Grandparents & Grandchildren
Grandparents can apply for parental rights and responsibilities in relation to their grandchildren, or for that matter, great-grandchildren. Sometimes family relationships breakdown and grandparents wish to ensure that they still have contact with their grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. If an agreement cannot be negotiated, a Court action can be raised seeking parental rights and responsibilities, and in particular the parental rights and responsibility of contact.
Sometimes due to unfortunate circumstances such as a bereavement, grandparents may wish to provide a home for their grandchildren and security and stability for the children. In order to be placed in the same position as a parent, and to be able to make certain decisions in relation to their grandchild or grandchildren, they may need to obtain a Parental Rights and Responsibilities Order. The test, as always with children, is what is in the best interests of the children. The Court requires to be satisfied that it would be better for the children that the Order which is sought is granted, than not. The Court will consider the impact and effect of any decisions on the children. The children will be prioritised, with decisions being made to assist the children also to move forward and adjust. At all times, a Court will seek to protect the children and to ensure a secure and happy future for them. The children's views may be taken depending on their age and maturity. Whilst the Court will accord the weight it deems appropriate to these views, it will always make any determination based on what is in the best interests of the children.
Many factors will require consideration, including but not limited to the relationship between the children and the grandparents, and the impact on the children of any arrangements for contact.