I have not seen my grandchildren for nearly 12 months. My daughter has remarried and she and her new husband have moved from London to Surrey. My daughter keeps making excuses about why it is not convenient for us to see the grandchildren who are now nearly 9 and 7. My husband and I have tried to sit down with my daughter to try to find out what the problem is but we just do not seem to be getting anywhere and we are desperately missing our grandchildren. I was very close to the children as I used to help with childcare before my daughter remarried. I think my new son in law just wants to cut us out of their lives. Is there anything that we can do?
I am sorry to hear about the difficulties with seeing your grandchildren. You do not mention if your daughter and son in law are agreeable to your keeping in contact with your grandchildren through facetime, phone calls and sending presents. If they are agreeable to this type of contact then we would recommend that you keep it up until you can see your grandchildren as it will be easier to get a court order if you are maintaining an ongoing relationship with your grandchildren.
If you are not able to talk things through with your daughter and new son in law to find out the reasons why they are not letting you see your grandchildren, you could try writing to them or you could suggest family mediation. You may think that family mediation is just for couples but a family mediator can help families resolve all sorts of issues including contact with grandparents. The family mediator is impartial and whilst they cannot give you legal advice, they will focus on the two children and their needs.
If you are not able to resolve matters by direct discussions, letter or mediation, then as a last resort court proceeding could be started. The court has the power to make an order to enable you to see your grandchildren. If you were to make a court application the court would make its decision based on what it thought would be in your grandchildren’s best interests. Normally a court thinks that children should have a relationship with their grandparents. As you were close to the grandchildren but have now not seen them for nearly 12 months, we would suggest that you do pursue seeing the grandchildren as leaving it for too long might make it more difficult to secure an order.
To discuss your situation and your options we would need to see you. We can give you expert children law advice and advise you on the best way forward. Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you.
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