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'Since announcing that this debate was happening, I have been inundated with emails, letters and calls from grandparents and grandchildren from across the country expressing their support, and many colleagues from across the House have told me that they have been dealing with cases on this issue for many years”. He added, “When access to grandchildren is blocked, some grandparents call it a kind of living bereavement".'MPs cited examples form a number of organisations including Bristol Grandparents Support Group and GranPart. Bristol Grandparents Support Group knew of three grandparents who felt unable to continue their lives without seeing their grandchildren. Article continues below...
"the principal (monthly) periodical dealing with contemporary issues" Sir Mark Potter P
'A court, in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (4)(a) or (7), is as respects each parent within subsection (6)(a) and extended family and any grandparents to presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of that parent and extended family and any grandparents in the life of the child concerned will further the child's welfare.'The added words proposed are in italics. Assuming that this is what is intended, I would submit that there ought to be a definition of these additional terms in the same way that the 'parent' is defined at section 1(6). No definition was offered in the debate. Defining 'extended family' might be a lot trickier than the term 'grandparent'.
'That kind of amendment would not grant grandparents the right to involvement in the child’s life if a case can be made that it would bring harm to the child in question.'
'We need to look at the expensive and difficult court procedure, which sometimes increases conflict. That is not just the case when grandparents apply to court; in family law as a whole, courts can provide resolution for people who really need it but also increase conflict, particularly in family situations.'She also said that the Government was reviewing legal aid generally. Would it be too much to hope for that some form of public funded arbitration process could be trialled for disputes over child arrangements?