A couple contacted The Family Law Company after they had experienced a breakdown in their relationship with their son and his wife. This had led to them losing contact with their two grandchildren who they had not seen for over a year.
The clients felt that previous solicitors had potentially hindered the situation through aggressive pursuit, and were impressed when our Grandparents specialist Stephen Sowden drafted persuasive but non-confrontational letters on their behalf.
Although the couple had tried mediation before and this had failed, they were keen to try again, understanding that it was necessary for the purposes of the Court application. With our help, and despite the differences between the adults, agreement was reached that the grandparent/ grandchild relationship was important for the grandchildren. By the time the grandparents went to Court for their leave application (grandparents require leave of Court to apply for a Section 8 order with respect to a child) we had not only been able to establish that their relationship with their grandchildren was important (with this acknowledged by the parents), but had also assisted in arranging some contact.
The grandparents were impressed that Stephen had dealt with a very negative letter simply by saying that he was not going to reply to this if things were not going to change, and then spent time talking to the solicitor for the parents. We continuously reinforced the grandparents desire not to go to Court for a contest, but to settle by negotiation, and dealt with any negativity with a firm but fair approach. Happily, the grandparents now have an order for direct and indirect contact. Afterwards, they told us that at the beginning of the process they had not believed this would ever be possible.