Grandparents often provide a lot of family support, and many contribute to their grandchildren’s everyday care. Some grandparents become the legal carers for their grandchildren, under kinship care arrangements – for example, if the birth parents aren’t able to look after their children themselves.

Two charities which represent grandparents have recently issued a merger statement, which sets out their plan to create a new organisation. The charities, Grandparents Plus and The Grandparents’ Association, will join forces in October 2015.

However, some grandchildren don’t see their grandparents at all, because of family separation. This might be because of work,  distance, or some other reason, but sometimes it’s because of family conflict, or relationship breakdown.

Because grandparents don’t have an automatic right to see their grandchildren, they must first apply to the Court for leave before they can make a formal application. Mediation can be used to avoid proceedings.

For a government briefing about grandparents, please click here.