Request a consultation to discuss Grandparent's Rights
with one of our legal experts.
Representing the rights of extended family
Grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s upbringing, providing a role model and in many cases, a source of childcare and financial support for the parents. But grandparents have few legal rights over the children directly.
In cases involving disputes about grandchildren, or where there is a serious cause for concern about the care given to a grandchild, MLP’s Grandparents’ Rights Solicitors can help by providing expert advice about how to proceed and how to safeguard the child.
Getting caregiver rights for grandparents
In recent years the right of grandparents to contact with their grandchildren has been an area of focus. While there are still very few automatic legal rights, you can ask a judge to grant a court order in some circumstances.
- A Child Arrangements Order can grant you a legal right to contact or visit the child
- A Special Guardianship Order can give you legal rights similar to the child’s parents
There are specific criteria when these may be granted, or you can use an alternative dispute resolution method to gain access to your grandchildren through a less formal arrangement with the parents.
Speak to our team to find out more:
0161 826 2325
Levels of court ordered contact with grandchildren
The courts have several different levels of contact they can allow. In some cases, you might gain a legal entitlement to remote contact with the grandchild, for example by letter or telephone. In other cases, you may be given a right to direct in-person contact.
In cases where the parents are not providing adequate care to the child, a Special Guardianship Order may be granted to a grandparent, another family member, a foster parent or another caregiver. This can order that the child should live with their grandparent, who will take parent-like responsibility over them until the parents’ circumstances change.
Frequently asked Grandparent's Rights questions
In English law, grandparents have never automatically received legal rights to access and contact. However, in recent years efforts have been made to ensure access is not denied without good reason.
Yes, if your relationship with the parents is amicable, an informal arrangement could work. In some situations you might want to formalise this with a court order though, so everybody is clear on their long-term commitment to the child’s care.
Serious disputes can be distressing, especially if you are denied access to the child or you are concerned for their welfare. Contact us as soon as possible and we can help you to decide how to proceed to restore access and offer care and support.
Often access is disrupted following the parents’ divorce or separation. Again, a court order can give you a legal right to contact from your grandchildren, even if your child is no longer their primary caregiver or place of residence.
You will need to pay a court fee to obtain a Child Arrangements Order. We can help you to work out what you need to pay, as fees can change over time. There may also be a small cost to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting before you will be allowed to go to court.
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