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Grandparents’ rights

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Our family law experts

Alison Gosling
Paralegal
Farhad Islam
Partner
Jenny Powell
Legal Assistant
Stuart Tyler
Solicitor
Grandparents may be a crucial part of a child’s life, but unfortunately, wider family issues can sometimes cause legal problems.

Surprisingly grandparents do not have an automatic legal right to have contact with their grandchildren. In some situations, they may need to seek legal support.

Our expert solicitors at Gepp have supported many clients with grandparent’s rights issues. Whether you need help to access your grandchildren during a messy divorce or you need to take custody of them on a more permanent basis, we can help.

We appreciate that the idea of not being able to see your grandchildren can be extremely upsetting, and are here to offer empathetic and robust legal support when you need it.

We are able to assist grandparents across many legal areas, such as:

  • General legal advice on grandparents’ rights
  • Mediation sessions with your child and or their partner
  • Applying for a Court Order to regain contact with your grandchildren
  • Special Guardianship Orders
  • Adoption Orders
  • Kinship foster care

Consult our family law solicitors

For swift, expert advice on grandparents’ legal rights, please contact our family law solicitors in Chelmsford.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our simple online enquiry form.

Our grandparents’ rights expertise

Legal advice for grandparents

If you need assistance in accessing your legal rights as a grandparent, our solicitors can support you with tailor-made advice.

Staying in contact with your grandchildren isn’t always straightforward, for example, if there is conflict in the family or if your child is going through a complicated divorce.

No matter what your situation is, our solicitors can support you with sympathetic legal advice. We will start by assessing your situation and then will review our best legal route to support you.

Mediation services

If your child or their partner is attempting to prevent you from seeing your grandchild, we may be able to support you with mediation services.

Mediation is a legal process used to support parties to discuss their viewpoints, potentially resolving their issues and coming to an agreement. Where families are in disagreement, legal intervention can be useful to regain contact with grandchildren.

It may also be helpful to negotiate with parents who are struggling to look after their own children.

Not all circumstances will be suitable for mediation, so it is necessary to attend a mediation assessment meeting before being approved for these legal services.

Obtaining a child arrangement order

Where grandparents have attempted mediation, and this has been unsuccessful, you may need to obtain a Court order to gain access to your grandchildren. For instance, you might apply for a child arrangement order.

Our solicitors can support you in assessing your case, making an application, and preparing for Court proceedings. We can represent you and guide you towards the most favourable outcome possible.

It is up to the Court to determine if a grandparent can see their grandchild, and if so, which type of communications are permitted, and how frequently. The Court will always put the best interests of the child first when making these choices.

Adopting your grandchild

If your grandchild’s parents cannot look after them, for whatever reason, you may wish to explore the option of adopting your grandchild.

We have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the adoption application stages quickly and with as little stress as possible. We appreciate that you may be adopting your grandchild under difficult circumstances and are here to provide sensitive legal support to see you through.

Special Guardianship Order

For some grandparents, regular contact with their grandchildren may suffice. Others may be in a position where they need to acquire permanent custody. It could be that the child’s own parents can’t bring them up or have lost some parental access.

If you are in this predicament, our family law solicitors can help you to obtain a special guardianship order. These orders can support you to gain parental responsibility for your grandchild, and you will become their legal guardian until they are 18 years old.

Our solicitors can offer compassionate and practical guidance to walk you through the associated processes.

Kinship foster care

Kinship foster care refers to a situation where a child can no longer live with their birth parents and so is looked after by other members of the family.

Kinship care is not always formalised by a legal arrangement (depending on the circumstances). The arrangements may be made informally, for example, through a verbal agreement between the parents and the grandparents. Regardless, it is best to pursue legal advice if you will be taking care of your grandchild on a more permanent basis.

Grandparents’ rights FAQs

What rights do grandparents have?

Grandparents have no immediate legal right to access their grandchildren. Regardless, the Court will usually grant grandparents permission to see their grandchildren. If you need to gain access to your grandchildren, it is best to contact a family solicitor.

What does a Court consider when granting grandparent’s access rights?

If a grandparent has applied for a child arrangement order, the court will make the following assessments:

  • Why the grandparent has decided to apply to obtain a child arrangement order
  • The relationship between the two family members
  • If the child arrangement order might cause any disruption to the grandchild’s life
Can grandparents apply to access their grandchildren?

Yes, if grandparents are being prevented from seeing their grandchildren, they can apply to have legalised contact with them.

One option to gain regular contact is to ask the Courts permission to apply for a child arrangement order. Once the Court has granted permission, the grandparents will be able to complete the relevant application forms and go through the Court proceedings to gain the right to see their grandchildren.

How do you enforce your rights as a grandparent?

Grandparents can enforce their rights as a grandparent by applying to the Court and asking the Court to grant them permission to see their grandchildren. The Court will be able to grant an order that decides if, when and how they will have contact with them.

If the child’s own parents are not in a position to look after the child, the grandparents may need to apply for more permanent access rights, using routes such as:

  • Special guardianship order
  • Adoption order
  • Kinship foster care
What to do if your child stops you from seeing your grandchild?

If your child prevents you from seeing your grandchild, this can, of course, be an extremely upsetting experience. Grandparents do not have automatic legal rights to see their grandchildren; therefore, you may be feeling confused about your options.

The good news is, with the support of a solicitor, you should be able to negotiate using mediation or obtain a Court order to see your grandchildren. The Court will usually grant grandparents access rights unless doing is not in the child’s best interests.

Consult our family law solicitors

For swift, expert advice on grandparents’ legal rights, please contact our family law solicitors in Chelmsford.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our simple online enquiry form.

Call us
Main number: 01245 228106

Email us
Main email: family@gepp.co.uk

With Gepp Solicitors you’ll be in experienced hands. We’ll work hard to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.

With Gepp Solicitors you’ll be in experienced hands. We’ll work hard to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Our Family Law experts

Alison Gosling
Paralegal
Farhad Islam
Partner
Jenny Powell
Legal Assistant
Stuart Tyler
Solicitor
Alison Gosling
Paralegal
Farhad Islam
Partner
Jenny Powell
Legal Assistant
Stuart Tyler
Solicitor

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If you want to find out more about the services we can offer you, please feel free to get in touch.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about the services we can offer you, please feel free to get in touch.