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Grandparents granted quicker access to ‘split’ children

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Grandparents will be allowed to contact their grandchildren more easily following family divorces and splits as the government announces changes to the ‘lengthy’ legal process currently controlling child access.

An estimated one million grandchildren are currently being denied contact with their grandparents following difficult family moments, such as divorce or separation, but the government feels children are missing an essential ingredient for development.

Currently, grandparents must wade through two legal battles; firstly applying to the courts to seek leave, and then applications for court orders.

But ministers will announce this week plans to merge the two court processes into just one and grandparents will no longer have to seek leave from the courts before applying for contact with their grandchildren.

“Grandparents are often the unsung heroes when it comes to informal care arrangements for children and young people. They play an invaluable role for millions of families, helping to bring up children and also helping working families balance work and family life and stepping in when things go wrong. It’s time they receive the recognition they deserve,” the Children’s Secretary, Ed Balls, will announce this week.

Lynn Chesterman, Chief Executive of the Grandparents’ Association, welcomed the change. Speaking to the Guardian, Lynn said: “After many years of campaigning we are most pleased with the promise to remove the requirement for grandparents to apply for leave from the court before applying for a contact order.”

“Too many grandchildren are denied contact with their grandparents. This change will also reduce the legal costs incurred in applying for such an order.”

Written by Andrew Hodges

January 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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