In Britain, estrangement from a family member is an all too common situation. In fact, it happens more often than many would think and in most cases, there are deep underlying issues behind the rift.
Healing estrangements is a tricky business, often because the issue is just too great to be overcome, or either party feels they simply cannot forgive the other for whatever has happened. In these cases, legal action can be a step taken by people - perhaps by a grandparent who has lost touch with their own child and therefore their grandchild.
Unfortunately in this case, grandparents don’t really have any legal rights to access when it comes to their grandchildren. This can make for a very sad situation, wherein the grandparents fight tooth and nail to see their beloved babies. If the parent of these children is not keen on their parent – or perhaps their mother/father-in-law – seeing their kids though, it can be very tricky for grandparents to win.
Mediation is an option said grandparents can take, whereby an independent body will help both parities communicate in a civilised, easy way. This doesn’t always work, but is certainly worth a try. Another idea is to speak to a family lawyer – London based or otherwise – and ask them to draft a simple letter explaining that you (the grandparent) don’t wish to make the situation worse, but explaining why you feel it is important to spend time with your grandchildren.
You as the grandparent are of course free to make an application to the courts for access and as far as they can, these courts will try to help out wherever possible. Access is by no means guaranteed however and this can be a costly, lengthy process. It’s best to try to diffuse and heal the situation without heading down this route, if possible.