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The National Family Mediation Centre have revealed that 2,517 court applications were made in 2014 by grandparents for Child Arrangement Orders or Contact Orders (enabling a child to spend time with a named person). This averages at seven grandparents per day seeking a court order to see their grandchildren. Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation, said: “The fact is that grandparents have no automatic right to be part of their grandchild’s life….A divorce or separation can shatter grandparents’ lives as much as the couple involved, because it can mean contact with the grandchildren they love is suddenly blocked.”

It is important to recognise that proceedings concerning children and parents do not solely impact those persons involved, rather, many other relatives can be negatively impacted. Clearly, the figure of 2517 court applications last year represents a large number of Grandparents who feel like they have no other option but to go to court. Significantly, this figure highlights the number of children involved that are losing out on their relationship with their grandparents, who often play pivotal roles in a child’s life.

Many grandparents may, understandably, be put off by the prospect of court proceedings however many other options are available which our team can explain to you. Mediation is fast becoming an extremely useful source of avoiding full-blown court proceedings. At Ramsdens solicitors we have trained Resolution Mediators who may be able to assist you in your matter.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process that aims to help parties resolve family disputes. A qualified family mediator has discussions with both parties and then tries to come to a fair and reasonable agreement. In this case, mediators will work towards finding solutions to enable contact to be facilitated between yourself and your grandchild/ren. If an agreement is reached between the parties a Memorandum of Understanding will be completed by the Mediator. Each party will receive a copy of this Memorandum for future reference. (Linked to the mediation section from Mediation week?)

If after exploring the options it is deemed by yourselves and your lawyer that litigation is necessary at Ramsdens we will provide you with the support, expertise and assistance that you need at each stage of the proceedings. Do not hesitate to contact our team on 08000 147720, email family@ramsdens.co.uk or text LAW to 67777 to arrange a free thirty minute consultation in any of our ten offices across West Yorkshire. We understand the importance of maintaining relationships with family members and will support you every step of the way.