This is often an issue that arises when parents separate and they are unable to make arrangements between themselves in respect of the children spending time with the parent they do not live with.
As the relationship between the parents become less amicable the impact on the children can be considered as not only will they be spending a reduced amount of time with the parent they do not live with, if any time at all, but it is often the case that the children’s relationship with the wider family, especially grandparents, that suffers the most.
At present, there is no automatic right afforded to grandparents to apply to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order specifying when they are to spend time with the children and they would have to rely on the parent making the application and settle with seeing the children when that parent does.
At present, a Grandparent would have to apply to the Court for permission to make an application for a Child Arrangement Order. There is a certain consideration that the Court will have before granting the Grandparent with permission to proceed and it can also be opposed by the parents, provided they have parental responsibility.
This could be about to change as there is cross-party support amongst MP’s for the law to be changed so that children have a right to a relationship with close family members, which could also include Aunts and Uncles. This would enable close family members to apply straight for A Child Arrangements Order rather than having to incur the costs and delay of seeking the Courts permission first.
Enoch Evans LLP follows the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol and the Resolution Code of Practice in promoting a non-confrontational and constructive way of dealing with cohabitation disputes, whilst always acting in a client’s best interest. Please contact Andrew Wood or a member of our Family Team for further advice on this area.