In cases of family breakdown, grandparents can play a strong, stabilising role- bringing security, safety and normality for children and also welcome respite for parents.

When a family is in turmoil, the relationship that grandparents have with their grandchildren is not always preserved. In such cases a solicitor is able to offer valuable assistance, recognising that this has come as a last resort.

Perhaps surprisingly, grandparents have no automatic legal rights, but still have the ability to bring court proceedings if they have been unable to arrange contact via more informal means.

Two stages need to be followed:-

  1. Applying to court for permission to bring an application. If this is successful, grandparents can progress to the second stage, which is:
  2. Making a full application to court; if the court agrees, it will make a Child Arrangements Order that provides for grandparents to enjoy contact.

Either parent can object to this application, but the court can still be persuaded in a hearing that allowing regular grandparents to enjoy regular contact is in the children’s best interests.

The court will have the best interests of the children at the heart of its approach, and will not order any steps to be taken that contradict this. The court may well grant the application but make certain stipulations within the order, such as contact building up slowly over time.

Each case is unique, and the court will recognise this. The individuality of cases is also something we recognise- our experienced solicitors will provide practical help if you are a grandparent looking for legal advice.

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