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Grandparents ‘needed’ after divorce

Grandparents ‘needed’ after divorce

The grandparents of children involved in divorce cases should continue to play a role in their lives, a report has suggested. The report follows a review, commissioned by the Government, by David Norgrove into the family justice system.

The proposal is one of a number of suggestions made by Mr Norgrove, aimed at ensuring youngsters involved in divorce cases suffer as little as possible. The former civil servant has recommended that courts draw up new contract agreements for the benefit of parents and children. The report, which consulted a selection of bodies, states: “The panel recognises the importance that grandparents play in children’s lives, and that this is a relationship that is often highly valued by both children and other family members. “The importance of this continuing after parents have separated came through strongly in the call for evidence.”

It has suggested building access rights for grandparents into Parenting Agreements, a key plank of the proposals, and encourages “facilitating, as far as practicable, the child continuing to have a relationship with those who have an important role in their life, such as siblings and grandparents”. Mr Norgrove also suggested couples should be urged to seek mediation rather than face a courtroom battle. The recommendation from the Family Justice Review is intended to cut the strain on the system, as an increasing number of parents become involved in legal wrangles over children and money.

Catherine Davern, Solicitor in IBB’s Childcare team, comments:

“In an age where extended family members (most notably grandparents) are often called upon to provide extended periods of care for children in support of the nuclear family, it is to my mind, essential that the Government commissioned review recognises, acknowledges and provides for the continuation of such vitally important influences/relationships following family breakdown.”

Our Childcare team helps families across West London. For advice, contact a member of the team, call us on 01895 207857 or email childcare@ibblaw.co.uk.