It was reported in the news yesterday that MPs are calling for the Government to pass a law for the right for grandparents to see their grandchildren after a divorce. They want an amendment to the Children Act, which would include a child's right to have a close relationship with members of their extended family.
Currently grandparents, aunts and uncles have no such rights if contact is stopped between them and their grandchild/niece/nephew. If they wish to make an application at court, they need to seek the court's permission to make such an application.
If you are affected by this issue and require further advice, please contact a member of the family team. Our teams are located in Winchester, Chandler's Ford, Southampton, Bournemouth & Poole.
The issue was debated in parliament last week, with MPs sharing experiences of their constituents. Conservative MP Nigel Huddleston said he knew of grandparents who had been accused of harassment and were visited by police after sending birthday cards and Christmas gifts to their grandchildren. He said: "Divorce and family breakdown can take an emotional toll on all involved, but the family dynamic that is all too often overlooked is that between grandparents and their grandchildren. "When access to grandchildren is blocked, some grandparents call it a kind of living bereavement."