Grandparents can play an integral part in a child’s life but what happens after the parents of the child divorce or separate? The Ministry of Justice are considering a proposal for grandparents to have greater rights to see their grandchildren following pressure from MP’s last week.
Under current legislation, grandparents do not have a legal right to see their grandchildren. If an agreement cannot be reached with the parents of the child, grandparents will have to make an application to the court for a “Child Arrangements Order.” A Child Arrangements Order is a legally binding document which governs where the child lives, with whom the child is to spend time with and when. That isn’t all; they also have to ask the court’s permission to make the application! Only in certain circumstances governed by Section 10(5) of the Children Act 1989 will a grandparent not have to seek permission from the court.
In 2011 the Coalition Government tried to make some changes but the legislation remains unchanged. MP’s have stated that the issue has arisen due to a number of grandparents not being able to see their grandchildren following the divorce or separation of the child’s parents.
Within the Family Team at Geldards a significant proportion of the work we deal with involves arrangements for children following a relationship breakdown. Unfortunately, many grandparents don’t know their rights and don’t seek legal advice. The matter has been reported by both the BBC and the Daily Mail showing the issue has received significant news and press coverage. Watch this space….
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