Grandparents and children proceedings

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Grandparents and children proceedings
  • Non-court dispute resolution
  • Applications by grandparents for child arrangements orders
  • When permission to apply for a CAO is required
  • Permission to apply for a CAO—procedure
  • Factors the court has regard to on an application for permission to apply for a section 8 order
  • Factors considered by the court in the substantive application
  • Acquisition of parental responsibility by grandparents
  • Grandparents—special guardianship orders
  • Grandparents and public law proceedings

Grandparents and children proceedings

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance has been issued, including by the President of the Family Division, regarding all proceedings in the Family Court in England and Wales during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice, which profoundly affects normal practice, including requirements for the majority of family hearings to be dealt with remotely. For details about the changes to court processes and procedures during this time, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID–19)—news and resources for family lawyers. In addition, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit provides easy access to news, practical guidance and Q&As from across a number of Practice Areas (subject to subscription).

With particular regard to private law children proceedings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance has been released by the President, Cafcass and  Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), for full details see Practice Note: Child Arrangements Programme—the procedure for section 8 applications—The procedure for section 8 applications—COVID-19.

Although it is generally recognised that grandparents can play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, grandparents do not have an automatic right to apply for contact with their grandchildren.

In many cases following the breakdown of the relationship between parents, contact between grandparents and their grandchildren is negotiated outside of proceedings or develops as part of a child arrangements order (CAO) granted to the child's parent. However, where the relationship between the grandparent and

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