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Grandparents Legal Rights in the UK

Statistics show that it is quite common on the breakup of a relationship for grandparents to lose or at least have their grandparental contact limited. If you are a grandparent, whilst you do not automatically have rights to start proceedings, you may be able to do so. Where possible, contact, alternative dispute resolution and gentle coaxing of the parents concerned plays an important role.

Child access rights for grandparents

A grandparent can seek the court’s permission to make a Child Arrangements Order. Most grandparents will be required, except in limited circumstances, to attend a mediation session prior to making any application so it is important preliminary attempts are made to attempt to agree some level of contact. There is then a procedure for joining formal court proceedings if mediation fails.

Going to court for child access

In the event you need to go to go to court for child access and the courts will look at a number of factors such as the level of involvement of a grandparent’s lives in those of their grandchildren, the nature of the application and the views of the parents. Only if this permission is granted, can you then move and have the court consider the appropriate level of access.
If you are successful in seeking permission the court can then move on to consider many of the same important factors such as those considered in any other contact application and particularly the wishes and feelings of your grandchildren and how capable you are of meeting their needs (see particularly our section on child access.

How we can help you

At Fletcher Day, our team of granparents rights lawyers in London have a combined knowledge of over 80 years of post-qualification experience covering a wide and extremely varied client base. We have an understanding of the courts up and down the country as well as disputes involving grandparents legal rights. We have a collection of reported cases, varied and specialised experience as well as a combined tenacious attitude to argue your case in the best and most effective way possible. We act for a wide range of individuals from our local City client base to all sorts of individuals based both here and internationally.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch on 020 7766 5260 , fill in our ‘How can we help’ form or get in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

My children used to rely heavily on me to help them with their childcare. Since they separated they have stopped doing so. Can I now make an application to get my grandchildren back?

Yes, you are in the classic situation when it would be appropriate to at least consider eliciting pressure on the parents so as to allow contact. You may wish to consider the sort of application outlined above.

Since I am not my grandchildren's parents, how can I get permission to start proceedings?

You are entitled to seek permission and the court applications and forms allow for this. You should seek advice as to how to do this and whether it is appropriate to your particular circumstances.

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