Grandparents Rights

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Grandparents Rights
grandparents rights
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In the UK, grandparents do not have automatic legal rights to see their grandchildren.

However, they can apply for a court order to gain access or to become a child’s guardian (sometimes called “custody rights”) if it is in the best interests of the child.

The court considers various factors, such as the nature of the relationship and the child’s welfare, when considering grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren or to become their guardians.

DLS Solicitors have specialist grandparents’ rights solicitors with extensive experience nationwide. We can assist with negotiating contact with grandchildren as well as applying for court orders, and we have helped many grandparents successfully achieve and maintain contact with their grandchildren.

Do grandparents have rights in the UK?

In the UK, grandparents do not possess automatic legal entitlements to visit their grandchildren.

However, grandparents have the option to petition for a court order to secure visitation rights or to become a child’s guardian (referred to as “custody rights”) if deemed beneficial for the child’s welfare.

The court evaluates multiple factors, including the quality of the relationship and the child’s well-being, in determining grandparents’ rights to visit grandchildren or assume guardianship.

At DLS Solicitors, we offer specialised services through grandparents’ rights solicitors with extensive nationwide experience. We can aid in negotiating visitation with grandchildren and facilitate court order applications, having supported numerous grandparents in achieving and maintaining contact with their grandchildren successfully.

How can our grandparents’ rights solicitors help you

It often comes as a surprise to grandparents that, under English law, they do not have automatic rights to see or have contact with their grandchildren. However, it is frequently possible for grandparents to reach a mutually agreeable arrangement with the child’s parents regarding their relationship with the grandchildren following a separation.

For grandparents concerned about losing contact with their grandchildren, the initial step should be to approach the child’s mother or father. It’s important to communicate that regardless of any issues between the parents, as a grandparent, you do not wish to take sides but simply desire to maintain a relationship with your grandchildren.

Unfortunately, in many cases, the breakdown of the relationship with the parent or parents may make this approach impractical or impossible.

In such situations, mediation can be a valuable option, where an impartial mediator assists in facilitating an agreement between the parties. Both parties must agree to mediate for this process to occur. DLS solicitors can provide referrals to mediation providers and offer assistance in this regard.

Sometimes, when relationships have deteriorated, a carefully composed letter from your solicitor may suffice. This letter can help defuse tensions and articulate why maintaining contact with the grandchildren is important to the grandparent.

How to apply for grandparents’ rights through the courts

If attempts through other avenues prove unsuccessful, grandparents have the option to apply to the court to establish their legal rights.

Family courts acknowledge and promote the invaluable role that grandparents play in their grandchildren’s lives. We can assist in making applications to the court to arrange contact on a formal, legal basis.

This process may involve appointing a Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) officer to assess any welfare issues and prepare a report to assist the court in making decisions.

In cases where a grandparent seeks to become the full-time carer for a child, an application for a Special Guardianship Order may be pursued.

Court orders are enforceable, making it challenging for parents to disregard them. Consequently, they are a potent mechanism for ensuring that grandparents can sustain a meaningful and enriching relationship with their grandchildren.

From the start to finish we were made to feel welcome every time and we had an appointment with Danielle Shawcross and her team. Whatever points we didn't understand the team did their utmost efforts to help us.
Barry Hadfield

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