Select Page

Grandparents play a unique and important part in their grandchildren’s lives. However, despite this valuable role they hold, in England and Wales, grandparents do not have an automatic legal right to see their grandchildren.

There are various reasons why access to grandchildren could be restricted, with a divorce, relocation or the breakdown of a key relationship all affecting the level of contact grandparents can enjoy.

Losing touch with a grandchild for any reason can be devastating. However, there are various steps grandparents can take to get access to their grandchildren.

I am not allowed to see my grandchildren. What should I do?

If you are a grandparent who has been refused spending time with your grandchildren, you should speak to a specialist family lawyer. A solicitor with experience in family law will talk to you about your situation, listen to your concerns and take the time to understand your priorities.

A specialist family solicitor will advise on your options and work with you to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your grandchild.

In most cases, the first route a solicitor will advise you to try is family mediation.

What is family mediation?

Mediation is a legitimate alternative to the court process and avoids the cost, delay, fear and anxiety of going to Court. It is a renowned method of Non-Court Dispute Resolution (or ‘NCDR’)

Families often encounter challenges which can be difficult to resolve without external help. By involving an impartial expert, family mediation helps facilitate constructive discussions and assists in reaching outcomes that work for everyone involved.

At Onions & Davies, we strongly advocate mediation as a valuable tool for helping families reach agreements that are in everyone’s best interests. Our goal is to encourage grandparents and other family members to find common ground, avoiding the need for Court intervention.

We have a dedicated family mediation suite at our offices that provides a safe and secure environment for you to meet and talk. Depending on the age of the child(ren), we can also arrange for Child Inclusive Mediation if this is suitable.

We can also refer you to reputable mediators in Shropshire, Cheshire, or Staffordshire and provide further information on this valuable process.

To find out more about how mediation can help resolve family disputes, or to speak to one of our experienced family law solicitors about a grandparent access case or another family law issue, get in touch with our Resolution family solicitors, Louise Martin or Simeon Bowen-Fanstone.

To speak to Louise or Simeon, please call 01630 411226 or email the Family Law Team at

The first step in family mediation is to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) with an independent mediator. At this initial meeting, you will have the opportunity to tell the mediator about your situation and go through the issues that need to be discussed.

In most cases, the family mediator will advise that your case is suitable for mediation and, if the participants are willing, you can decide to continue with family mediation sessions to resolve your dispute.

However, in cases where an agreement cannot be reached informally, grandparents can seek to apply to the family court for a child arrangements order to agree access to their grandchild.

What is a Child Arrangements Order?

A child arrangements order (CAO) is a legally binding order issued by a Court that sets out various aspects of a child’s arrangements, such as who they live with, and when and how other forms of contact should take place with their parents or other family members.

If you are a grandparent seeking to spend time with your grandchild, obtaining a CAO can be crucial in solidifying your legal rights regarding the time you spend with your grandchildren.

Unlike parents, grandparents are not automatically entitled to apply for a CAO. Instead, the Court considers a range of factors including the following when ruling whether an application can be made:

  • The nature of the proposed application.
  • The applicant’s connection with the child.
  • Any risk of the proposed application disrupting the child’s life to the extent that they would be harmed.

In making a CAO, a child’s welfare is its primary consideration. The Court will also bear in mind:

  • The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of their age and understanding).
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in their circumstances.
  • The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics which the Court considers relevant.
  • Any harm which they have suffered or are at risk of suffering.
  • How capable each of their parents are of meeting their needs.

Different types of child arrangement orders are available, and the orders are tailored to a family’s unique needs and situation.

CAO applications can also be made by consent where family members have already agreed on arrangements for grandchildren and simply require a Court to formalise the agreement.

Seeking the advice of a family lawyer with experience in grandparents’ rights is crucial to ensure your CAO application accurately reflects your wishes and includes the relevant key legal provisions.

Solicitors for Grandparents’ Rights

At Onions & Davies, we have a wealth of experience in family law matters, including grandparent’s cases.

We understand the challenges you may face and are equipped with the knowledge and experience to tackle them effectively. We recognise that each grandparent’s case is unique, and that is why we take a personalised approach, tailoring our legal strategies to your specific circumstances and goals.

We will work closely with you, listening to your concerns and priorities, to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your grandchildren.

From initial consultations to Court representation, our solicitors provide comprehensive legal support at every stage of your family law case. We will guide you through the entire process, explaining the legal complexities in plain language, and keeping you informed and empowered every step of the way.

You can contact the team on or 01630 652405.

We are here to support you every step of the way.