What rights do you have to see your grandchildren?
The short answer is in the UK you do NOT have an automatic right to see your grandchildren.
Ok so what can you do?
- You can go down the legal route.
- You need to apply to the court for permission to apply for a court order. You can then apply for a Child Arrangement Order, there are various sorts of contact, direct contact or indirect contact.
- Direct contact is being allowed to meet with your grandchildren.
- Indirect contact is, perhaps sending letters, cards ,presents etc.
- The cost. Both emotionally and financially.
- Grandparents can spend their entire life savings on court costs.
- Most importantly, if the resident parents decides not to turn up at the agreed time and place you are back to square one and back to court.
- There are at present few if any consequences for the resident parent if a contact order is not adhered to.
I never advise any grandparent to take the legal route, it is distressing for all concerned, it takes a long time and grandparents have spent their entire savings on legal fees. If you do decide to go to court it is very important that you go to a family lawyer.
If you are successful in obtaining a court order for contact, you need to be mindful that if the resident parent decided not to turn up at the agreed time and place you have to go back to court.