If a relationship breaks down, it can often be the case that the grandparents also suffer, with little or no contact with their grandchildren. Whilst there is no automatic right for grandparents to have access to their grandchildren, the court does recognise the often poignant role grandparents play. In the latest post from Broadbents Solicitors, we discuss the rights of grandparents should a relationship break down.
Grandparents Rights to See Grandchildren
Although there is no law that protects the rights of grandparents to see their grandchildren, it is advised that during a relationship breakdown, parents try to reach an agreement regarding access. In cases where an agreement cannot be made, there are some situations when grandparents can make an application to the court for a Child Arrangements Order.
It should be noted that a Child Arrangments order is typically only available to those with parental responsibility that can apply for this order. However, grandparents can apply for permission, with the courts taking in the following factors:
The involvement of the grandparents in the children’s lives
Whether the application may be harmful to the child
The nature of the application
The views of the parents
A Child Arrangements Order will only be made if the court views the order as better than making no order at all.
Special Guardianship Order
If a Special Guardianship order is appointed to grandparents, they will automatically have parental responsibility, without consulting anyone else that also has parental responsibility – such as the child’s parents.
Special Guardianship will only be used when care proceedings are issued in relation to a child or when a child’s parents are unable to look after them. The nature of this order means that those granted with Special Guardianship will be responsible for providing the child with a permanent placement until they reach 18.
A parent or someone with parental responsibility can apply to have this order discharged if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the order was put into place.
Broadbents Solicitors – Family Law
If you are a grandparent and would like to seek legal advice regarding access to your grandchild, we welcome you to contact our expert family law team. Please call on the following numbers or send your enquiry through to our online contact form and we will be in touch shortly. Alfreton 01773 832 511, Derby 01332 369 090, Heanor 01773 769 891, Sutton-in-Ashfield 01623 441 123.