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Grandparents Contact with Grandchildren. Where Do They Stand?

Many grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives. It can often come as quite a shock that as a result of a relationship breakdown, they are prevented from spending time with their grandchildren. Many grandparents wish to ensure that they remain an active part of their grandchildren’s lives and many would have formed close bonds throughout their grandchildren’s lives.

Fortunately, the courts do recognise and will promote the role of a grandparent. They can therefore make their own application for a child arrangements order, which can set out when they are to spend time with their grandchildren and any other forms of communication such as telephone and skype contact. However, there are additional steps that need to be taken before making their application. They first need to seek permission from the court to make their application, and as usual, they will be required to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) in order to see whether the relationship with the parents of the children can be restored.

The number of grandparents taking court action has increased, although making a court application should be a last resort. A carefully worded letter from a solicitor putting across why it is important for a grandparent to have contact with their grandchildren may be all that is needed. With an increasing number of grandparents taking on such care roles of children in every day family life, the numbers of clients of this kind are likely to increase.

It should be noted that any decision made by a court as to the arrangements for a child to see their grandparents will always be made based on what is in the child’s best interests.

If you would like more information, speak to our Family Law Solicitor, Louisa Gothard on 020 7998 7777 or email her at louisa.gothard@bloomsbury-law.com.

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