Worried You Won’t See the Grandkids This Christmas?17th October 2017

As the nights start to draw in and autumn turns to winter, many families will start to think and plan for Christmas and the family get togethers that are often so typical of the winter holiday period. However, for many grandparents, Christmas just serves as a reminder that they will not get to see or spoil their much loved grandchildren. The breakdown of a family unit is devastating enough for the couple and children involved but grandparents can also be the forgotten victims. Often having have experienced a close relationship with their grandchildren, they can at times find themselves caught in the cross fire following a relationship breakdown; trying to support their own son or daughter but also not wanting to alienate the other party and risk contact being stopped to their grandchildren.

In 2014, statistics shows that over 2,500 grandparents applied to the court for a child arrangement order so that they could have contact with their grandchildren. At present, grandparents do not have any automatic right of contact to their grandchildren but must make an application for permission from the court before they can apply for contact. The court will consider the connection between the grandparents and the child and the reason for making the application. Therefore, if grandparents find themselves cut off from their grandchildren, they should not delay in taking action to try and re-establish contact as delay would be prejudicial to any future court application. It may be possible to re-establish contact through mediation or the use of collaborative law which could avoid court proceedings.

At EMG solicitors, we understand how difficult and sensitive family disputes can be so please contact one of our solicitors who can assist you.