Family law shake-up aims to give grandparents more rights
01 Apr 2011
Grandparents could have more rights to see their grandchildren
after a divorce in a proposed shake-up of family law.
It is something family rights groups have long been hoping to see,
as some parents refuse their children access to their ex-spouse's
parents when they separate, often resulting in them never meeting
However, proposals unveiled this week as part of a new Parenting
Agreement would see contact arrangements drawn up for grandparents
in the same way as they would be for the parent who does not have
It is part of an overhaul of the family justice system drawn up by
the government and although the arrangements would not be legally
binding, they would be taken into account in court if a grandparent
is being denied access to a grandchild in a similar way to how
judges can currently use pre-nuptial agreements between
Compulsory mediation would also be introduced under the plans,
which came about after deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said he was
concerned about the family law surrounding divorce.
A source explained: "Mediators will encourage parents to speak to
grandparents and engage with them while grandparents will be
encouraged to contribute to the arrangements and engage with their
It is hoped the proposals will reflect the significant roles
grandparents play in children's lives.
This comes after Aviva research found that nearly half of British
grandparents now look after their grandchildren during the working
week, looking after an average of two children for 13 hours.