A growing number of Shropshire grandparents are seeking help and advice after they have been denied access to their grandchildren.
Figures just announced show the Grandparents Association received more than 8,000 calls in 2014 after many lost contact with their grandchildren.
These national statistics from the charity are being reflected in the number of county cases, with a leading Shropshire law firm offering a helping hand.
Emma Kenvyn, an experienced family executive with Shrewsbury-based Wace Morgan Solicitors, which has one of the largest family departments in the region, says that although the situation can be heartbreaking, there are solutions.
“The number of grandparents seeking legal advice to see their grandchildren is definitely on the rise,” said Emma, who has many years’ experience of legal issues involving children.
“It is not unusual when parents separate that this leads to the grandparents relationship with their grandchildren breaking down.
“I have dealt with a number cases such as this and seen many successful outcomes. There are definitely ways forward and people should get in touch as soon as a problem arises.”
Emma explained that although grandparents had no automatic rights to contact with their grandchildren and could not bring an application without first having the court's permission, this was not an onerous test and it was unusual for courts to refuse.
She added: “Often the main problem is the cost involved. Government changes have meant that the criteria for clients being eligible for Legal Aid is extremely limited and even more so for extended family members.
“However, Wace Morgan is running an innovative ‘Legal Ease’ scheme which means reduced rates for people who would previously have been eligible financially for Legal Aid so we would urge grandparents to contact us as soon as possible.”
Member since: 10th July 2012
That's our team, L-R Emma, Louise and Andy. We run thebestof and our sister marketing company, Key 3 Media. With over 40 years' combined marketing experience, we help promote local businesses through our...