Following pressure from MPs and campaigning groups, Justice Minister Lucy Frazer QC has agreed to look at rules allowing grandchildren to maintain contact with grandparents after parental separation.
An amendment to the Children Act is being asked to be considered, which would include a child’s right to have a close relationship with members of their extended family. The change would also cover aunts and uncles. At present, relatives have to apply to court to gain access rights and then have a child arrangement order put in place.
Tory MP Ms Frazer said, “Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, and I sympathise with those who experience the anguish of being prevented from seeing their grandchildren if a parental relationship ends.
“I am looking at what measures the Government could take to help more grandchildren maintain contact with grandparents following parental separation and will make an announcement about the Government’s plans in due course.”
Her comments follow research which suggests up to a million grandchildren are split from grandparents following family separation or bereavement.