this week offers hope to grandparents who are currently denied access to their grandchildren. Many grandparents are missing out on being part of their grandchildren’s lives because of the present custody law.

“We at Grey Power are aware of the problems facing many grandparents. If the children’s parents have separated, and one parent is preventing the other from getting access, that means one set of grandparents misses out on the children’s life too. There is very little they can do about it. They can take the custodial parent to court for access, but not many have the money to do that, and in any chances for success are very slim. Generally, all they can realistically do is wait until the children get older and make up their own minds about who they want to see. But in the meantime, the children are growing up without them.

“Given that the number of children living with only one parent is growing rapidly, the number of grandparents who have been cut out of their grandchildren’s lives is also significant.

“I hope Parliamentarians will think of the wider family context of this social problem when they vote on the Bill on Wednesday.”

-Violet McCowatt, Grey Power Social Services Spokesperson, 09 2962796

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