If you are a grandparent and you have not been allowed to see your grandchildren, you may want to discuss what legal options you have. Whilst the legislation makes no reference to grandparents, the Courts do recognise the important role that they play in a child’s life.
In all issues relating to children, the courts will look at what is in the best interests of the child. They also prefer that all arrangements are made between families wherever possible, without the need for a court hearing.
At Thornton Jones, our family law team has extensive experience in helping to put the right arrangements in place for children without protracted legal proceedings. We are strong negotiators and always work to resolve matters without intervention of the court wherever possible.
We will discuss your situation with you and suggest possible options to enable you to connect with your grandchild.
Talk to us about grandparents’ rights and seeing your grandchildren
If you have a quick question of you would like us to call you back, please feel free to use our online enquiry form.
How our grandparents’ rights solicitors can help you
If you ask us to help you put arrangements in place to see your grandchild, we will try to negotiate this with the child’s parents or their legal representatives. If we cannot agree on contact in this way, we will explore the possibility of mediation with you.
This involves meeting with a trained mediator who will help you and the child’s parents discuss what might be possible. The mediator will not impose a decision on you, but will simply help you all explore the options.
For more information, see our Mediation page.
Where mediation is not successful, you may be able to ask the court to grant you permission to request an order giving you the right to see your grandchild. It is almost always the case that you will need to have considered mediation first, by attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting or MIAM.
We will put together a robust case on your behalf explaining why you believe that it is your grandchild’s best interests to spend time with you and we will ensure that you are represented by expert grandparents rights lawyers throughout.
Our grandparents’ rights fees
Our grandparents rights lawyers in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth and Sherburn in Elmet offer fixed fees for some work, such as individual mediation sessions, so that you know from the outset how much the cost will be.
For other issues and ongoing legal advice and representation we will charge you an hourly rate in accordance with the level of expertise your case needs. The hourly rate of our lawyers for grandparents is between £100-£250+VAT.
Find out more about our fees and funding options.
Grandparents’ rights FAQs
What rights do grandparents have?
Grandparents have limited rights in respect of their grandchildren, but the courts do recognise the importance of the relationship and have the power to order contact when they consider that this is in the child’s best interests. This could be by way of face-to-face contact or other types of communication such as telephone calls.
While grandparents do not have the right to apply to the court for an order, they are able to ask the court for permission to apply.
What are grandparents’ rights?
Grandparents’ rights are limited to the right to ask the court for permission to apply for an order, but the courts are likely to grant this where there is a good existing relationship and they believe that it will be beneficial for the child. Ultimately, it all falls down to what is in the best interests of a child.
How do you apply for grandparents’ rights?
The first steps when dealing with issues relating to children is usually to seek to resolve matters amicably, by way of negotiation or mediation. Where this has not been successful, you will need to ask the court for permission to apply for an order.
In considering your request, the court will take the following into consideration:
- Details of your relationship with the child
- Why you are asking for permission to apply
- Whether there would be a risk of hard to the child in granting permission
- Whether there would be any negative impact on the child’s family if contact occurred
Depending on whether there is any opposition to your request, there may be a hearing to allow the court to consider the issues.
Why choose Thornton Jones for help with grandparents’ rights
We understand how beneficial the relationship with a grandparent can be to a child and we often help to put contact arrangements in place for families. This can also help a child stay in contact with a parent following a divorce or separation, where the parent might otherwise struggle to have regular and ongoing contact.
Our lawyers for grandparents have decades of experience, with in-depth expertise and extensive specialist training in the area of child law that is over and above what most law firms in the area are able to offer.
Our family law team includes five lawyers with membership of the family law group Resolution: Jane Auty, Steven Eldridge, Clare Thornton and Shelley Wales. This is a network of family lawyers committed to resolving difficult issues constructively and with a minimum of conflict. Clare Thornton is one of only a small number of qualified family arbitrators in the country, demonstrating our firm’s commitment to helping families work together in the best interests of their children.
The Law Society has awarded us an accreditation for our Family Law work in recognition of our high level of expertise and outstanding service.
Contact our Family Law solicitors in West Yorkshire
If you would like some advice from one of our lawyers for grandparents, we would be happy to hear from you.
You can ring to ask us a quick question or use our online enquiry form and one of our solicitors for grandparents’ rights in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet or Mapplewell will contact you.