Has an important family relationship broken down?

Has an important family relationship broken down – Answering your questions

Q. Four years ago my daughter-in-law died leaving four children. I looked after the youngest two in the school holidays and at the weekends. This went on for several years until there was a minor disagreement with my son’s new girlfriend, after which I never saw the children again until they visited for an hour last Christmas. Is there anything I can do to see more of them?

A. If the relationship has broken down, you should consider making an appointment with a qualified family mediator who will invite your son to a meeting in an effort to help you reach an agreement. If this is not successful, or your son does not attend, you can apply to the court for a child arrangement order to see your grandchildren. Given the circumstances the court may decide that your son has, in stopping them from seeing you, not taken his children’s needs into account following the death of their mother. It can be damaging to isolate the children from a family member who became important to them through this period.

I suggest you see a solicitor specialising in family matters about this. He or she may be able to arrange a meeting where your difficulties can be resolved round a table, or refer you to mediation, rather than in front of a judge.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any other aspect of family law at family@berrysmith.com or 01656 645525.


Katie McColgan
Partner, Family at Berry Smith Lawyers