“There’s no-one quite like Grandma…..”
….so sang the St.Wilfred’s School Choir in 1980. Those children themselves may now be grandparents…. and grandparents can often be forgotten in their children’s relationship breakdown – the idea of not seeing their grandchildren is devastating, but many grandparents have successfully negotiated, either in or out of Court for the right to see them. I’m grateful to my colleague at Curwens Solicitors, Family Law expert, Vijaya Sumputh for her comments on this :
What can grandparents do?
If you’re a grandparent and face losing contact with your grandchildren, you should:
- approach the parents – explain that no matter what the problems are between them, you, as a grandparent, will not take sides because you only want to keep contact with your grandchildren – everyone will benefit.
- consider Mediation – an independent mediator will help to reach an agreement with the parents.
- try to diffuse the tension of the situation and explain why you feel contact is so important for your grandchildren.
- if all this fails, it is possible to make an application to the Court.
Grandparents need permission from the Court to make an application but who doesn’t ?
Only a small number of people :
- A parent
- Any party with whom the child has lived for at least 3 years;
- Any person with the consent of an individual named in the Child Arrangements Order as having residence of the child;
- The Local Authority, if the child is in care;
- Any person with consent of someone who has parental responsibility. Family Courts do recognize and will promote the invaluable role that grandparents have to play in their grandchildren’s life. If an Order is made, the Court’s powers to enforce such orders have recently been increased in such a way that makes it extremely difficult for parents to ignore them. It is therefore a very powerful way to ensure that grandparents can maintain a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with their grandchildren.
If you think what I have described fits your circumstances, give my colleague, Vijaya Sumputh, a call for an initial, no obligation chat on 0208 363 4444 or email her on vijaya.sumputh@