The family courts recognise the invaluable role that grandparents play in their grandchildren’s lives. If you are having problems in seeing your grandchildren, this can be very distressing. Our experienced family solicitors can help you understand what legal rights you have and how you can take steps to see your grandchildren.
Do grandparents have legal rights to see their grandchildren?
Whilst there is a presumption that a child should spend time with a parent unless there are reasons to the contrary this same presumption does not apply to grandparents. The courts do however recognise the importance of children having a relationship with extended family members.
As a first step, we may refer you to mediation to reach an agreement out of court. This is where a professional mediator will speak to you and other parties involved and try to come to a mutual arrangement where both parties are content.
Mediation is usually the best way to resolve these issues as court orders and processes can be expensive and distressing. Our family team will strive to support you throughout the process and advise you on the right decisions for you and your family.
Permission from the courts
Where mediation is unsuccessful, grandparents can apply for permission from the court to apply for contact with their grandchildren. In most cases, permission is granted, and the grandparent can then apply for a child arrangement order to see their grandchild.
A child arrangements order can stipulate how much contact a grandparent is to have with their grandchild or in some cases, whether a child is to live with their grandparents.
As for all court applications concerning children, the welfare of the child is of paramount importance.