What are grandparents rights to see their grandchildren following the breakdown of a relationship. While most parents have parental rights and responsibilities which allows them to seek a court order for contact with their children, what options are available to other family members who feel excluded from a child's life.
Applying for parental rights and responsibilities
Almost anyone can apply for parental rights and responsibilities provided they have an interest in the child's life. In practice they will have to show it will be in the child's best interests.
Although anyone can apply for parental rights it is ordinarily:
Unmarried fathers of children born before 4 May 2006
Aunts and uncles
Siblings over the age of 16
If the court grants parental rights and responsibilities then the family member can apply for a court order for contact with the child.
If the court determines that it would be better for the child not to have contact with a certain family member then it will not grant that person parental rights or a right to contact. This is the position regardless of how upsetting this might be for that family member as Scottish courts only take the welfare and best interests of the child into account.
If parental rights and responsibilities are not granted then parents can continue to refuse contact. Mediation may be an option here to improve communication between parents and other family members.
If you would like legal advice about grandparents' rights and responsibilities, mediation or contact get in touch with our experienced Family Law Team, with lawyers in Edinburgh and Glasgow.