Often grandparents can play a significant role in the upbringing of their grandchildren. It can be difficult for grandparents when upon the breakdown of their child’s relationship they become alienated from their grandchildren.
In England and Wales, Grandparents do not have any legal right to see their grandchildren. It is the parents who get to choose who their children and when. We would always advise that grandparents try their best to reach an arrangement with the parents about spending time with their grandchildren.
If Grandparents cannot reach an agreement with the parents on seeing their grandchildren then they may have to consider making an application to the court. Only people with parental responsibility can apply to the court therefore grandparents would need to seek permission to apply to the court for an order. The court decides whether the grandparent has permission to continue with their application for contact.
The court would need to consider the relationship the grandparent has with the child, if the contact would be in anyway detrimental to the child and also whether contact with the grandparents would have a negative impact on other family members. The court considers all the circumstances of the case and will only make an order if it is better for the child than making no order at all.
If the child still has a relationship with both parents, and as long as the grandparents are not estranged from the parents then the court may not see a court order as necessary, as the court would expect the child to spend time with the grandparent within the time the child is with that parent.
If you would like advice on contact with your grandchildren then get in touch with our Family Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01243790532.