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Claire Darley  

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Helping all Grandparents celebrate their national day

 

Article date:  30/09/2016

The UK has more than 14 million grandparents, the majority of whom will be spending time with their grandchildren this weekend as the country celebrates national Grandparents' Day on Sunday 2 October.

For some grandparents, however, this will not be the case.

National Grandparents' Day was introduced by Age Concern in 1990. It is a day for grandparents across the nation to celebrate. But for those who are unable to see their grandchildren, it can be a difficult time.

Grandparents can play a very valuable role in their grandchildren's lives. Where grandparents have been prevented from seeing their grandchildren, family courts do recognise the importance of this role.

Grandparents can apply to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order which is an order setting out the arrangements for children in terms of who they live with and who they will spend time with. The Court can also make a number of other orders such as Special Guardianship Orders which would be relevant where the grandparent is acting as a carer for a child.

It is necessary for grandparents to obtain the permission of the court to bring any such applications. They will need to satisfy the Court that there are sufficient grounds for the application to be made and the Court will take into account a number of factors when deciding whether or not to grant permission.

In particular, the Court will examine the grandparents' relationship with the child and the wishes and feelings of both the child (depending upon their age and understanding) and those of the child's parents. The paramount consideration of the court will be the welfare of the child.

Communication is key to resolving any conflict. When communications break down, there are a number of methods of resolving matters; such as mediation where an independent third party assists the persons involved to talk and reach an understanding.

National Grandparents' Day on 2 October is a day of celebration for families across the country. The family team at Higgs & Sons have significant experience in assisting all family members in the event of a dispute. We tailor our service according to an individual family's needs. It is important for grandparents and all persons involved to be advised as regards to their legal options, rights and responsibilities as early as possible. In the event of a dispute arising, we have a team of expert solicitors and mediators to adopt the best approach.

For further information or to arrange a face-to-face meeting, please contact Clair Foster (PA) on 0345 111 5050.

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