Contact Order for Grandparents

A Contact Order for grandparents is discretionary and not an automatic guarantee. As a grandparent, you play an increasingly important role in modern family life but unfortunately when the family unit breaks up. The sad reality is that parental separation has a large effect on your relationship with your grandchildren

Children benefit from maintaining contact with their grandparents and it is important for them to know, that it is not their fault if contact stops. It is also important to ensure that they know that they are loved and missed.

Contact order for grandparents – do you have a right to see your grandchildren?

Grandparents only have the right to ask for visitation. They do not have a guaranteed right to visit and see their grandchildren. Being denied access to your grandchildren can be hurtful and upsetting but unfortunately grandparents are not automatically entitled to any rights to their grandchildren. Family courts do however recognise the invaluable role that grandparents have to play in their grandchildren’s lives and the court can assist in gaining access to grandchildren via a ‘contact order for grandparents’.

So where do you go to find out what your grandparents rights are in the UK?

Why not try contacting a family lawyer or asking for advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, both will help and assist you in resolving any issues and coming to an agreement to keep contact with your grandchildren.

Resolving conflicts to help promote your grandparents rights UK for contact?

If you are denied access to your grandchildren due to any bad feeling between you and the parent(s) then healing rifts is a good step forward.  Try not to take sides and aim to resolve any conflicts and instead form a positive relationship with the parents.  This is a good way to build a good ground on which to progress.

Sometimes it might be the case that the first attempt is unsuccessful, in which case maybe step back and give the parents some space and let them know you are available to speak when they are ready.  If you feel that too much time has passed and you are still not spending time with your grandchildren then sometimes it can be helpful for an outsider who can offer an objective point of view which cannot usually be achieved by those who are close in the situation.

Application to the Court for contact order for grandparents

Parents have the right to go to court to see their children, however this is not the case with grandparents rights in the uk. Unfortunately conflicts are not always easily resolved and

grandparents will have to apply to for court permission before applying for a contact order for grandparents.

If permission is granted for the contact order for grandparents, it is advised that you speak with a lawyer for grandparents rights who will be able to advise and assist you further. If the court then decide that it is in the child’s best interest, they may grant a contact order for grandparents.

The courts will consider the following:

  • The applicant’s connection with the child.
  • The nature of the application for contact.
  • Whether the application might be potentially harmful to the child’s well-being in any way.

Contact order for Grandparents in the UK where Parents who are divorced or separated?

The invaluable role of grandparents is often overlooked by the emotional tensions of a divorce or parents separating. When your child is going through a divorce or separation, it can be hard to know how to stay involved, support your child and ensure  that you are giving the separating couple enough space to resolve their issues.

You could offer to look after the children more to give both the children and the couple some space and spend some valuable time with the children. This would be particularly beneficial for the children if the parents are unable to immediately separate and are having to live in a hostile environment.

If you find that the break up is having an impact on your relationship with your grandchildren discuss this diplomatically with the parents, listen to what they have to say. You have a special relationship with your grandchildren that is equally special to them too. Be clear that you want to support your grandchildren and continue to see them. Tell them how important it is to you that you continue to have a good relationship with them.

Immediate contact order for grandparents: Do Extreme Circumstances apply to you?

For some families the reasons for disagreements and bad feelings are well founded.  There can be abuse issues, illnesses etc. which can cause family members to distance themselves from each other, which in turn can stop access to grandchildren.

Children deserve the right to be brought up in a safe, happy and loving home.  While Grandparents have no legal right under normal circumstances if the child’s safety is deemed to be at risk then Grandparents can take steps to intervene, therefore contacting lawyers for grandparents rights will offer you help and advice.

In some circumstances the court may warrant placing the Grandchildren with the Grandparents, these might include:

  • Parents are deemed unfit to care for the Children
  • Parents wish for the Grandparents to have custody of the Children
  • Neglect/abuse at home
  • Drug and or Alcohol abuse in the home
  • Mental illness

If the Court does not warrant custody to Grandparents then you can apply for a contact order, however the following will be considered:

  • Your connection with the child
  • Nature of your application for contact
  • Whether the application is beneficial

It will always be the child’s wellbeing which is taken in account when coming to a decision and focusing on what is best for them.

Grandparent Custody when the only Parent is incarcerated or Deceased

In cases where the child’s only parent is Incarcerated or Deceased the child might be placed in foster care, however, the Grandparent can apply for Custody. You  can take steps to take temporary or full legal custody and in some cases you can apply to become foster parents in which case the court will assess all of the circumstances and will base custody on the best interest and wellbeing of the Child taking into account grandparents rights in the UK.

Lawyers for grandparents rights

If you’ve been denied contact or you’re worried about losing contact with your grandchildren, you can contact our family lawyers in Hammersmith, York, Manchester or London on 0330 053 7117.

We are here to offer help and advice to explore options in reengaging contact with your treasured grandchildren.

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