UK: New political amendment could grant grandparents right to have access to their grandchildren post a divorce

A new amendment may enshrine the right of a grandparent to see their grandchildren after a divorce within the law.

MPs in UK are supporting an amendment to the Children’s Act , the amendment would refer to a youngster’s right to have a relationship with close members of their extended family. The extended family would include aunts and uncles having access to their nephews and nieces.

As such there is no such proposition in the current law. So today if a relative in UK wishes to have apply for such access, he has to go through a lengthy proceeding wherein he will have to must to a court for access rights, then for a child arrangement order (CAO) to be put into place, which takes time and costs money in legal fees.

During the proceeding of House of Commons last week, Conservative MP Nigel Huddleston said that he had heard stories of grandparents who have tried to send birthday cards or Christmas gifts to their grandchildren and found themselves being visited by the police and accused of harassment.

He said: “Divorce and family breakdown can take an emotional toll on all involved, but the family dynamic that is all too often overlooked is that between grandparents and their grandchildren.
“When access to grandchildren is blocked, some grandparents call it a kind of living bereavement.”

Supporting the amendment Fellow Conservative Tim Loughton pointed out there was a “supposition that the parents should both be as involved as possible in their children’s upbringing”.

He asked if “it would be equally appropriate to have a presumption that grandparents should be involved as much as possible in the upbringing of those children, unless – and only unless – there is a problem with the welfare of that child?”
Justice minister Lucy Frazer revealed that she would consider a change in the law.

She said, “It is clear that the system could work better and I am keen to look into how we can improve it.”

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