If you need help understanding your rights with regards to your grandchildren, the Slater and Gordon family law team are happy to offer expert advice. Drawing on our extensive experience in family law, we can act on your behalf in cases involving child arrangements, childcare, access and visitation.
Our aim is to find a resolution in the very best interests of you and your family, with the minimum of distress or disruption to the child’s routine.
Many family law cases revolve around families where the parents of a child are separating. In these situations, there may be disputes over who the child will live with and how often they’ll see the other parent. However, it’s not only parents who have the right to access and visit a child.
In the eyes of the law, grandparents don’t have an automatic legal right to be a part of a child’s life. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept being shut out of your grandchild’s life or unfairly stopped from seeing him or her. If you can’t agree with the child’s parents over an arrangement for access - and if other attempts at resolving the disagreement fail - you can apply for an order from the courts.
If you’re worried about access to a grandchild being removed by one or both of the parents in a divorce case, it’s important to understand your options. There are several avenues that you can pursue with the assistance of a Slater and Gordon family lawyer with experience in fighting for grandparents’ rights.
This is always the first method to try before going to court, especially if you’re on civil terms with the parents of the child. If you can communicate with the parents, it may be possible to make an arrangement for access and visitation in the future.
Either in person or through your family lawyer (if appropriate), you can demonstrate to the parents how it will be in the best interests of the child for you to retain access to your grandchild. Grandparents can be a great source of love and emotional support for children, especially those whose parents are separating. At this distressing time, it can be a real comfort for children to see people they know and love. Children may also need reassurance that they’re loved, as well as someone to talk to about their feelings.
If it isn’t possible to come to an agreement with the parents of the child or they won’t speak to you, the next thing to do is to seek advice about mediation from one of our experienced, highly trained family law team. Many of our family lawyers are members of Resolution, an organisation which promotes non-confrontational ways of resolving family problems without having to go to court. Litigation can be expensive and unnecessarily distressing, which is why our lawyers would recommend mediation as an alternative option.
Mediation involves a trained, neutral third party directing a negotiation in a safe neutral space. The mediator attempts to guide all parties to a resolution. The process involves calm discussion and practical negotiation. The mediator doesn’t tell any party what to do, but helps to facilitate families in reaching their own agreements. This approach can be an excellent option in cases where grandparents’ rights and needs have been ignored, or when families simply aren’t communicating well.
Please contact our family lawyers to discuss mediation for grandparents’ rights cases on freephone 0808 175 8000.
A court order should be seen as a last resort for families who simply can’t agree about grandparents’ access to a child. Going to court isn’t a decision that should be made lightly, as it can be costly, time-consuming and even cause disruption and distress for the child. Your family law solicitor can advise you on whether it’s the right choice or not, as well as explaining any alternative courses of action available to you.
Disputes over access to grandchildren can become quite complex. It’s therefore very important to have a legal expert on your side - not only a solicitor trained in family law but one that also has experience in grandparents’ rights cases. You’ll find the ideal team to help here at Slater and Gordon Lawyers. Our family lawyers have extensive expertise in carefully negotiating cases of all kinds.
We’ll listen carefully to your needs and the details of your case, offering practical, realistic and honest advice about what to do next. Our solicitors will explain your options and guide you through the process of negotiating with parents, taking part in mediations and going to court if it comes to that. You can rely on our family law team to be right there by your side, working hard towards a resolution that works out best for all the family - for you, the parents and of course, the child.
If you need our help with a grandparents’ rights issue, simply give our family law solicitors a call on freephone 0808 175 8000 to discuss your case. You can also get in touch through our online contact form, and we’ll be happy to call at a time that works for you.