Grounds for Divorce - Examples of Unreasonable Behaviour
There is only one Ground for Divorce - that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To prove this, you have to give one of five reasons.
Unfortunately, as a grandparent in England or Wales, you do not have any automatic legal rights to see your grandchildren if a parent prevents you from seeing them.
Family Courts do, however, recognise the priceless role that a grandparent has to play and it is unlikely that a Court will refuse contact unless it is satisfied that the contact is not in the best interests of the children.
There are steps you can take to spend time with your grandchildren. These are:
For initial advice get in touch with our Family and Child Law Solicitors.
Even with the best intentions and the children’s best interests at heart, if an informal family-based agreement is not possible, an independent family mediator can help you and family members work out an agreement.
A mediator will organise a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This is designed to find a suitable agreement following separation or divorce and this includes cases where children are involved.
Mediation is not always suitable and various exemptions apply. It is therefore important to take advice in relation to this prior to making your application to mediation.
Only people who have Parental Responsibility for a child i.e. parent’s, step-parents or guardians, can automatically apply for a Child Arrangement Order (formerly known as a Contact Order).
Before applying to the Family Court, you should exhaust all other options, meaning you should only consider this next step if all attempts at Mediation have failed.
If you’re choosing to go down this route, you’ll need to know that the Court will consider:
The parents might still object to this, meaning you will have to attend a full hearing where both parties will have to put forward strong evidence to support their cases.
It’s really important that you have expert legal advice, so by speaking to one of our Family and Child Law Solicitors you can be advised on how to gather evidence and build a strong case.
You’ll need a strong case too. The Court will expect you to persuade them that you have a meaningful and ongoing relationship with your grandchildren. They’ll need to be convinced that your relationship will significantly benefit them.
With contact being such a sensitive issue, the Court will always put the child first and the Court will consider:
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