With ever changing family structures, grandparents are frequently playing a significant role in their grandchildren’s lives. Many parents now rely upon grandparents to provide essential childcare or even accommodation for their grandchildren.
Being denied a relationship with your grandchildren is understandably very distressing, not only for the grandparent but also for the children. It is very difficult for a child to understand why a previously close member of their family is suddenly no longer a regular part of their lives.
In the event that you are denied contact with your grandchildren there are steps that you can take to try to find a solution.
Initially we recommend that you try to resolve matters in an amicable way. This may be through a specialist Solicitor, or with the help of a trained mediator or collaborative lawyer.
If these methods prove unsuccessful then you may need to consider making an application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order. This is a formal Court Order which sets out the times that the children must be made available to spend time with another person, such as a grandparent.
Grandparents do not have an automatic right to apply for a Child Arrangements Order so you will firstly need to seek permission from the Court. The Court will only deny permission if there is a significant issue which would mean that the application is not in the child’s best interest, such as criminal convictions or a history of abuse by the person applying.
If you are struggling to make arrangements to see your grandchildren then it is important that you seek legal advice so that you can consider your options.
There are several organisations that are able to offer support and practical advice such as Grandparents Plus (www.grandparentsplus.org.uk) who are a national charity dedicated to Grandparents and their role in the care and development of grandchildren and GranPart (www.granpart.co.uk) who offer support groups for grandparents who are separated from their grandchildren due to family dispute.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article please telephone our family team on 0116 2473500.
The information on this site about legal matters is provided as a general guide only. Although we try to ensure that all of the information on this site is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed. The information on this site should not be relied upon or construed as constituting legal advice and Howes Percival LLP disclaims liability in relation to its use. You should seek appropriate legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.