Re-establishing contact with a grandchild
Losing contact with a grandchild can cause great sadness for both grandparents and grandchildren alike. Unfortunately, it is quite a common occurrence for various reasons including:
- The breakdown of the parents marriage / relationship;
- Following an argument between the grandparent/s and the parent/s;
- Following the children moving away; and
- After grandchildren are taken into care by the local authority
As a general rule if contact with our grandchildren has broken down it is advisable to try and discuss the issues with the parent/s either directly or through mediation. If this does not succeed then your last resort is to apply for a contact order through the courts.
Provided there are no child protection issues, the courts generally regard it as in a child's best interest to have regular contact with grandparents and are likely to make an order for contact, and an order to enforce contact if it is not being complied with.
Residence and Special Guardianship Orders
Many grandparents find themselves being asked by Social Services to care for grandchildren because their birth parents are unable to do so, possibly because of:
- Drug or alcohol dependency issues;
- Mental health problems;
- Lack of parenting skills; or
- Due to having chaotic lifestyles.
To secure the placement and avoid the children being placed in foster care or or adoption, Social Services often ask grandparents to apply for either a Residence Order or a Special Guardianship Order to ensure that the children are cared for within their family.
How we can help
If there are no urgent child protection issues, we can help you negotiate suitable arrangements through letters, mediation or collaborative law, taking into account all relevant issues. If you are unable to reach an agreement or in cases where there are urgent child protection issues we can assist you in bringing or defending a grand parent contact application through the courts.
Need further advice?
f you need more detailed advice about grandparents rights call us on (01228) 829530 to arrange an initial consultation or request a free call back.