Unfortunately when parents separate often grandparents are prevented from seeing their grandchildren. They have no automatic legal rights in respect of their grandchildren. However, there are steps that grandparents can take to keep in contact with their grandchildren.
If it is not possible to resolve issues directly with the parents or the parent who is preventing the grandparent seeing the children then the first step should be to refer the issue to a family mediator. The independent mediator will try and assist families to reach an agreement. However, if mediation is not suitable because of hostility between the parties then an application will have to be made to the court.
A grandparent cannot make an application for a child arrangements order without seeking leave of the court. In considering whether to grant the grandparent leave the court will take into account the following:
- The nature of the application;
- Your connection with the child;
- Any risk there might be of the proposed application disrupting the life of the child to such an extent that they would be harmed by it.
If you are a grandparent seeking contact with your grandchildren, contact us. We can provide you with initial advice, guide you through the mediation process and, if necessary, represent you in any Court proceedings.