How do I see my grandchild, even when my child does not?

June 5th 2024

As a grandparent, you do not have an automatic right to see your grandchild. Stay calm, don’t panic. It is not a given that because your child isn’t involved in their child’s life, that your relationship with your grandchild must end. The importance of children spending time with their grandparent(s) is recognised, however, such time may be limited given the overall logistics of child arrangements. 

Start by trying to communicate with the parent with whom the child lives; explain your wish to maintain a relationship with your grandchild and discuss possible arrangements for contact. Keep the focus on your grandchild’s needs – separate your relationship with them from the relationship they have with their parent (your child). 

If discussions are proving difficult, there may be someone who can help as a Mediator. Perhaps a friend or other family member may be willing to assist. You can also seek out a professional Mediator. The aim of Mediation is to reach an agreement as to arrangements for your grandchild to have a relationship with you. 

You cannot force a parent to allow your grandchild to spend time with you, without a Court Order. The parent has parental responsibility and decides how, where and with whom their children spend their time. 

If you feel you need a Court Order to spend time with your grandchild, you will first need to apply for permission (leave) from the Court to make the application. If permission is granted, you may then apply to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order in respect of your grandchild. 

Getting expert legal advice early can be helpful to understand where you stand in relation to your grandchild. If you need legal advice regarding being able to see your grandchild, please get in touch with me, Sigourney Lee-Smith by completing the form here.