Many grandparents are unsure of what right of access they have to their grandchildren. Unfortunately, grandparents do not have automatic right of access to their grandchildren the same way a parent has access to their children.

However, the court recognises the importance of the role of the grandparents in their grandchildren’s development and wellbeing. Therefore, where access is not agreed, a grandparent can get access by applying to the court for a Child Arrangements Order.

Because grandparents do not have parental responsibility, they would first need to apply to the Court for permission to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order.

Where the grandchild has lived with the grandparent for one year immediately preceding the application, the grandparent does not need permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order regulating the child’s living arrangements. However, the grandparent would need permission to apply for any other section 8 order, including a Child Arrangements Order regulating with whom and when a child is to spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.

If you are a grandparent and would like advice on your right of access to your grandchildren, contact our family department to have a chat with our specialists.