When family relationships break down, it is not just the parents of children who need legal advice. Often the grandparents of a child or other family members may be unsure of their legal rights, which is why it is important to seek legal advice when an issue arises, so you know where you stand. Speak to one of our expert family law solicitors if you have a query about your rights as a grandparent. We have many years’ experience in dealing with family law issues and have dealt successfully with many contact cases in respect of children and grandchildren.
Your Rights as a Grandparent in Scotland
Grandparents are entitled to seek contact with their grandchildren or residence of their grandchildren provided that it is in the child’s best interests.
It is a common misconception that grandparents have the same parental rights and responsibilities as parents. The grandparents of a child have no automatic parental rights and responsibilities. However, the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 provides that any person who has never had parental rights and responsibilities but claims an interest in a child can apply to the courts for orders in respect of that child. Such orders can include the granting of parental rights and responsibilities, orders providing the child resides with the grandparents or orders setting out the contact arrangements between a child and a grandparent.
The courts will be quick to recognise that the grandparents can often play a very significant role in the upbringing of a child. We have acted for many grandparents and indeed, other family members, that have successfully obtained orders from the Sheriff Court in relation to parental rights and responsibilities, residence and contact with a child. Of course, not every case will require court action. We may be able to negotiate an arrangement directly with the parent or guardian of the child. We will be able to assist you in formalising this arrangement in a Minute of Agreement. We may also be able to negotiate a formal agreement with the parent or guardian, granting you parental rights and responsibilities for the child. However, if this is not possible, we recognise the importance of acting quickly to bring matters before the court to seek the necessary orders.
It must be remembered that the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 states that the paramount concern for the court in any case is what is in the best interests of the child. Often, if a grandparent can show a close connection with the child, the court will recognise, in the absence of any significant reason otherwise, that it is in the best interests of the child to maintain a relationship with their extended family.
Whatever the circumstances of your case, it is important that you get expert legal advice. In many cases, we can act on Legal Aid funding. Our expert family law solicitors can offer the friendly, professional and confidential advice you need.
Contact our Family Lawyers Glasgow, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Shetland
If you are looking to discuss an issue involving grandparent rights, contact one of our team today. Our solicitors pride ourselves in providing high quality and cost-effective legal advice, and have a strong commitment to achieving positive results for our clients. We tailor solutions specifically to you and your family’s needs and circumstances; delivering cutting-edge advice and skilful court representation where needed. Contact us now via our online contact form, or give us a call on 0141 404 6575.