One of the biggest fears for extended family after separation or divorce is that the grandparents’ ability to see children will be affected when previously they might have had a very close relationship.

We understand that children benefit from multiple attachments and grandparents can be an important protective factor for children through the process of separation.

As a grandparent, you do not have an automatic legal right to see your grandchild if a parent stops you seeing them. There may however be steps you can take. You can try to get help in seeing your grandchild through:

  • an informal, family-based arrangement with both parents
  • mediation 

If this does not work, you will need to apply to the court for an order allowing you to see your grandchild.  A court application by grandparents is very similar to that by a parent making an application for a court order. The main difference is that, unlike a parent, as a grandparent (or other close family member) you need the court's permission to make the application unless your grandchild has been living with you for at least three years.

Assuming the court allows your application to continue, the court will then decide whether or not you can spend time with your grandchild and, if so, what sort of contact would be in the grandchild's best interests.

Our lawyers have advised a wide range of family members, ensuring they receive the best legal advice and support available. We have: 

  • advised and represented grandparents and other close family members in court proceedings where the family were looking to spend time with the children following an acrimonious separation between the parents
  • advised grandparents who want to care for their grandchildren full-time, exploring with them the options available and working with them to secure their grandchildren's emotional and financial welfare
  • obtained parental responsibility orders for grandparents who are largely caring for their grandchildren full time

We also have experience in advising close family members on special guardianship orders and fostering. 

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