Is going to court the panacea some think it is?

It is absolutely natural that when you find yourself being denied contact with your grandchildren, that you consider every option to regain contact.

As we all know the obvious one that others continually tell us is, “Well just talk to them,” how I wish that was obtainable. If we were all able to sit down and communicate , to discuss it to put things right, of course we all would.

So as a last resort some grandparents choose to go to court to obtain a contact order. And it really is the last resort.

I think you know my views on that particular route, but it is my personal view, I have had several grandparents recently who have been talking about their experiences.

Lawyers often make very misleading comments in articles for newspapers and magazines, giving grandparents false optimism on the outcomes of going to court.

It may be that as stated recently in a report that 7 grandparents a day are taking those steps, what is not clear is, out of those 7 grandparents a day, who have to firstly apply for permission to then apply for a contact order, actually get permission and secondly how many are successful in obtaining a contact order and most importantly how many have a contact order breached?

From the experience of others, here are some of the facts, not the fiction.

One grandfather told me that the toll it had taken on him and his wife was enormous. They had never sought legal advice in their lives and walking into their lawyers office was very difficult. The whole process has left them broken physically and financially.

Don’t believe any lawyer who tells you that it is an inexpensive process, it isn’t. This particular grandparent paid out thousands of pounds, it was suggested that they set up a standing order to help!

The whole process took a couple of years.

Finally they were overjoyed when they were given a contact order, it would allow then to see their grandchild for an hour once a month. It all seemed as though it had been worthwhile.

You can imagine how the excitement built as the day approached, they arrived leaden with belated presents of birthdays and Christmases past, as the time ticked away they began to realise all was not well.

As they returned home with heavy hearts a message had been left to say their grandchild was ill so couldn’t see them. That was just the first time that happened it continued that way, always a reason why it couldn’t take place.

They returned for more legal advice and it became clear that they were back to square one and back to court.

As they had spent all their life savings there was nothing left and so they had to walk away.

When I asked them if they felt it was worth it all, their response was a resounding, “NO.”

This particular case is not a one off, it is very common.

Going to court is not the fairytale ending that some believe it is.

Think about it very carefully, are you strong enough to go through the process? Go into it with both eyes open.

Expect nothing and then anything is a bonus.



About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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