MPs move to guarantee grandparent rights after divorce

By Lenore Rice

MPs are moving to enshrine in law the right for grandparents to see their grandchildren after a divorce.

The bid to amend legislation to cover a child's right to a relationship with extended family members following a divorce has garnered cross-party support. It would involve an amendment to the Children Act, and would include aunts, uncles and grandparents, and would stop them having to embark on a costly process of applying for access rights and a child arrangement order.

There have been several attempts in the past to give more rights to grandparents specifically following a divorce, but it does now appear that the courts are willing to consider a proposal. A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "The welfare of a child is the primary consideration for the family courts and steps are taken wherever possible to reduce the impact of family conflict on children when relationships end.

"We will consider any proposals for helping children maintain involvement with grandparents, together with other potential reforms to the family justice system, which are currently being looked at."

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland in respect of a separation or child access rights, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.