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Grandparents' Rights Solicitors

Grandparents often play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives, from providing childcare support to helping with their physical and emotional development. It can be heart-breaking for grandparents when the child’s parents break up and move away or there is a family fall-out that results in loss of contact.

As it is typically up to the child’s parents to decide who the child can see and how much time they spend with them, this can often make grandparents feel helpless and unable to build the relationship they want with their grandchildren. However, there are certain options that may be available to grandparents to help them secure access to their grandchildren.

Our grandparents rights solicitors in Bristol and Bath regularly advise grandparents who are being denied contact with their grandchildren. Whether the loss of contact has been caused by the parents splitting up or there have been disagreements which resulted in the parents breaking off contact, we are here to provide practical advice and professional support.

At Sharp Family Law, we understand the importance of maintaining the relationship between you and your grandchildren. We have specialist expertise in helping grandparents to understand their rights and the options available to them.

When you work with our team, you will have the ongoing support of a team with many years of combined experience in handling a diverse range of family law matters. In every situation, we take a constructive and sensitive approach, ensuring that your unique requirements are considered.

Speak to our grandparents rights solicitors in Bristol, Bath and Bradford on Avon

For expert legal advice on grandparents rights, please get in touch with our experts today.

To arrange an initial meeting, whether that is in person or remotely, please contact our local offices in Bristol, Bath and Bradford on Avon or use our simple online enquiry form to request a call back.

Our grandparents rights services

We can provide expert advice about securing contact with your grandchildren if it has been restricted after your child’s divorce, dissolution or separation.

Our grandparents rights solicitors will listen carefully to your concerns and issues and set out your recommended next steps in plain, understandable English. Whether there is an obvious reason for the loss of contact with your grandchildren (such as a family disagreement) or not, it is understandable to feel helpless about the situation.

Many grandparents are unaware of the options they have for re-establishing contact. We can help you explore your options, take action, and seek the best possible outcome for your grandchildren.

Alternative Dispute Resolution for grandparents

In many cases, informal negotiation is the best route to success rather than resorting to court proceedings. Our grandparents rights solicitors take a practical but sympathetic approach. We are dedicated to helping families find non-confrontational solutions and safeguarding the happiness and welfare of the children involved. Our aim will be to help you open up a conversation with your child and/or their partner/former partner to try to reach an agreement about contact.

Our team includes qualified collaborative lawyers and an experienced mediator who are specially trained to support and guide families through their issues. Our approach is highly regarded for helping people navigate difficult and emotionally charged issues calmly and in a constructive way. With our assistance, you have a better chance of saving the time, costs and stress of having to go to court.

Family court

In some situations, informal negotiation is not possible, even with the help of a mediator or collaborative lawyer. If you cannot come to an agreement voluntarily, we can provide clear advice about applying to court. The family courts are allowed to make a range of orders in relation to children if it is in each individual child’s best interests. For example:

Child Arrangements Orders

This is the type of order you will need to secure contact with your grandchildren. A Child Arrangements Order can set out where a child should live, who else they should spend time with (such as their other parent and you as their grandparent), and how contact can take place (such as overnight stays, letters, emails and phone calls).

If you believe that it would be in your grandchild’s best interests to live with you rather than the parents, a Child Arrangements Order can also be used to place the child in your care (this used to be known as grandchild custody or grandparent custody, but those terms are no longer used). We can provide detailed advice about your chances of success.

Prohibited Steps Orders

This type of order can stop the child’s parent or someone else with parental responsibility from making a particular decision. They are often used to prevent a parent from permanently moving abroad with the child.

As a grandparent, you will first need to obtain permission to apply for one of these child-related orders from the court. We will break down the process into steps and be completely honest about your prospects for success so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Frequently asked questions about grandparents rights

What are grandparents rights in UK?

It often comes as a surprise to many people to learn that grandparents rights to see grandchildren are relatively limited. There is no such thing as automatic grandparents rights in the UK, which means there is no automatic legal right to see or have contact with grandchildren.

The issue of grandparent access rights can, however, be resolved through negotiation, or by applying to the court for access.

Can grandparents be stopped from seeing grandchildren?

A parent could, in theory, prevent a grandparent from seeing their grandchild. However, as discussed, there are various options to overcome this issue if it arises.

Can grandparents get a court order to see their grandchildren?

Yes, it may be possible to secure a court order, such as a Child Arrangements Order. This can be a complex process which highlights the importance of seeking specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Do grandparents need permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order?

As grandparents legal rights do not apply, you will need to apply to a court for permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order.

It will also be necessary to first attempt mediation before seeking a Child Arrangements Order.

Can I get legal aid for grandparents rights?

It may be possible, in some circumstances, for a grandparent to be eligible for legal aid. Accessing legal aid is a complex process, so it is best to speak to our team about this possibility.

How much does it cost to get grandparents rights?

The cost to secure grandparents rights very much depends on the nature of the issue at hand and whether it is possible to reach a resolution out of court. Our specialist grandparents rights solicitors will be able to provide accurate information about the potential fees involved in your case as soon as possible.

Why choose Sharp Family Law for advice about grandparents’ rights?

Sharp Family Law is one of the biggest niche family law firms in Bath and Bristol. We provide bespoke legal advice and expert court litigation services. We are highly regarded for our strategic and practical approach to family law.

We help families find constructive, positive resolutions to even the most complex of issues, including those related to grandparents legal rights in the UK. We only want to help you achieve the best possible outcome for the children involved and are experienced at doing so in a way that minimises stress and disruption in everyone’s lives.

As well as our many decades of expertise, we have close connections with a range of other professionals, including child specialists and mental health counsellors. Therefore, we are equipped to support you and your family every step of the way towards a bright and hopeful future.

Independent recognition for our family law expertise includes:

  • We are ranked by leading client guides the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners
  • Several of our team are members of Resolution – the professional network for family lawyers committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to family law
  • Richard Sharp is a trained collaborative lawyer and family mediator in both the UK and the USA

To find out more about our expertise, please take a look at our family law team.

Read more about our family lawyers’ individual expertise.

Speak to our grandparents rights solicitors in Bristol, Bath and Bradford on Avon

For expert legal advice on grandparents rights, please get in touch with our experts today.

To arrange an initial meeting, whether that is in person or remotely, please contact our local offices in Bristol, Bath and Bradford on Avon or use our simple online enquiry form to request a call back.