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Thread: Should grandparents have rights

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    Should grandparents have rights

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12918256

    Im really not sure how i feel about this.

    I would be interested in your thoughts. Is it right that a child should be taken from pillar to post or indeed the mother/father have to allow grandparents rights. I cant make me mind up.

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    Re: Should grandparents have rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12918256

    Im really not sure how i feel about this.

    I would be interested in your thoughts. Is it right that a child should be taken from pillar to post or indeed the mother/father have to allow grandparents rights. I cant make me mind up.

    It must be heartbreaking for grandparents to be denied contact with their grandchildren, if they have had a close relationship with them and hopefully the parents of the child would put the child’s welfare before their own feelings. I know that this does not always happen and sadly children occasionally get used as pawns. I therefore feel in those cases the court should decide whether contact with the grandparents is in the best interest of the child

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    Trouble (31st-March-2011)

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    Re: Should grandparents have rights

    No they shouldn't.

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    Trouble (31st-March-2011)

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    Re: Should grandparents have rights

    I think it's a rather naive concept.

    Whether you are together as a couple or not it should be your right to decide who should and shouldn't see your children - that should be your direct right as a parent, and you should continue to have the right to see them and choose who sees them even after separating from your partner. Whether you agree with each other on who should and shouldn't see your children is another matter.

    But to specifcally enforce the right of grandparents to see their grandchildren... if you say grandparents should have the right, then surely anyone nominated by the father or mother in a position of trust/family should be able to have that right as well.

    Nice in theory, terrible in practice. Just leave well enough alone - it's hard enough enforcing visiting rights of separated parents; this would be ten times worse.

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    Double Trouble (31st-March-2011), philsmove (31st-March-2011), Trouble (31st-March-2011)

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    Re: Should grandparents have rights

    Looking at this another way I would say that children have the right to see and get to know and be part of their wider family which would include their grandparents. Far too often children are used as pawns when a relationship splits up. Where there is conflict in settling the arrangements around residence and contact it is important, that if a child is of an age to give their wishes and feelings. then these should be weighted in the decision around whether they have contact or not with people in their family. Before anyone suggests that decisions like this should be left up to the child, I would remimd you I have used the term weighted very deliberately. A child may want things that are not in their best interests to have and the responsibility for making any decisions which doesn't lead the child to suffer significant harm has ultimately be made by the adults.
    Grandparents are significant people in the child's life and the link with extended paternal or maternal family members is so important for the child's identity.
    I am not convinced that parents have the ultimate right to make decisions about who a child sees in their family and denying the child to make a decision about continuing a relationship with their grandparens or other wider family members is abusive in my opinion. If there are no risks to the child and they will not suffering significant harm from continuing that relationship, and the grandparent does not disrespect the resident parent or cause any conflict in the mind of the child against either parent then absolutley the child's wish for the grandparent to stay involved in the life of the child should be upheld. It is then up to the adults to manage the situation for the child so they can have a positive relationship with both sides of their family.
    Last edited by rubyred; 2nd-April-2011 at 01:51 PM.
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    Gerry (3rd-April-2011)

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    Re: Should grandparents have rights

    I think its probably impossible to make a blanket ruling on this subject, as there are too many variants to cover
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    Re: Should grandparents have rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    I think its probably impossible to make a blanket ruling on this subject, as there are too many variants to cover
    I agree that there are many variants to cover but the overiding one is a safeguarding issue for the child. If the child is likely to suffer significant harm by having contact with extended family then this has to be taken into consideration. One example here may be if there has been domestic violence between the parents and the child's wherabouts needs to be kept a secret. It would not be in the child's best interests to be put in a position where they have to keep secrets and therefore contact with a perpertrators family may not be in the best interest of the child.
    If a grandparent makes an application to Court for contact and the application is disputed the court will request a report which will look at all the safeguarding issues and the Judge will make the ultimate decision. If the child wishes to have contact with the grandparents and the parents dispute this the child can in some cases be joined as a party to the proceedings and the Court appoints a Guardian Ad Litem to represent their wishes and feelings. The Guardian will appoint a solicitor to act on the child's behalf.
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