According to information issued by Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, 2,517 court applications were made by grandparents in 2014 for orders to see their grandchildren.
There are other options available to grandparents than using court proceedings, but many may not know anything about these. For example where I and my colleagues have acted for grandparents in these circumstances a strong letter from a solicitor or a round table meeting involving the parties and their legal representatives has led to the contact they want and resolved key issues, avoiding the costs, acrimony and delays of lengthy court proceedings.
However, whilst I agree with the article that court proceedings should be a last resort, in my experience, in some cases those proceedings are the only way for a grandparent to get the order they want. This may be because the parent who is opposed to contact without good reason needs to hear the legal position from a judge before they will take notice.
Government must shoulder blame for the lack of information about alternative approaches to settling family disputes Everyday throughout 2014, seven grandparents made court order applications to see a grandchild after the divorce or separation of the child's parents.