Paul Crowley & Co Solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with problems affecting Grandparents who wish to see their grandchild following the breakdown in the relationship of the grandchildren’s parents.
As a grandparent there are no automatic legal rights over a grandchild. This will usually require a court order whether that be by way of the Court ruling upon the application and making the order (known as an adjudication) or by way of a consent order which has been agreed by the parties and sealed by the court.
For a grandparent to secure a legally binding right to contact with a grandchild, any agreement to contact should be detailed and clearly set out within the order.
Before bringing an application for a contact order before the court, a grandparent would firstly need to obtain the permission of the Court to make the contact application. This is known as an application for leave. Leave will be required unless the child has been living with the Grandparents for a period of 3 years or more or they have the consent of all parties with parental responsibility.
Normally grandparents will readily be given leave to bring a contact application provided that they can prove to the court that they have a genuine interest and commitment to the child. Any application for leave must be made in writing and in the prescribed form.
Once leave has been granted by the court the application for contact will be considered. Again this application must be made in writing and in the prescribed form.
When considering applications for contact the court will consider all issues, however the child’s welfare and safety is always the primary and paramount concern. The court would generally seek to maintain and promote a relationship between a child and a grandparent provided that the contact is on a regular and structured basis and deemed to be within the child’s best interests.
Once a contact order is made by the court the terms of that order remain binding upon all parties until the child reaches maturity or until further order of the court.
Liverpool Solicitors Paul Crowley & Co specialist Grandparent Solicitors are happy to discuss bringing an application for a contact order before the Court and can advise on your chances of success before any action is commenced.
As Paul Crowley & Co Solicitors have been awarded the Legal Services Commission Legal Aid Contract, Legal Aid is available depending on your circumstances. Please ask for details. Or, for privately funded matters, please ask about our very reasonable rates when you call.