Grandparents’ rights debated in the House of Commons

Last week MPs debated in the House of Commons the issue of grandparents’ contact with their grandchildren. The debate was moved by Nigel Huddleston, Conservative MP for for Mid Worcestershire, who said that: “Unlike some other countries, grandparents in the UK have no automatic rights to see their grandchildren, and vice versa.”

Mr Huddleston said that if they cannot agree contact with the child’s parents then grandparents must apply to the court for a child arrangements order, first seeking the leave of the court to do so. The whole process, he said, can be time-consuming and costly.

Mr Huddleston, supported by other MPs, called for two amendments to the law. Firstly, that the requirement for grandparents to obtain the leave of the court to make an application be removed, and secondly that the child’s right to have a relationship with their grandparents be enshrined in law by extending to grandparents the presumption that, unless the contrary is shown, involvement of both parents in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare.

The Ministry of Justice indicated that it would consider any proposals for helping children maintain involvement with grandparents.

For a brief summary of the current law on grandparents’ rights, see this post.

If you are a grandparent seeking contact with your grandchild(ren), Family Law Cafe can help you. To contact us click the Contact link above and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.

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Image: the adventure of grandchildren, by Bruce Tuten, licensed under CC BY 2.0.