Grandparent’s rights

Ensuring everyone’s best interests are taken into account

A sensitive but practical approach

Grandparents are increasingly playing a greater role in the care of their grandchildren as parents juggle the demands of busy home lives and professional commitments which is why understanding grandparents’ rights is more important than ever. In a relationship break down, the repercussions for a grandparent can be profound. This situation and the loss of such intimate connections can impact upon a child’s emotional welfare and be detrimental to their overall wellbeing.

It is important to obtain advice at an early stage to ensure the relationships and existing arrangements are maintained.

What are grandparent’s rights?

Under normal circumstances, grandparents have no automatic legal right to contact with their grandchildren. However, it is often possible to agree contact with your grandchildren’s parents or to apply for a court order giving you access to your grandchildren where an agreement cannot be reached.

If you are a grandparent and you have not been allowed to see your grandchildren, you may want to discuss your legal options. Although the legislation makes no specific reference to grandparents, the Courts do recognise the important role that they play in a child’s life.

Agreeing access to your grandchildren

Wherever possible, we always recommend trying to make an agreement with your grandchildren’s parents for contact with your grandchildren. We can assist you in discussing these issues as well as offering our services as mediators where appropriate. Agreeing a solution normally allows you to resolve the situation faster and at a lower cost, while, crucially, making it easier to maintain a positive relationship with your grandchildren’s parents.

The details of any arrangement you make will be up to you and the parents and could include when you can visit your grandchildren, what other contact you can have with them, e.g. by phone or email, and any other provisions you wish to make.

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