Skip to main content

Children: Custody

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 284831, tabled on 2 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he is taking steps to ensure that grandparents are ensured access to their grandchildren in custody cases.

Answered on

9 September 2019

Grandparents who are experiencing difficulties in spending time with their grandchildren following parental separation can seek the permission of the family court to apply for a child arrangements order. Experience suggests that grandparents would not usually experience any difficulty where their application is motivated by genuine concern for the welfare of the child.

The law does not provide any absolute right for a grandparent, or indeed a parent, to be involved in a child’s life because it is the child’s welfare which is paramount in all court decisions about who a child lives with or spends time with. The court can, however, direct the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) to prepare a welfare report into the child’s circumstances, including the beneficial involvement in their life of significant adults such as grandparents.