Grandparents' Rights Solicitors in Bristol

When your children have their own children, you often play a significant role in their lives, whether that’s assisting with childcare, advice or something else. Unfortunately, relationships with family don’t always go to plan, whether that’s between you and your child or between your grandchild’s parents.


  • Carolyn Bawden-Frost
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  • Kiran Bhakerd
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  • Melody Brown
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  • Kelly Davidge
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  • Phil Thomas
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  • Sarwat Unar
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  • Suzanne Young
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  • Nathalie Payne
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Our grandparents’ rights solicitors can provide expert advice on your grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren during this difficult time. Our family law team have years of experience assisting clients in all predicaments with their grandparents’ rights matters. We will closely work with you to find the most practical solution with minimal conflict in a cost-effective and supportive approach.

When you choose to work with our friendly Henriques Griffiths solicitors, you can be confident in receiving advice personalised specifically to you. We make sure no information is portrayed in a confusing manner, instead ensuring our advice and guidance is explained in plain English without legal jargon.

To speak to one of our family law solicitors, ring us on 0117 909 4000 or use the following links to fill in our enquiry form, and we will call you back. We have offices in Bristol and Winterbourne.

Our grandparents’ rights services

Legal advice on grandparents’ rights in the UK

Many individuals often want to know their rights as a grandparent during family disputes. If your child has divorced from their partner or you, unfortunately, have an estranged relationship, it can be understanding to worry about the future of your relationship with your grandchildren, but there are options available with the support of our grandparents’ rights solicitors for grandparents and divorce matters.

Our solicitors can inform you about your grandparents’ rights after divorce or a similar scenario, including the choices that are accessible to you. We understand the importance of maintaining family relationships, including having frequent communication and contact. We will do everything in our power to ensure your wishes are respected.

Applying for a child arrangement order

Grandparents’ custody rights can only be in place if they have obtained a child arrangement order or have adopted. Only those who have parental responsibility can apply for a child arrangement order, but it is still possible for grandparents to apply for a child arrangement order if they first apply to the court for permission to apply for a court order.

Our family solicitors have helped many clients gain grandparents’ access rights. Our solicitors can assist with both these court applications, including creating a strong argument to support your application.

Adopting your grandchildren

In some instances, parents may be unable to take care of their children for various reasons. As a grandparent, it is possible to adopt your grandchild, and this provides you with complete parental responsibility for the child.

Adopting a child isn’t necessarily the most straightforward process, but our solicitors can advise and guide you through each step of adopting your grandchild.

Special Guardianship Order

If adoption isn’t an appropriate option for the situation, but the child’s parents are no longer able to care for them, it is possible for grandparents to have a special guardianship order, meaning you are responsible for their care. However, to make significant decisions, consent must be obtained from everyone who has parental responsibility.

Our solicitors can assist you in obtaining a special guardianship order from the court should the child’s parents no longer be able to assist with raising them. We recognise how sensitive of a situation this is and promise to provide close personal comfort throughout the process.

Why choose Henriques Griffiths’ grandparents’ rights solicitors?

Our Henriques Griffiths solicitors have been helping clients since 1973. Our team recognises how upsetting it is to not have any contact with your grandchildren, and we strive to clearly advise you on your grandparents’ rights to find a suitable arrangement that allows you to have visitation and a relationship with them.

Our Law Society accreditations & memberships

At Henriques Griffiths, we take pride in being awarded the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation, which recognises the high-quality client care and practice management. This means our clients will always receive a proficient and bespoke grandparents’ rights service.

Grandparents’ rights FAQs

What rights do grandparents have to their grandchildren?

Grandparents do not have any automatic rights to their grandchildren, especially where those with parental responsibility have prevented contact. For cases where contact has been severely limited or cut off completely, it can feel extremely daunting, leaving you wondering what your options moving forward are. The only people who have rights to a child are those with parental responsibility.

Can grandparents get custody?

Custody is no longer an officially used term. But to put it simply, it is possible for grandparents to get custody of their grandchildren in certain situations. An example of a situation where custody may be required is where the child’s parents are unable to take appropriate care of them. There are two ways to do this, either by a special guardianship order or by adoption, which is often only used on severe occasions.  

Do you have to go to court to have access to your grandchild?

Court isn’t always necessary if you are able to make an arrangement with those who have parental responsibility.

The court will first require you to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting before applying to court. If there is a chance mediation could work, our solicitors can make arrangements and provide expert support.

There are also alternative dispute resolution approaches available, including private negotiation. Our solicitors can help with liaising and finding an arrangement that suits you and your wishes.  

Unfortunately, these methods may not always work out as you may have expected, meaning the only way you have the possibility of obtaining access to your grandchildren is through getting a court order. Should you need assistance with applying to the court for an order, our solicitors can provide friendly and proficient advice and guidance.

What is a special guardianship order?

Anyone who has been appointed a special guardianship order will have parental responsibility for the child but shares it with their parents. They will not need to consult others with parental responsibility concerning the child’s day-to-day life, but other bigger decisions will first need to be consulted and approved.

What rights does a special guardianship order provide grandparents?

If you have been provided special guardianship order for your grandchild, there are a number of rights and responsibilities that you are entitled to, concerning decisions about the child’s day to day life. Examples of these include but are not limited to:

  • Providing a safe and secure home for your grandchild
  • Protecting your grandchild
  • Disciplining your grandchild
  • Where your grandchild will attend nursery or school

There are also certain decisions which have to be approved first by those with parental responsibility, and this includes:

  • Changing your grandchild’s last name
  • Putting your grandchild up for adoption
  • Changing your grandchild’s religion
  • Taking your grandchild out of the UK for more than a 3-month period
  • Your grandchild undergoing a risky unnecessary surgery

Even if you are unable to get consent from those with parental responsibility, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can apply to the court for them to make a decision.

Contact our expert grandparents’ rights solicitors now

For advice on grandparents’ rights, please call our family law solicitors on 0117 909 4000 or use the links below to make an enquiry or request a call back.

We have offices in Bristol and Winterbourne.