The Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, has answered a written parliamentary question which shows that every day 7 grandparents in the UK seek a court order allowing them to see their grandchildren.
In 2013/14 there were 2,517 applications for Child Arrangement Orders (previously known as Contact Orders) by Grandparents.
These orders will most often follow separation of the children’s parents, which often leads to complications with care arrangements for the children.
National Family Mediation (NFM) responded to these figures, saying that the government needs to provide more information about alternatives to such orders, including mediation. This is particularly important in light of the changes to legal aid, under which grandparents cannot qualify when seeking a Child Arrangement Order, but may qualify for mediation costs.
Jane Robey, CEO of NFM said “The Government says it wants to keep family disputes out or court wherever possible. It can certainly talk the talk, but it needs to do more to walk the walk.”
Read the written parliamentary answer.
If you wish to discuss either mediation or the possibility of obtaining a Child Arrangement Order, call us to set up a free 30 minute consultation.