Most people don’t think anything can affect their relationship with grandchildren until it happens. The joy of being a grandparent turns into desperation and grief when grandparents are denied the right to see their grandchildren. And unfortunately, such a restriction can have legal grounds.

There can be multiple reasons why grandparents are refused contact with their grandchildren but unfortunately, in all of them, the courts do not automatically grant contact rights.

So if your grandson’s custody is given to your ex-daughter-in-law she might deny you the right to see him and that’s the default situation.

Yes, grandparents have it tough because they have to prove that they are of good influence to the child to gain their rights again.

You shouldn’t be afraid or feel helpless if you are denied the right to have a relationship with your grandchild because there is something you can do.

Remember this – the court will always try doing what’s best for the child and if you have had a beneficial relationship so far, all you need to do is present that to the court.

We strongly advise you to find a good family lawyer that will make this process fast and easy for you so you can have time with your grandchildren sooner.

Here’s what you need to do:

1) Apply for a permission for a Contact Order in court

This permission will be granted after reviewing your relationship with the child and whether the application for a Contact Order can be harmful for the family.

It is only in extreme circumstances that the court will deny you the right to apply for this order.

If your relationship will be good for the overall family values, you have nothing to worry about.

2. Apply for a Contact Order

In the Contact Order, the court will specify the terms of your relationships and visits, face-to-face interaction and communication.

The person that the child stays with will need to approve this Contact Order as well so it’s smart to keep good relationship when possible even in divorce.

If the caretaker of the child agrees to the Contact order but refuses to obey at a later stage you have very small chance of enforcing it.

In fact, the enforcement of a Contact Order is considered harmful to the child and the family relationships by courts so enforcement steps are rarely taken.

Grandparents have it really hard as they are not the primary caregiver for the child and can have restricted access to visitations and meetings. This is especially hard when the relationship has been thriving before separation.

You can ensure that you and your grandchild communicate regularly even if the visitation times are limited. Use phone, email and mail, send presents and try to help indirectly in the development of your grandchild.

If you are refused a Contact Order, you can always apply for Indirect Contact Order that will allow you to communicate indirectly with your grandchildren through mail and gift exchanges.

If you think that any objections to your grandparents right will arise or want to make sure that you follow all procedures to be granted a Contact order, don’t do this alone!

A good family lawyer will help you get the best results! Remember everyone’s situation is different, it’s important to seek personal legal advice.

Have you been in this situation before or know someone who has? Please SHARE your experiences below.

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  • So sad that people would want to keep the grandparents awau from the grandbabies


  • Great post and tips. I would imagine this would be very helpful to those in this position.


  • I know someone who has been in this situation.


  • the rights


  • Yes a good article! Very interesting!


  • My hubby and I don’t leave our children with his parents, as they always do the opposite to what we decide when we are there – imagine how it would be if we weren’t there!


  • informative !


  • I never realised grandparents had such rights. Unfortunately, it involves court and lawyers so will ultimately require lots of money. Bad luck for us normal people who wouldn’t gave the ready cash :(


  • Very Helpful Information :) Thanks for sharing


  • oh that must be so tough! if only everyone could work together for the good of the kids


  • You could try asking to see the grandchild in the custodial parent’s presence for a short time, even if it is only for an hour. It would be better thsan nothing. If the child is very young maybe you could come to an arrangement that you be called by different names. e.g. Auntie or Uncle instead of Grandma, Grandpa etc. Be very careful what you say during conversations both with the parent and the child. The other parent usually has the option of visitation rights even if there has to be supervision unless there is strong evidence of abuse..There could be an underlying issue re child support too. I know of a case where the Mum was only allowed to see the children under that arrangement..


  • Great article. It is very hard on the grandparents when a family separates


  • My husband has been separated fro his X-wife for over 6 years and because of all the lies is x has told, all his children and grandchildren have been completely cut off from him. He still sends them birthday and Christmas cards but with no response. Should he apply for grandparent rights or leave sleeping dogs lie. It is not only him who misses out but also his grandchildren whom he misses dearly.


  • Thank you for sharing this helpful article, I’m sure there’s lots to think about.


  • My grandchild is denied all knowledge of her biological father and Grandparents. All mail is scrutinized and kept from her. All presents are unwrapped, to make sure there is nothing inside to say who it is from. This is so unfair as they all love her so much and she also has a half brother and sister whom she does not know

    • Eventually the girl may decide to research her family tree when she is old enough and make contact if she can find out the name of her Dad via her Birth Certificate. However if her Mother re-married the girl may ask for a search via the wrong surname. I know of a case where that happened. She only found out when she spoke to her Uncle and he told her.
      Her Mother didn’t tell her.


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