Simon Hughes, the Justice Minister, has confirmed in a written parliamentary answer that last year there were seven applications a day by grandparents for a court order to see a grandchild following separation or divorce of the child’s parents.
In 2013/24 there were 2,517 applications for Child Arrangements Orders (Contact Orders). The figures for 2012/13 and 2011/12 were 2,649 and 2,319 respectively.
Although maintaining relationships with grandparents is believed by most to be enriching and beneficial for children, grandparents do not have any automatic rights to be a part of their grandchild’s life.
National Family Mediation has responded to this issue by saying that the government must shoulder blame for the lack of information and education about alternative approaches to settling family disputes.