Posted by Katherine Lauder, Partner
What are my rights as a grandparent?
I often get asked about parents’ rights when it comes to seeing their children following the breakdown of a relationship, but I also get a number of grandparents seeking advice on seeing their grandchildren, if one of their parents is making it difficult for them to do so.
Often, the first question is: ‘Can I ask the court for help to see my grandchildren?’
The simple answer is yes. However, when dealing with any family situation care should be taken to make sure you are taking a sensible approach.
Emotions run high during the breakdown of a relationship and speaking to an experienced family lawyer can assist in reaching a resolution quickly and amicably.
Before anyone asks for the court’s help to resolve issues involving children (unless it is
an emergency situation) you should try and engage the other party in mediation.
If that is not successful then you may need to consider asking the court for permission to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order for contact. As you are not the child’s natural parent, you do not have an absolute right to make the application.
Instead the court has to consider whether you have an arguable case for such an order.
The court must always put the child’s welfare first. If the court feels that that child’s welfare will be improved by ordering contact with a particular person it will do so, if practicalities permit. Child Arrangement Orders for contact with grandparents are not uncommon.
Grandparents, like parents, are eligible for free 30 minute initial appointments with one of
our family law specialists.
For advice on any issue involving children, divorce or mediation services, please contact the team on
0800 923 2074 Email us
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