Do grandparents have legal rights to see grandchildren?

Family Rights of Grandparents

If grandparents have been denied access to their grandchildren they cannot apply for a Contact Order or a spends time with order. This is because grandparents have no right to see their grandchildren, as they do not have parental responsibility. Only individuals with parental responsibility, such as; parents, guardians and

 step-parents can apply for a Contact Order. Parental responsibility refers to all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property. Only natural mothers have automatic parental responsibility and fathers by virtue of marriage or civil partnership. Unmarried fathers or fathers not in a civil partnership with the child’s mother can obtain parental responsibility by being registered on the child’s birth certificate, marrying the child’s mother or obtaining parental responsibility through the courts. 

Can grandparents apply to the courts in order to gain access to their grandchildren?

In certain circumstances, grandparents can apply to the courts for ‘leave’ in order to apply for a Contact Order.

When an application for ‘leave’ is made the courts will consider the following:

  • The welfare of the child;
  • The applicants’ relationship with the child; and
  • The nature of the application for contact.

If the application for ‘leave’ is successful, the grandparent can then apply to the courts for a Contact Order in order to obtain access to their grandchildren. If one or both parents object to the application for a Contact Order then it is likely that a hearing will be held in court. In which case, the court will consider the grandparents’ relationship with the child and consider all circumstances in order to decide whether granting a Contact Order will be in the best interest of the child and the rest of the family. In addition, both parties must present evidence at the hearing. 

How NA Law Solicitors can help?

Our team of expert immigration solicitors are here to advise you on the family rights of grandparents. Contact us today to receive our support and guidance.

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