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Contact Orders

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL4974, tabled on 23 January 2023

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support mediation in disputes that would otherwise require grandparents to apply for Contact Orders in order to have access to their grandchildren.

Answered on

2 February 2023

The Government understands the difficulties that some grandparents face in continuing relationships with their grandchildren following disputes arising from parental separation or divorce, and that grandparents often play an important role in children’s lives and can provide stability in families. We are also committed to supporting families to resolve private family law matters outside of court where appropriate to ensure that matters are resolved earlier, before conflict becomes entrenched.

Unless there is a valid exemption, any party seeking to apply for a child arrangements order must first attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting.

We have also put in place a mediation voucher scheme for up to £500 financial assistance to help families resolve certain private law children matters outside of court. This support is not limited to parents and grandparents are eligible for support with the costs of mediation under this scheme too.

The government is exploring further measures to support parents and wider family members to resolve these matters outside of court and will announce proposals in due course.