With the ever-changing dynamic of the modern-day family comes the harsh reality that some family members are left behind. Grandparents play an ever-increasing role in their grandchildren’s lives, with around 69% of families relying on them to provide some form of childcare. Of course, having the love and support of a grandparent has a number of benefits, and there are some who take this nurturing relationship for granted. Our team of specialist family lawyers in Glasgow can help you get the best outcome possible. Call us today on 0141 429 8166 or complete our online contact form.
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Perhaps the most common reason is that the child’s parents have separated. With the child’s time being divided between parents, a grandparent’s contact quickly falls down the list of priorities. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that over 40% of grandparents lose contact following a separation, albeit for a variety of reasons.
In this situation, if you are a grandparent seeking contact and this cannot be agreed with the parent or parents, you should contact a solicitor as soon as possible. The quicker advice is sought the quicker the first steps can be taken to recommence contact.
The best solution is the one which addresses the root cause for contact stopping in the first place and creates a long term resolution that all parties are happy with. There are a number of options available to help resolve matters which do not include court action. It may be helpful for parties to attend mediation, allowing them a neutral platform to clear the air and sort out misunderstandings without the involvement of third parties who may be exacerbating the situation.
If matters cannot be resolved by agreement then the next step is to raise proceedings in court. Whilst grandparents do not have the same rights to contact as mothers and fathers, they do have an interest in their grandchild’s life and are therefore able to raise an action. The court will have regard to the background and all the circumstances of the case before coming to a decision whether or not to make an order that re-instates contact. Any decision reached is based on what is in the child’s best interests. The Sheriff may decide to reinstate contact which could include residential (overnight) contact or to allow contact through other means such as indirect contact. This means a grandparent is permitted to send cards and gifts to their grandchild and they are entitled to receive photographs and updates.
The Sheriff would also have the option to re-instate face to face contact at a contact centre on either a supervised or a supported basis, which is normally a temporary measure until contact builds up. Any decision the Sheriff makes will be made into a formal court order. This means both you and the child’s parents must comply with the Sheriff’s order. For example, if the parent refuses to make the child available for contact they face punishment from the court.
Each family is unique and therefore every case is different. At Livingstone Brown we understand this and provide expert legal advice uniquely catered to an individual’s circumstances. We will fully advise you of your options at the outset and can apply for Legal Aid funding on your behalf. If you're not eligible for legal aid, we will give you a clear indication of the likely costs so you can know what's involved before taking any action.
We have successfully helped many grandparents resolve disputes amicably and gain contact to their grandchildren.
If you are an estranged grandparent who wants contact with your grandchild, we can help. We have a team of experienced, professional family lawyers based across Glasgow who can advise you on the best options for you. Contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors on 0141 429 8166 or complete our online contact form today.
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Livingstone Brown is a leading firm of Scottish solicitors. Based in Glasgow, but dealing with cases around the country, the firm has been at the forefront of legal service provision for over thirty years.
If you have a legal problem, getting good quality legal information at the earliest stage can be invaluable. The firm offers a free initial enquiry service; all you have to do is call in, telephone, or e-mail. You won't be charged for your enquiry; we'll let you know by return whether we can help, what we can do, and how much it's likely to cost. We can also offer legal aid where available.
Led by former senior partner Gerard Brown CBE, who continues as a consultant, the firm has built up an enviable reputation for quality of service and client care.
The firm has won various awards over the years. In the 2019 edition of the prestigious Legal 500 rankings Livingstone Brown was ranked as a 'top-tier' firm for general criminal work, and is also recommended for fraud cases. Stuart Munro and Gerard Brown were named as 'Recommended Lawyers'. In the Chambers directory the firm has a Band 1 ranking for criminal work, and Stuart Munro is a ranked financial crime lawyer. The firm was named Criminal Defence Firm of the Year and Family Law Team of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards 2019.