Contact Order for Grandparents

A contact order for grandparents should be a priority where child access issues arise relating to grandchildren. 

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.

How soon can a contact order for grandparents take?

In cases concerning children it is difficult to provide a timeframe. Each case is determined on its individual circumstances. If however there are welfare and safety issues concerning a child the contact order for grandparents can be fast tracked. During the course of the hearings parties may reach an agreement. In such cases the time it takes for a contact order for grandparents can be reduced significantly. If however no agreement is reached the matter will then proceed to a final hearing which can be quite a lengthy process.

Our family law specialists can assist in negotiations between parents and grandparents. An agreement for grandparents contact can be reached without the need of the court. This is a quick and cost effective process. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you in reuniting you with your grandchildren.

What is needed to get a contact order grandparents?

Grandparents do not have parental responsibility over their grandchildren.

This means that they do not have automatic rights to their grandchildren and therefore need to permission to apply for a contact order. Courts understand the importance of the role grandparent’s play. The courts are therefore not reluctant to grant this permission, unless there is a good reason to.

Once permission has been sought grandparents will need to attend mediation. This is where an independent mediator can try and reach an agreement. If an agreement can be reached then there is no need to attend court. If however an agreement cannot be reached then an application for contact will need to be made to the court. At Kabir Family Law we can assist you in locating mediators who can try and reconcile your family disputes.

Following mediation if an agreement cannot be reached then the form C100 needs to be completed. The completed mediation form must also be sent to the court. In the absence of this the courts will not process your application. The application fee of £215.00 will also need to be paid by the grandparent.

Upon receipt of the application the courts will decide whether contact is to be awarded. Contact could be either direct or indirect by way of telephone, video calls, emails and letters. The courts will consider whether the contact for grandparents is likely to be in the best interests of the child.

Can a contact order for grandparents be granted where their parents are not allowing child access?

If parents are denying grandparents with child contact there are many options available. Grandparents are still able to obtain contact with their grandchildren. We initially encourage communication with the parents. Grandparents should show parents how they miss the grandchildren and how the children are likely to miss them too. Grandparents should stress the importance of the grandchildren’s wishes. If grandchildren want contact this could support your case. Sometimes a gentle reminder may be all that is needed. Parents may need explaining the emotional and financial support provided by grandparents.

If contact is not negotiated mutually then grandparents have the option of applying to the court. Courts place emphasis on the role grandparent’s rights. Therefore as long as it is in the grandchildren’s welfare contact will be awarded. They consider what is in the child’s best interests. They will also consider whether contact with you be the best thing for them. It doesn’t matter what the parents feel. All that matters to the court is the welfare of the child. That is the paramount consideration in child law cases.

Can a contact order for grandparents be granted where I haven’t seen my grandchildren for years?

There may be times where grandparents have lost contact with their grandchildren for many years. This may be due to no fault on behalf of the grandparents.

Quite often grandparents may be unaware of how they can establish contact with their grandchildren. Despite not having contact for years grandparents can still apply for contact. Grandparents can initially try speaking to the parents to understand why contact stopped. Communication without the courts is always a good stop. Quite often families can resolve any issues through communication.

Grandparents who have lost contact can initially seek indirect contact. This can be with the permission of the parents. This can take place via telephone calls, video calls emails or letters.

This can also be used to satisfy the courts of the relationship with the grandchildren if the parents are not agreeable. If all fails grandparents can approach the family court who will make a decision based on the child’s welfare and interests.

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.

Will a specialists for grandparents rights help if I’m not biologically related to the child?

Quite often grandparents may want contact with their grandchildren to whom they are not biologically related. This again is possible. Non biological grandparents can approach contact the same way as biological grandparents. Initially communication should be made with the parents to see whether they can amicably agree. Failing this an application will be need to be made to the court. The courts will consider the relationship between the grandparents and the non-biological grandchildren. If it is in the best interests of the grandchildren then grandparents can obtain contact.

It is important that you consult child law specialists. You can often discuss prospects from the outset. Legal advisors will also be able to initiate your communication with the parents which may result in a positive outcome. If this is not possible then you can receive assistance to complete the court process.


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 contact order for grandparents 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 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.