Over the last few years, the number of grandchildren not able to see their grandparents has grown exponentially. The effect on both grandchildren and grandparents is devastating. Lloyd Platt & Co together with a group of like-minded lawyers and grandparents suspected the problem was significant.
A poll of 35,000 people calling for a change in the law to help grandchildren and grandparents maintain their relationship revealed the issue.
Lloyd Platt needed quantitative evidence and commissioned research from the Market Research Company, Savanta. In March 2022 they surveyed 1,825 grandparents out of a total of 14 million in the UK. They found:
- Over 2 million grandparents have at some stage been prevented from seeing one or more of their grandchildren.
- In over one third plus of these cases, the main person blocking contact is the wife or partner of a son.
- Over 1 million grandparents have been locked out of seeing their grandchildren for over a year.
- Over 250,000 grandparents have never been allowed to see their grandchildren.
- Over 150,000 grandparents have been warned by the Police to stop trying to contact their grandchildren, either by sending cards or presents, 31% of whom were trying to maintain contact.
- The problems here is particularly concentrated in grandparents under the age of 50.
- One third of the grandparents had previously had a close relationship with their grandchildren of over four years before contact stopped.
- 50% of the grandparents had been prevented from seeing the grandchildren for at least a year.
- Two thirds of all grandparents believe there is insufficient public awareness of this problem.
Grandparents want the law to change to make it the right of every grandchild to have their grandparents in their lives.
The court system has regrettably been failing grandchildren and grandparents alike and we have called for an amendment to the Children’s Act to ensure that we enshrine the intention of the UN Convention on the rights of a child. That is that the primary consideration in all actions concerning children should be in the best interests of the child and supporting the convention in emphasizing the contention that grandparents should be in the lives of their grandchildren must now be adopted by English legislation.
To insist that grandparents who have been prevented from seeing their grandchildren should go through the double hurdle of applying first for leave and thereafter for child arrangements order in this day and age is in our view barbaric, and must be abolished. Most grandparents do not want to take their children to Court, in any event, to see their grandchildren and matters must now radically change in order to assist the millions of grandchildren being prevented from seeing their grandparents.
Lloyd Platt & Co together with a newly formed group consisting of grandparents’ groups around the country and other lawyers intend to press forward with this issue so every grandchild knows that they can maintain a relationship with their grandparents, bringing them security both financially, emotionally, and psychologically.