Grandparents Rights – What Are They?

Rebecca Higgins Blog

Sadly, grandparents can often be the victims following divorce and separation, as it can lead to difficulty maintaining their relationship with their grandchildren.

It is important to try and ensure that children’s relationships with their grandparents are not negatively impacted due to their parent’s divorce / separation. Unfortunately however, dependent on the circumstances, this can happen.

What can you do if contact is stopped?

Grandparents do not have an automatic right to see their grandchildren. If contact is stopped, you should try and resolve matters between you – if possible. This can be difficult if there is conflict between parties or parents.

Another option is to try mediation – so long as the parent(s) will agree. Mediation can be extremely useful in allowing parties to have open discussions and come to agreement. At Barnes Clark Family Law, we offer a mediation service. Mediation is designed to assist parties, allowing them to re-build and strengthen their relationship as parents/grandparents even though their relationship has broken down. We work with you to help you make important decisions for your family and in particular, the children in your family.

If mediation is not successful or not an option, the other route available to grandparents to try and ensure that contact is resumed, is to make an application to Court. The Court will however have to initially grant permission for the application to proceed.

If permission is granted, the case will proceed and a Judge will consider a number of issues, when determining if contact should take place – much the same as takes place when parents make applications. A judge will consider the welfare of the children as paramount in making any decisions and will refer to what is known as the ‘welfare checklist’ – found at s1(3) Children Act 1989. Agreements can be reached between parties whilst in court proceedings, but if not, ultimately the Court will determine if/when contact should take place.

At Barnes Clark Family Law, we specialise in all aspects of private family law, including arrangements for children. If you are alienated from your grandchildren, we can provide you with up to date advice and assist you with any next steps.

For further information, or to arrange an appointment please contact us on 01274 861096 (Liversedge) or 01423 637272 (Harrogate) or email enquiries@barnesclarkfamily.law. Please note that we offer a free half an hour consultation.