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Grandparents – The Forgotten Victims of Divorce

March 8, 2016   /  Divorce Lawyer   /   no comments

It has been extensively reported that the month of January sees a substantial rise in enquiries and web-searches regarding divorce issues.

However mediation charity, National Family Mediation (NFM), has highlighted that this elevated curiosity in divorce doesn’t simply have an effect on the divorcing couple and their children, however can actually have a profound effect on the children’s grandparents.

NFM describes grandparents as the ‘forgotten victims’ of divorce, given that they have got no automatic right to be part of their grandchild’s existence, and may all of a sudden lose contact with a so much loved grandchild through no fault of their own after the mother and father decide to divorce or separate.

In line with NFM, grandparents made 2,517 court applications in 2014 to spend time with their grandchildren following the divorce of the child’s parents. This equates to seven contact applications per day.

Nonetheless, NFM has highlighted that family mediation may be a better alternative for grandparents as a substitute than routinely heading directly to court.

“It’s understandable that anxious grandparents reach for the legal route, but making an approach to court should be used only as a last resort,” explained NFM CEO, Jane Robey. “Experience tells us the huge majority of those applying for court orders know little about alternative ways to resolve family disputes, including family mediation, which is often the best way for grandparents to resume the contact they so badly want with family members.”

“Grandparents who feel unable to contact the adults who care for their grandchild can approach a mediation service for help,” she added. “Family mediators can discuss with them the best way of inviting their relatives to participate in a process which is usually quicker, cheaper and far less stressful than going to court.”

If you need advice regarding your rights as grandparents, please get in touch with one of our Divorce Lawyers and we’ll help you achieve the very best resolution.

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