Do I have a legal right to see my grandchildren?

May 29th 2024

When parents fall out, often it is not just the children who are affected. In many families, the grandparents are viewed as an extension of the child’s parents and play a vital role in the child’s life. On the parents’ separation, grandparents can also get caught in the crossfire which can in some instances affect their contact with the children.

In the UK, there is no automatic legal right for extended family members to have contact with the child. A relative of the child is defined as a grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or a step-parent. Here are some steps you can take to seek contact:

1.Reach an agreement with the parents yourself 

If you have an amicable relationship with the parents, you can explain why it is so important for the child to maintain a relationship and link to their extended family. 

2. Try to resolve the issues through mediation

A mediator is a neutral third party who will assist you to resolve the issues and reach an agreement. This is a voluntary process and parties must enter mediation with a genuine desire to achieve a resolution. 

3. Application to the Court

Provided there is no statutory restriction or a Court order prohibiting you from making an application to the Court, you will normally need to make an application for the Court’s permission to apply for an Order to determine what contact, if any, you should have with the child. The Court will make an Order for contact if it is in the child’s best interests. 

If you would like advice on any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Irrum Shah, Solicitor in our Family Law Department on 01295 204154, or by email at