Divorce can be a complex matter for many family members as well as a changing time for any children involved.
As a grandparent, you don’t have an automatic legal right to see your grandchildren if one of the parents stops you from seeing them.
But there are steps you can follow to secure access.
First, you should try to organise an agreement with both parents on when you can see your grandchildren.
This would be an informal arrangement which isn’t legally binding so could be subject to change if one parent decides they no longer agree.
An impartial and independent mediator can get involved to help you and your family work out an arrangement.
This can be helpful to work through any issues that you or one of the parents have and is the option to consider before applying for a court order.
The meeting to discuss mediation will be classed as a ‘mediation information and assessment meeting’ or MIAM.
Before you can apply for a court order, you must have attempted mediation via MIAM, unless exempt. You would then need permission to apply for a Court Order, because grandparents are not entitled to apply for a Child Arrangements Order as of right. Legal advice should be taken before deciding to issue Court proceedings.
After this meeting these requirements if you decide to go ahead with a court order, you need to:
The mediator who facilitated your mediation meeting must sign the court order to confirm you attended the meeting. There will be a fee payable to the mediator for this.
The court order will need to be signed by the mediator who organised your MIAM so that your attendance there is confirmed.
After this, the court will decide whether you can spend time with the child based on what is in the child’s best interests.
The court order decides whom the child lives with, whom they spend time with and what communication there should be between the child and those named in the court order.
For more information on this and other family matters, contact us.
Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.
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