Contact Order for Grandparents

A breakdown in relationship or divorce is a difficult and turbulent time. It is more difficult children who do not know what lies ahead for them and who they will live with or where they will stay. This uncertainty can affect all family members and increasingly it can affect grandparents. This often leads to ambiguity over grandparents and not being able to see their children as often as they would like.

Are you a concerned grandparent who does not have any contact with their grandchildren or are concerned as to what the future holds? At Kabir Family Law our specialists are have a vast amount of knowledge in child law and our specialists can inform you of grandparents rights as well as advising you on how we can assist you in exercising your rights.

Article Contents

What are grandparents rights?

Under the UK law grandparents do not have any rights over their grandchildren. Grandparents also do not have automatic parental responsibility for a child and therefore grandparents rights would not come in to force until an application is made to the court for parental responsibility or a parental responsibility agreement is reached. In such instances our family law specialists can assist grandparents in making an application for parental responsibility.

Contact order for grandparents – do you have a right to see your grandchildren?

It is important to note that grandparents rights do not extend to visitation or contact. However, family courts do recognise the invaluable role that grandparents have to play in their grandchildren’s lives and the court can assist in gaining access to grandchildren via a contact order for grandparents.

If you are denied access to your grandchildren due to any bad feeling between you and the parents of your grandchildren, then trying to resolve the issues is a good starting point.  Try not to take sides and instead attempt to resolve any conflicts and form a positive relationship with the parents.  This is a good way to build a good ground on which to progress.

If you maintain an amicable relationship with the parents, then it is likely that both parents may allow you maintain contact with your children. If following a bitter separation the parents are not amicable with you or are failing to allow you contact with your grandchildren then you may be able to speak to an advisor from the Citizens Advice Bureau.  

If you are still unable to try and reach an agreement with regards to contact with your grandchildren our family law specialists can try and assist by speaking or writing to the parents. At Kabir Family Law we have assisted many grandparents in exercising grandparents rights out of court and we could use this as a starting point to try and establish some contact with your grandchildren.

If the above fails and you still remain without seeing your children then you would need to apply to the family court for a contact order for grandparents. Our specialists for grandparents rights can provide you with a consultation and provide you with all the information you need to apply for a contact order for grandparents.

Application to the Court for contact order for grandparents

Grandparents rights in the UK differ from the rights of the parents. Unfortunately, conflicts are not always easily resolved and if you as grandparents are unable to see your grandchildren you will have to apply to the family court for permission before you can apply for a contact order for grandparents.  

When considering an application for granting permission for making an application for contact order for grandparents the courts will consider the following:

  • The applicant’s connection with the child.
  • The nature of the application for contact.
  • Whether the application might be potentially harmful to the child’s well-being in any way.

Once you have permission form the courts you can then make an application for contact order for grandparents.

What is the process for a contact order for grandparents?

The application for a contact order for grandparents is similar to the process which a parent goes through when applying for child contact.  

Once the application is processed by the family court it is usually heard before a judge. The court will only decide to make an order if it considers that it is better for the child. The court may also take the child’s views into account depending on how old or mature they are.

Immediate contact order for grandparents: Do Extreme Circumstances apply to you?

For some families the reasons for disagreements and bad feelings are well founded.  There can be abuse issues, illnesses etc. which can cause family members to distance themselves from each other, which in turn can stop access to grandchildren.

Children deserve the right to be brought up in a safe, happy and loving home.  While Grandparents have no legal rights under normal circumstances if the child’s safety is deemed to be at risk then Grandparents can take steps to intervene, therefore contacting lawyers for grandparents rights will offer you help and advice. 

In some circumstances the court may warrant placing the Grandchildren with the Grandparents, these might include:

  • Parents are deemed unfit to care for the Children
  • Parents wish for the Grandparents to have custody of the Children
  • Neglect/abuse at home
  • Drug and or Alcohol abuse in the home
  • Mental illness

It will always be the child’s wellbeing which is taken in account when coming to a decision and focusing on what is best for them. If you are a concerned grandparent, then you can speak to one of our specialists for grandparents rights who will be able to advise you from the outset whether the above circumstances apply to you and the prospect of making such an application to the court.

Grandparent Custody when the only Parent is incarcerated or deceased

In cases where the child’s only parent is incarcerated or deceased the child might be placed in foster care. However the Grandparent can apply for child custody. You can take steps to take temporary or full legal custody and in some cases you can apply to become foster parents in which case the court will assess all of the circumstances and will base custody on the best interest and wellbeing of the child taking into account grandparents rights in the UK.

— Q&A SECTION — 

My children are undergoing children proceedings and I do not have any contact.  Could I also apply for a contact order for grandparents?

Yes as grandparents you can apply for a contact order for your grandchildren at any time and also during existing proceedings, provided you have permission from the court to apply. Our specialists for grandparents rights can assist you in the process and will be happy to help should you choose to contact our offices.

Can parents deny contact to grandparents?

As grandparents don’t have any legal rights, parents can deny contact to grandparents. However if you feel your grandchild is at risk of abuse or harm then despite having no legal rights you may be able to apply to the court for custody or contact of your grandchildren.

Arrange a free consultation with our grandparents rights specialists today

Our family law experts at Kabir Family Law offer complete support and assistance from the process of making an application to the court to preparing you for family court hearings should the matter not settle any earlier. Our highly skilled specialists for grandparents rights can look to advise you from the onset the prospects in your case and how to best prepare your case.

Our specialists for grandparents rights are here to offer help and advice to explore options in reengaging contact with your treasured grandchildren. If you wish to discuss grandparents rights then contact us today on 0330 094 5880 or let us call you.