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Helping all grandparents celebrate on 6th October

4th October 2019

The UK has more than 14 million grandparents. Almost two-thirds of all grandparents regularly look after their grandchildren and it is estimated that grandchildren save working parents approximately £6.8 billion nationally in childcare costs.

Grandparents’ Day on 6th October celebrates the positive role that the majority of grandparents are able to play in the lives of their grandchildren. However for some grandparents the day will not be a reason to celebrate.

“National Grandparents' Day is a day for grandparents across the nation to celebrate” comments Sioned Fitt a family law specialist at Higgs.

“But for those who are unable to see their grandchildren due to family breakdown, it can be a difficult time.

“Communication is key to resolving any family conflict. When communications break down however, 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.

“Ultimately 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 or wants to act as a permanent carer for their grandchild.”

Grandparents need 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 the child (depending upon their age and understanding) among other important factors the Court will need to take into account. The paramount consideration of the Court will be the welfare of the child.

Sioned concludes: “National Grandparents' Day on 6 October is a day of celebration for families across the country. However where family conflict means grandparents are estranged from their grandchildren, they need to know there is help and support available.

“The family team at Higgs & Sons have significant experience in assisting all family members in the event of a dispute. We tailor our services 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.

 

 

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