Title
Grandparents

Element

The role of a grandparent is usually a joy, but for many reasons, tensions can arise within families causing difficulties for grandparents such as being shut out of the family or conversely having to take over permanent care of a grandchild if a parent is experiencing difficulties.

We have years of experience of dealing with such issues, successfully representing and resolving cases both in and out of court:

  • Legal Advice: We can provide you with legal advice on your rights as a grandparent and explain your options and the best course of action based on your specific circumstances. We understand the need for a family lawyer to properly listen to what is important and our clients often comment on how client focussed and practical we are in our approach.
  • Talking Works: This non-adversarial approach aims to open dialogue with either or both parents to work with everyone for the benefit of grandchildren.
  • Mediation: All of our solicitors are trained or training to be mediators. Before taking legal action, we may explore mediation as a way to resolve disputes amicably. Mediation can help all parties involved (parents, grandparents, and children) come to an agreement without going to court.
  • Child Arrangement Orders: If mediation is unsuccessful or not applicable, we can assist you in applying for a Child Arrangement Order if it is in the child’s best interests. This outlines who the child will live with and how much time they will spend with the other adults involved in the child’s life.

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Give our Family Team a call in confidence to discuss your situation on 01473 232121 or email: familylaw@prettys.co.uk. We can advise you on the most appropriate course of action, always with the best interests of your grandchildren at heart.

“Friendly and professional service"

I was very impressed with how Georgina dealt with my case. She was knowledgable and understanding, explained everything clearly and put me at ease. She provided a friendly and professional service, with a positive outcome for the children involved. All costs were discussed and monthly bills sent. I will have no hesitation in recommending Pretty Solicitors to others.”

-Anonymous , Review Solicitors

How Prettys can help

Grandparents do not, for obvious reasons, have the same legal standing as parents in separation or divorce matters because the focus will be on the separating couple and their children.

However, if grandparents who have previously enjoyed a close and loving relationship with their grandchildren do find themselves cut adrift there are options to try and sustain that relationship.

The starting point has to be considering a non-adversarial approach, which seeks to prevent each parent from thinking that the grandparents are interfering. Grandparents can point out the practical benefits of regular involvement such as offering a regular teatime visit or collection from school. If agreed and scheduled, everyone knows what is expected of them; the parents can use this extra childcare support when making personal arrangements; and the grandparents can look forward to seeing their grandchildren regularly on a convenient basis.

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If dialogue fails, it is possible for grandparents to apply to court for a child arrangements Order to secure regular contact. The contact sought cannot interfere with the parents’ time with the children, and instead should be carefully framed so that the child has the benefit of relationships with both parents and grandparents. If you are contemplating a court application, speak to a member of our family team as preparation is key to a successful application.

"We have found Sarina very supportive and helpful during our difficult situation. She has always shown us empathy and professionalism, whilst providing us with honest information which has enabled us to make informed decisions." 

- Anonymous, Review Solicitors 

If a child is living with a grandparent and this is intended to become permanent, the grandparent may need to apply to court for a child arrangements Order in order to formally take over care. The court must first grant permission to allow the grandparents to pursue their application, but this is rarely refused. Over the years the courts have come to recognise the valuable role grandparents play in children’s lives and will try and encourage an ongoing relationship wherever practical and sustainable. At the heart of the case is always the child’s welfare.

Whatever issues you are facing as a grandparent, please do not hesitate to contact us for an informal chat by calling us on 01473 232121.

Please note we do not offer legal aid but are always happy to talk over your case and fees.

Expert
Georgina Rayment
Partner, Head of Family, Mediator
Georgie Hall
Partner, Head of Private Client Services, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer
Sarina Bailey
Associate
Victoria Mayhew
Senior Associate Solicitor, Accredited Mediator