Adoption Chester

Family Law Solicitors Chester - Grandparents

Grandparents’ Rights in Family Law Chester

In family law in Chester, grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives and have rights to maintain these relationships.

Legal Orders for Grandparents

If you’re a grandparent caring full-time for your grandchildren, you might consider formalizing this arrangement legally. This can be done through a Child Arrangements ‘Live With’ Order. Alternatively, if you’re seeking more contact but not full-time care, a Child Arrangements ‘Spend Time With’ Order could be appropriate. However, before applying to the Court, you need permission, and our team can assist you in this process.

Legal Aid and Funding Options

Legal aid for these applications is quite limited and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We can help assess your eligibility for legal aid, and if you’re not eligible, we can explore alternative funding options with you.

Involvement of Social Services

In situations where Social Services are involved due to concerns about the child’s welfare, they may initiate Care Proceedings. This process might lead to the child being removed from their parents and placed under an interim care order. As grandparents, you may be considered as alternative carers, either short-term or long-term, through a ‘viability assessment’ or ‘suitability assessment’.

If you disagree with the outcome of your assessment, it’s crucial to seek legal advice promptly. You should notify the Local Authority of your intention to challenge the assessment and seek legal counsel. You may be eligible for Legal Aid to challenge the assessment, based on means and merits.

Further Assessments and Orders

A positive initial assessment leads to a more detailed evaluation to determine your suitability as a foster carer or under a Child Arrangements Order or Special Guardianship Order. Understanding the differences between these roles and the associated advantages and disadvantages is crucial.

We advise seeking legal guidance at the start of any full assessment to make an informed decision. While legal aid may not cover this advice, social services sometimes fund an hour of consultation. If not, we can discuss other funding options.

In all matters concerning grandparents’ rights in family law in Chester, our team is dedicated to providing you with the necessary support and guidance to navigate these complex situations.