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Separation and Divorce: What about the Grandparents?

The right of a grandparent to see their grandchild after a divorce could become protected by law. The current law requires a relative to apply to the court for access rights and then for a Child Arrangement Order to be put into place. An expensive and time-consuming process.

The proposal to change the Children’s Act is backed by MPs and would give the child a right to have a relationship with close members of their extended family. This would allow aunts and uncles to have access to their nieces and nephews.

The matter was debated in the House of Commons and Conservative MP, Nigel Huddleston said:

“Divorce and family breakdown can take an emotional toll on all involved, but the family dynamic that is all too often overlooked is that between grandparents and their grandchildren. When access to grandchildren is blocked, some grandparents call it a kind of living bereavement.”

Conservative MP Tim Loughton believes it is essential for both parents to be involved in their children’s upbringing and said:

“it would be equally appropriate to have a presumption that grandparents should be involved as much as possible in the upbringing of those children, unless – and only unless – there is a problem with the welfare of the child?”

Justice minister Lucy Frazer QC said she would consider a change in the law:

“It is clear that the system could work better and I am keen to look into how we can improve it.”

If you are a grandparent looking to have contact with your grandchild or if your marriage has come to an end and you are looking to begin divorce proceedings, please contact our divorce solicitors on 020 8297 4414 for legal advice.


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