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The break-up of a relationship is difficult, not only for the parents and the children but also for the extended family.
This can be particularly difficult for grandparents, who for example were very close and enjoyed frequent contact with their grandchildren during the relationship, but following a break-up, that relationship is restricted.
The court is of the view that the extended family and more particularly, grandparents, are an incredibly important part of a child’s life. There is therefore a mechanism in place for them to seek the court’s assistance in the event that they are removed from the child’s lives. As with any court proceedings, the court’s paramount concern in these proceedings will be the best interests of the children. This means the court will look at whether it is in the children’s best interests to spend time with their grandparents.
Although the grandparents will need permission from the court in order to make an application for a child arrangements order and spend time with their grandchildren, that relationship between children and grandparents is usually seen as beneficial. Once the court has decided whether permission has been granted, the court will then decide on what level of contact between the children and their grandparents is considered to be in the best interest of the children.
These applications will however need to be made cautiously and careful thought will need to be given before the application is made. It is also important that attempts have been made to discuss these arrangements with all the parties involved, or mediation has taken place before applying to the court.