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Grandparents’ Rights

The relationship between a child and their grandparent is unique and special. We have helped many grandparents successfully achieve and maintain a relationship with their grandchildren following a relationship breakdown.

All families are different; and we appreciate that every situation is different. Ramsdens have specialist child law solicitors with extensive experience in acting to help grandparents who are struggling to spend time with their grandchildren.

Grandparents play an important role in family life, offering love, support, advice and experience.

The relationship between a child and their grandparent is irreplaceable and contributes to a mutual sense of wellbeing and belonging within the family. Furthermore, grandparents now provide a significant amount of childcare support and as a result, are spending more time with their grandchildren than ever before.

Sadly, some children are deprived of contact with their grandparents and lose that very special relationship. If this becomes a risk, an application to the Family Court can be necessary.

To speak to our expert family mediation and grandparents rights solicitors today, call our Child Law Helpline on 01924 431 774, or email and we will discuss your situation in a free initial consultation.

Child Care Conference 2018



Grandparents do not have an automatic legal right to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren and case law has tended to consider contact in favour of absent parents, leaving grandparents sometimes feeling neglected and powerless: The Courts approach is now changing recognising the significant role grandparents play and the contribution they make.

Only people with parental responsibility - which usually just means the mother and father named on the child’s birth certificate - have an automatic say with regard to any child. However, this does not indicate that all legal doors are closed to grandparents. If an agreement cannot be reached with regard to maintaining this important relationship, an appeal to the court can be considered. A grandparent does not have an automatic right to make any such application and will require the permission of the Court before any application can be furthered. Should this be obtained, then your application will be considered.


Any proceedings concerning a child can be difficult, involving complex law, and it is useful to seek expert legal advice at an early stage to ensure you approach the issue in the best way and avoid making costly mistakes. Ramsdens have specialist child law solicitors who can help in matters of this nature and guide you through the entire legal process.

If possible, attempt to discuss with the parent with care or the Local Authority to try and reach an agreement in respect of contact or care of your grandchild. If that is not possible, talk to a member of our child law specialist team for detailed advice about the situation. Early advice will allow you to understand your options and to act in an appropriate way so as not to unsettle what could be a very delicate situation.

Sometimes when relations have broken down, a carefully drafted letter from your solicitor, which tries to defuse the tension of the situation and puts across why you feel your view is so important for you and your grandchildren, may be all that is needed. If this is not the case, then other alternatives, including applications to the Court, can be considered.

At Ramsdens, we are committed to promoting a non-confrontational atmosphere in which problems relating to family breakdowns are dealt with in a sensitive, constructive and cost-effective way.


While the majority of problems that occur relate to the loss of contact by grandparents with their grandchildren when their own children’s relationships break down, there are many other situations in which grandparents can find themselves in need of advice and assistance.

This is particularly the case where the Local Authority, (often referred to asas Children's Services or Social Services), has become involved and where a child may be being accommodated with foster carers or be subject to a Care Order because of difficult arrangements at home. In these circumstances, grandparents will often wish to maintain contact with their grandchildren, and they may even wish to put themselves forward as the prospective main carer. This could bethrough either a Child Arrangements Order (and a “live with” provision) or a Special Guardianship Order the latter of which would provide “enhanced” parental responsibility rights.

It is also possible for grandparents to be assessed as potential carers and become involved in any existing proceedings that have been brought by the Local Authority. Independent expert legal advice would be required if the Local Authority were involved and to assess the legal ramifications alongside the practical and financial support that might be available. The Local Authority in care proceedings may fund some or all of the independent legal advice you require from ourselves on your behalf and we can explore this with you.

Contact Us

Call our Child Law Helpline on 01924 431 774 or email to book a free information initial session at any of our offices and get expert bespoke legal advice.