Advanced search

grandparents access

(23 Posts)
aven Wed 06-Nov-13 18:45:02

Can anyone advise if its lightly that a paternal grandparent with no existing relationship with a child is lightly to be given access through the courts. Child has no contact with father due to abandonment and grandparents have shown no interest in the child in the last year and previous to that had contact only once a year.Child is 7 and refuses to see them but they are threatening court action.

KerwhizzedMyself Wed 06-Nov-13 22:21:59

I think courts only grant access if the grandparent has played a big role in the child's life. It sounds like you won't have much to worry about smile

HankEpankie Thu 07-Nov-13 10:53:54

I'm in a similar situation but don't worry, grandparents actually have no legal right to access with your child. If they wish to take you to court for access they first need to write to the court and ask for permission to even apply - judge will more than likely not even allow a case because they have to prove thy have been significant in the childs life. Even if by some miracle the judge allowed a court case to go forward, the fact your little one doesnt want to see them, it will not happen!! Hope this helps! grin

lostdad Thu 07-Nov-13 10:59:51

A grandparent can submit a C2 application along with a C100 one for contact, residence, etc. The C2 is for the permission of the court to make a C100 and that is for contact.

It's increasingly common and I have helped a number of grandparents to do this and find the C2 part a formality in many cases.

I would strongly suggest that the OP either offers contact or agrees to mediation to resolve this. The court has a strong presumption that a child should have contact with the paternal family (something many RP mothers forget: Contact is not just with Dad - it's with his family...the child's grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc.)

At some of the FNF meetings I attend, half of the people there are grandmothers.

enderwoman Thu 07-Nov-13 11:09:08

They can only get access if you're not coping as a LP. My ex FIL went to see a solicitor and was told he had no case and that the best he could expect is for him to spend time with me and the kids at my invitation.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 11:17:13

How many of those grandparents actually get access in the end lostdad?

lostdad Thu 07-Nov-13 11:23:22

Most of them to be honest. There's a presumption that contact SHOULD take place.

Then again it's probably self selecting. Anyone who shouts the odds about taking someone to court for contact but doesn't make the effort beforehand isn't going to go anywhere. I deal with grandparents who have tried continually and see court as a last resort.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 11:26:17

That's quite frightening to know. These are grandparents who've rarely if ever seen the child? What kind of contact do they get?

lostdad Thu 07-Nov-13 11:37:14

It depends on each case. Like everything else the Family Court uses the Welfare Checklist as it's guide.

As always if both parties cannot agree and it ends up in court a judge will weigh up all the factors before making an order - one of the factors being how long the children haven't seen the grandparents, the child's wishes and feelings dependent on age and circumstance, etc.

Quejica Thu 07-Nov-13 11:43:48

Lostdad perhaps you would like to detail exactly what legal qualifications you have.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 11:49:22

Hmm. So are we talking grandparents like the one in the OP being given access after seeing the children what sounds like six times in seven years? Or the ones where the grandparent was a part of the child's life before a break up? I think you could be worrying OP unnecessarily if its the latter.

lostdad Thu 07-Nov-13 12:52:27

Meh. I confess to being on the pessimistic side - as I said in my post above what I have advised is the legal side of things.

In my experience in court it's about how you present things and often has little bearing on reality. I'm not about to starting saying what the `chances' of a contact application by the grandparents being successful are however because there are a wide range of factors to take into account here - the situation is almost always different when you speak to someone compared to reading a 5 line post on MN.

The solicitors' answer would be to `get legal advice' and they've got a point - the OP needs to speak to someone if she is worried about this subject. This forum is not a good place to base life-changing decisions on...wink

holidaysarenice Thu 07-Nov-13 13:10:57

I would have to disagree with lost dad. And I have no legal experience.

I would give these two examples. A family with a say 4 and 6 yrs old where gm did the daycare two days a week from birth and the after school 2 days. Regular weekend babysitting.Parents split up - messy divorce say and mum moves 60 miles away. Refuses grandparent contact.

As an alternative - parents separated from birth of child, adhoc visits up to age 3, now 6 and a grandparents fancies a weekend visit as they have a big birthday party.

Completely difference circumstances and motives for contact. Children of different ages may/may not even remember.

My advice - let them try. If they do write to the court outlining the minimal contact, lack of relationship and upset to the child. Demonstrate that the child has a good wider support network.

I Can't see it happening.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 13:25:12

How patronising lostdad. Perhaps OP was seeking advice rather than basing life changing decisions on the replies? You're very happy to offer advice when it supports the NRP I've noticed. Surely you should stick to posting "seek legal advice" if you feel forums aren't helpful? wink

lostdad Thu 07-Nov-13 13:39:55

My basic point is that you should avoid court unless you have any option. It's expensive, damaging and emotionally painful.

I'm sorry you have misinterpreted my posts.

betterthanever Thu 07-Nov-13 20:07:01

I agree with what lostdad says about avoiding court, it has to be a last resort. Try mediation and attempt some contact OP. If it does not work out you have the evidence of trying for any court case that may follow.
There is NO presumption of contact in the children's act and I have that in writting from the MOJ. However the reality in the court system is that there is and that is damaging to some children and something I am working on with an MP.
There are various options to contact and the court will try and use them all before saying no contact, meanwhile some children suffer - others gain a lot from the contact.
The system is terrible.
There needs to be IMO some new procedures to filter the children who will benefit from contact from those who would not to protect children from enduring conflict. It should not have to take the child getting to upset to continue for it to stop. I don't have the answer to how that would work but really wish people who have better knowlede than me would look at that. But that doesn't make anyone any money so they don't.

betterthanever Thu 07-Nov-13 20:11:02

I must add that what lostdad went through has no doubt caused him to get more involved in the system and see the flaws. I see how badly you were treated lostdad but I do have to agree with another posters that it is important that all flaws are viewed and not just those that affect you personally. If there is one leak in the ship the whole thing will go down over time. There are now many and we need to work together to fix them all, or children suffer.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 20:25:53

So putting aside the fact it's supposed to be for the child for a second, do grandparents have rights to contact now? Is it a given that these grandparents would get contact in the end?

betterthanever Thu 07-Nov-13 20:27:35

Yes, I would say they would, rightly or wrongly it is how the current system is.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 20:31:45

But I thought grandparents had no rights to access? shock Or is it dressed up as the child has rights?

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 20:39:46

I'm gobsmacked right now. So this means by dds grandparents who have not seen her from the day she was born could suddenly appear and get to see her? I'm like this shock They are strangers apart from blood.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 07-Nov-13 20:39:58


Monetbyhimself Fri 08-Nov-13 08:02:04

Maybe try reposting on legal where there are qualified family law solicitors who can help.
From my own experience I wouldn't worry too much. The feelings of your child are very important and should they even get as far as bring allowed to apply, will be taken into account.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now