Can I get access to my grandchildren?

When parents separate and can’t agree the arrangements for their children, it can be difficult for grandparents to see their grandchildren.

MPs have called for grandparents to have the right to see their grandchildren following the separation of the children’s parents. This gives the impression that grandparents currently have no rights. This is not correct, although the situation could be improved.

Under the current law, grandparents (or other relatives) can apply to have contact with their grandchildren or apply for the children to live with them. However, unless the child has already lived with them for a year prior to the application, they do need permission from a judge, to pursue the application.

Permission is usually granted. If it can be shown that there is sufficient connection with the grandparents, the court will normally allow the application to proceed.

The court will consider whether making an order is in the child’s best interests, taking all of the circumstances into account. It is not so much the grandparents’ right to see the children, but the child’s right to see their grandparents. The court considers the application from the child’s perspective.

Grandparents who are being denied a relationship with their grandchildren should take legal advice before proceeding with an application to court. There are many options for resolving disputes without going to court but if a court application is required it is important that the case is presented in the best way possible to achieve the desired outcome.

Here at Harrogate Family Law we specialise in cases concerning children and are here to help.  Give is a call today on 01423 594680.

Carol Jessop is an experienced family lawyer specialising in finding practical solutions to resolve complex financial arrangements, protecting assets and obtaining emergency orders to provide personal protection or prevent the removal of children.

Carol has over 30 years’ experience in family law and is recognised by her clients and peers as highly knowledgeable and compassionate.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon.  If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing enquiries@harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk.