Can I see my grandchildren if their parents have split?

June 19th 2024

Case Study: Arthur and Barry are grandparents to three children, Charlie 18, Denise 12 and Edie 9. The children’s parents recently separated, and this has cause a huge rift in the family. Arthur and Barry have not had contact with the grandchildren for several weeks now and they want to know if they can see their grandchildren. 

The simple answer is yes but the more complicated answer is that it may not be so straightforward. As Charlie is 18 years old, it is not up to his parents to decide if he is to have contact with his grandparents or not. Charlie can make that decision for himself therefore Arthur and Barry should communicate directly with Charlie to arrange contact. 

Denise and Edie are both under the age of 18, and, although there is no automatic legal right to see the grandchildren, there are options that Arthur and Barry should consider to enable them to have contact: 

1.Informal Agreement

Speak to both parents and discuss the situation to try to reach an informal agreement. Communicating effectively is crucial and will go a long way in reaching a solution.  

2. Mediation

A mediator is an independent, neutral third party who will assist you to resolve the issues and reach an agreement. This is a voluntary process and effort is required by all parties to achieve a resolution. 

3.Application to the Court

If the above does not work, you can ask the Court for permission to apply for a Court Order. The Court will determine whether it is in the children’s best interests to spend time with their grandparents, and, the level and frequency of contact. This can be a very costly and lengthy process therefore this option should not be pursued lightly. 

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