The question I get asked more than most is :
Should I go to court to gain an order?
I will always say the same thing, that it has to be a personal choice.
What I do say is, if you decide to go down the legal route is makes sure you go into it with both eyes open. Ensure you go to a Family Lawyer, ask for your 20 minutes free advice, (most lawyers do offer free advice for 15-20 minutes) if not find one who does. Ask about what costs might be, and above all else be prepared.
It won’t be plain sailing, it will be stressful and lengthy.
Be prepared to have false allegations thrown at you, be prepared to hear hurtful things.
So self protect.
Don’t expect evidence that you gather and take with you on the day of the hearing to be looked at that day, you should be given a date for that evidence to be given to the court before the hearing. Judges, magistrates have to have the time to go through it.
The court won’t want to hear about how you have fallen out with daughter, son, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or who said what.
They will be focussing on what is in the best interest of the child/children.
You must do the same.
Of course what you believe is in the best interest of the child, may well differ from what the court believes.
I have been criticised in the past for being negative about grandparents going to court, but as I said at the beginning of this blog is that it has to be a personal choice.
Plus, I hear the most horrendous stories from grandparents who have had bad experiences in going to court, so I just want you to think carefully.
Having said all that, over the past few months I have heard of several grandparents being granted an order, so if you make the decision to go down the legal route, I wish you well.
All I will say again is, be prepared for anything.