When a grandparent first contacts me they ask what their rights are,  the fact is,  a grandparent does not have an automatic legal right to see their grandchildren, don’t let anyone make you think you have, as I keep seeing  written in articles, on forums and on TV programmes.

I listen in horror to lawyers, again and again implying that it is easy for grandparents to obtain a child arrangement order.

Listen carefully to what they are actually saying.

Recently a lawyer said, that grandparents don’t know that they can go to court, it is not expensive and they will usually be successful.

I am sorry but that just is not what I hear.

We have grandparents within our group who have spent their life savings on going to court, have made themselves really ill due to the stress of going to court.Even if they are successful if the resident parents/parents chooses to ignore the order, you are back to court and back to square one.

In my opinion a child arrangement order is not worth the paper it is written on.

Grandparents find themselves with standing orders for their lawyers, which goes on for years.

I have written this all over and over again, and the situation has not changed.

Many support organisations receive some of their income from allowing lawyers to advertise with them, some are backed by lawyers, so they certainly are not impartial they all have a vested interest to promote each other.

It isn’t the lawyers who are there to pick up the pieces when it all goes wrong, it is groups such as ours who do that.

It has to be an individuals choice as to whether they go down the legal route, but make sure you know exactly what you are facing and ask yourselves ,”What will I do if I still don’t see my grandchildren?”

I also often hear grandparents say, by going to court I am showing my grandchildren I did all I could do. For me, it is making the decision not to go down the legal route and all that entails, that shows you made that choice as you didn’t want to make life any more difficult for the children, they need to get on with their own lives and live it as a child should do, not to be involved in anyway in a legal conflict.

I know lots of grandparents get very frustrated when I write posts like this one, but all I am trying to do is to protect grandparents, to equip them with facts to enable them to make an informed choice.

Just remember, a lawyer is doing a job, they are certainly not doing you a favour.

Jane