A right for a grandparent to see grandchildren?
17 May 2018 by Julia Brewer
MPs in the House of Commons have recently debated the issue of whether a grandparent should have a right to see their grandchild.
What is the current position?
Under the Children Act 1989, an application can be brought by a person with parental responsibility for an order (called a child arrangements order) to spend time with a child. A grandparent does not have parental responsibility (apart from in very limited circumstances), and as such would need the permission of the Court prior to being able to make an application for an order for their grandchild to spend time with them.
When considering an application for permission from a grandparent the Court will consider:
- the nature of the proposed application for the section 8 order;
- the applicant’s connection with the child;
- any risk there might be of that proposed application disrupting the child’s life to such an extent that he would be harmed by it.
If permission is granted by the Court then the Court will consider the application from the grandparent, and will make a decision (if agreement cannot be reached) by considering what is in that particular child’s best interests. This will include considering any objection from the parents of the child.
Parties should attempt to mediate before considering any application to Court and a certificate from a mediator is usually required before an application is made to the Court.
For advice please contact our family team on 01206 700113 or email [email protected]