The sad fact is that divorce rates are on the increase, having seen rates steadily increasing over the past few years. The impact of divorce stretches far beyond just the couple embroiled in it, and can end up fracturing relationships between children and grandparents.
Esther Rantzen is the patron of the Bristol Grandparents Support Group, and has previous stated the importance of a child’s relationship with their grandparents, stating it can be “one of the most valuable and important relationships of a child’s life”.
Currently, grandparents do not have an automatic right to contact with their grandchildren if a situation does arise where contact is severed.
What can Grandparents do?
Grandparents can apply for permission to seek a Child Arrangement Order, where the courts will consider:
- Whether contact with a grandparent is in the child’s best interest
- If the application will harm the wellbeing of the child or children involved
- The connection and nature of the relationship between the applicant and the child
Support has been voiced for the involvement of grandparents in the life of children, in the shape of Pope Francis. At his recent “Poets of Prayers” General audience earlier this month, the Pope had the following to say about grandparents involvement in the life of a child:
How beautiful, however, is the encouragement an elderly person manages to pass on to a young person who is seeking the meaning of faith and of life! It is truly the mission of grandparents, the vocation of the elderly. The words of grandparents have special value for the young. And the young know it.
If you have any questions about Grandparents legal rights, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the Family Law Company, and we will help to ease concerns you may be experiencing.