In recent years grandparents have become more integral to the running of a family – providing childcare and assistance with day to day activities.
Recent statistics reveal that one in five of over-55s in the UK look after their grandchild twice a week. The Grandparent role is invaluable to children in many ways helping them to understand their family dynamics and heritage. Grandparents bring many important qualities to the relationship with their Grandchildren the value of which should not be underestimated.
When relationships break down this contact can be curtailed or even cease, causing distress to both the child and grandparent. We are mindful of the issues facing Grandparents in these circumstances and set out ways that we can assist.
40% of grandparents lose contact with their grandchildren when the child’s parents separate. This may be attributable, in part, to the fact grandparents have no automatic right to contact and are simply not aware of the options open to them.
There are various options open to you:
You should always try, in the first instance, to discuss your issues and feelings with the children’s parents – make it clear that whilst they are no longer in a relationship this should not prevent you from having a relationship with your grandchildren. Try starting a discussion by email or letter if you feel unable to discuss matters directly or face to face with the parents.
Mediation and Court Proceedings are other options available.
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