Do grandparents have legal rights?

Grandparents do not have any automatic right to see their grandchildren. Sadly, when a relationship breaks down one or both sets of grandparents can be pushed out and lose contact with their grandchildren. The family courts however do recognise the invaluable role that grandparents can play in their grandchildren’s lives, especially at a time when their grandchildren are going through a difficult time in terms of the parental separation.  Therefore, if a grandparent makes an application to the family court, they may stand a good chance of success in obtaining a child arrangements order that the grandchildren should spend time with them. 

Grandparents do not have an automatic right to make an application for a child arrangements order, they will have to apply for permission (leave) and if they make an application the court will consider, amongst other things, their connection with the child and whether the application is in the child’s best interest.