In the first instant, we would encourage grandparents to resolve problems amicably with the child’s parents or even the local authority. We would usually advise writing to the other people involved in the case to try and reach an agreement.
If an agreement can not be reached with the parents of a child, we would discuss with you the appropriateness of mediation to try and resolve matters in a non-confrontational way with the help of an independent third party. We would make this referral for you.
If trying to resolve matters outside of Court is unsuccessful we could apply to the Court for the most appropriate court order, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Grandparents have the first hurdle of having to apply for permission to make an application first. We can do this for you.
Once an application is made to the Court, a copy of that application is sent to all the parties involved and a court hearing date will be listed. The first hearing is known as a FHDRA (First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment). At this hearing, there will usually be CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) officer present to try and help reach an agreement and assist the Court. They would usually have undertaken safe-guarding checks prior to the hearing and spoken to all the parties involved.
If matters can’t be resolved at the first hearing, the Court will make the more appropriate directions to assist in bringing the matter to a conclusion which sometimes includes a CAFCASS officer undertaking a report of the child’s welfare.
If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.