Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grandparents: They can damage children during divorces, claim

David Norgrove, the chairman of an official UK review on family justice which is published today, said some couples used their parents as a “weapon” during contested divorce cases.

The comments came as Mr Norgrove unveiled plans for parents to go through more “do-it-yourself” divorces to speed up settlements.

He also confirmed plans that divorced fathers would be denied a legal right to a relationship with their children.

He said grandparents could be “extremely important in a child’s life” but some made problems worse during divorces by demanding the right to have contact with the children.

He said: “Grandparents can be used by parents as a way of getting at their ex-partner. Grandparents are not always straightforward in the way they behave and the result can be damage to children.

“There is no evidence that courts unreasonably refuse the ability of a grandparent to bring an application for contact with their grandchildren.”

Mr Norgrove continued: “Not all grandparents are good grandparents. One of the separating parents can use his or her parents as a weapon against the other partner.

“We should not be putting all the emphasis on the rights of the adults. The question is wrong: it should be what is in the best interests of the child, not what is right for the adults.”

Mr Norgrove’s 220-page review did not recommend any legal right for grandparents to see their grandchildren after a couple divorced. Instead they would continue to be able to apply for access through the courts.

More information on this article from the Telegraph

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