It is often the Grandparents who become the innocent victims when a dispute arises between the parents of their grandchildren. It may become difficult for a Grandparent to see their grandchildren regularly particularly if one parent has moved away or started a new relationship.
There is no automatic entitlement to see your grandchildren however the court will generally accept that it is in the interests of the children to have a relationship with extended members of both families.
The first step is always to try and talk to the parents, and explain that you are not in any way seeking to get involved in their dispute or take sides. It is important to reassure them that you simply want to see you Grandchildren and maintain contact with them.
It is possible to attend mediation with a trained Family Mediator who will try and help you and the parents come to an agreed arrangement. Often mediation will provide the opportunity to air any concerns and give all parties the opportunity to respond. Angela Moores will advise you as to whether Family Mediation is a suitable option for you and we can help arrange Mediation for you where required, and assist with any negotiations.
If mediation is not successful then it is possible to make an application for a living arrangements order. However, Grandparents do not have an automatic right to make an application for a contact order and will have to first apply to the court for permission to do so.
To succeed, you must be able to show that you have an important connection with your Grandchildren but in many cases, the courts will accept that you have an important role to play in your Grandchildren’s lives.
Here at Jarvis Family Law LLP, we have a great deal of experience in helping Grandparents to maintain contact with their Grandchildren. Contact us for more information or to arrange a consultattion.