Grandparents’ rights

The breakdown of a marriage or long term partnership can be upsetting for all concerned. But for grandparents it can even be more so if contact with the grandchild is denied. Time spent with grandparents is a precious and integral part of a child’s experience. The loving and nurturing relationship between grandparents and the grandchild often provide a child with benefits that cannot be derived from other relationships

The law as it stands at the moment allows a grandparent to apply to the Court for permission to make an application for contact, provided certain criteria is satisfied, such as their previous close involvement with the grandchild. An application for contact can then be applied for in the same way as separated parents.

Recent news articles have referred to a private members bill before Parliament which is due its second reading in October this year, which if it became law, would give grandparents extended rights of access to their grandchildren, so recognising the important role grandparents can play in supporting children who are vulnerable to the effects of relationship breakdown and confirming their value as pivotal family members.

Will this reform make it through to the statute books? It is another case of wait and see in the ever changing landscape of family law.

For more information about this article or any other questions relating to family law please contact

Belinda Smith of Belinda Smith & Co Solicitors

Tel. 01733 267414 or visit

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