More grandparents seeking child contact orders

Family|February 24th 2015

Seven grandparents a day apply for child contact orders in an effort to see their grandchildren, the government has revealed.

Grandparents made a total of 2,517 applications for child contact orders in the year to 2014, slightly less than in the previous year, when 2,649 applications were made, but more than in the year to 2012, when the total was 2,319.

The figures were released in response to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Steve McCabe. He asked the Secretary of State for Justice:

“…how many applications for Court Orders there have been from grandparents wishing to see grandchildren after the divorce of the parents of those children in the last three years.”

Non-profit organisation National Family Mediation blamed the government for the phenomenon.

CEO Jane Robey noted the fact that grandparents have no automatic right to contact with their grandchildren following separation or divorce. The government had failed to properly communicate alternative methods of resolving family disputes, she claimed, methods which could avoid court action altogether.

She added:

“Making an approach to court should be used only as a last resort by anxious grandparents. Our worry is that the huge majority of the 2,517 grandparents applying for court orders in 2014 knew nothing about the alternative options available to them.”

Photo by lauren.heavner under a Creative Commons licence

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Dr. Nigel Miles says:

    Such sadness. But nothing can be done until we in England and Wales enter the new Century. Parity in parenting will resolve all grandparents concern affecting 20% of all in our great or should be nation.
    let’s stop this scandal and start acting like a civil end society fir the real best interest of our children 1/3 whom are resisting contact with all their family FOR NO REASON ON AT ALL.

  2. Yvie says:

    50/50% as default shared parenting should become law. Contact disagreements through the Family Courts will surely lessen, as well as reducing many of the CSA frustrations which leave fathers, particularly those with shared care, feeling unfairly treated financially.

  3. Rita K says:

    50:50 sounds ideal, but if you are co-parenting with a narcissist it is an impossibility. The child is used as a weapon in a war of power and control. Family Courts need to open up. Parental Alienation has to be studied, acknowledged as abusive and dealt with by Family Courts. Then our children and grandchildren stand a chance of growing up with minimal long-term damage.

  4. Yvie says:

    Unfortunately some pwc will attempt reduce contact in order to ensure they receive the maximum child maintenance from the nrp. This is another area that needs to be addressed, perhaps taking the income of the pwc into account as well as the income of the nrp.

  5. Name Witheld says:

    My son got mad at me because I ask him not to call people names and stop using the fuck .and now the day no one can see the grand child .want to do.

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