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Do family members other than the parents have rights when it comes to children?

In certain situations, members of a child’s wider family, such as grandparents, step-parents, aunts and uncles, may need their own legal advice on children issues.

This may be because the child lives with them, or they want to acquire parental responsibility. More often, however, it involves arranging to spend time with the child where the parent themselves no longer has contact, or where they want contact independently of the arrangement between the parent and the child.

Usually, we initially try to reach an agreement with the parents. If the matter cannot be resolved by consent, we would apply to the court for an order. Often, the family member doesn’t have an automatic right to make an application to the court. This includes grandparents, unless the child has been living with them for one year, or they have the consents of the parents. In these situations, we’ll need to make a preliminary application for the court’s permission to apply for the Child Arrangements Order.

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How can our family law team help you?

We advise family members on all types of children matters and are very experienced in dealing with the complex, emotional and often upsetting issues involved.

If you need legal advice our team are highly experienced in handling all family matters and will aim to ensure your interests are protected. Please get in touch today by completing our enquiry form below.

Key Contacts

Simon Magner Mawdsley

Simon Magner Mawdsley

Family Law Partner


Simon acts for clients in all aspects of relationship breakdowns including divorce, resolution of financial matters, civil partnerships, cohabitation disputes, pre- and post-marital agreements, injunctions, and children matters.

Lorraine Saunders

Lorraine Saunders

Family Law Partner

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Neil Hobden

Neil Hobden

Family Law Partner

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Richard Barge

Richard Barge

Partner | Head of Family Law

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