Grandparents' Rights

Losing contact with your grandchildren can be devastating, but there are many steps you can take to try to resolve the problem, including applying to court. Whichever path you take, getting the right legal advice can make the process so much easier.

At Tanners Solicitors, our friendly Family Law team can provide bespoke advice about your legal options for achieving contact with your grandchildren.

Grandparents do not typically have an automatic right to see their grandchildren. However, nowadays the courts recognise that a relationship with grandparents can be essential for the child’s welfare. Where a grandparent has lost contact with their grandchild – either through circumstance (e.g. if the parents have separated and moved far away) or because the parents are refusing contact – the court may be prepared to order that contact takes place.

We help grandparents find the simplest and most effective solution to their problems. We understand that taking legal action against your own child and their partner or former partner may be upsetting. But court is always the last option and in many cases we are able to avoid it altogether.

Using our strong Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) skills, we have helped many families come to amicable agreements, allowing grandparents to spend meaningful time with their grandchildren without conflict.

We regularly advise people throughout the Cotswolds, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. We also regularly advise people who live further afield – London or elsewhere in the UK – often where the children concerned live in or around the Cotswolds.

So, to speak to one of our expert grandparents’ rights solicitors in Cirencester, contact us in one of the following ways:

How we help grandparents see their grandchildren

Out-of-court resolution

In many cases, informal negotiation is the right way to sort out the issues at hand. We understand that having your grandchildren kept from you can be upsetting and infuriating. Our goal is to help you find a positive solution in a way which places the least amount of stress on you and your grandchildren.

We can provide advice about using family mediation and collaborative law which both tend to be child-friendly and more cost-effective than going to court.

Our Family team includes Chambers & Partners recommended family lawyer, Elizabeth Saunders, who is a trained Collaborative Lawyer and a member of Resolution.

Our team also includes David Milburn, a family solicitor with over 20 years’ experience helping families find positive out-of-court agreements.

Going to the family court

We appreciate that sometimes it is just not possible to sit everyone down in a room to calmly sort through the issues.

If you have tried out-of-court negotiation with your grandchild’s parent(s), the parents have refused to engage altogether, or it would be inappropriate to go through ADR (for example, because of domestic violence issues), we can provide advice about going to court for a Child Arrangements Order.

A Child Arrangements Order records who a child should live with and how much time they should spend with certain people, including grandparents.

However, as grandparents do not usually have parental responsibility (the rights and duties in relation to children), you will likely need the court’s permission before you can apply for a Child Arrangements Order. Provided that you have a meaningful relationship with the Grandchild of Grandchildren the Court will, more often than not, grant such permission (also known as ‘leave’).

You may also need to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Our friendly team will explain the process in plain language so you know exactly what to expect and can make an informed decision about how to move forwards.

Do grandparents have a right to see their grandchildren?

There is no automatic right but grandparents can apply to the court, if necessary, although the court’s permission is required.

How do I get the court’s permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order?

You can ask for permission at the same time as applying to see a grandchild. The factors a court takes into account are as follows:

  • The nature of the application;
  • The applicant’s connection with the child;
  • Any risk that the application might disrupt the child’s life and be harmed by it.

The court will only make an Order if it thinks it will be in the best interests of the child. Often, a relationship with grandparents is beneficial, however, every case is different. We can provide specialist advice, tailored to suit your individual circumstances.

Speak to our grandparents’ rights solicitors in Cirencester today

So, to speak to one of our expert grandparents’ rights solicitors in Cirencester, contact us in one of the following ways: