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Grandparents and their children’s divorce

Date:7 MAY 2020

Grandparents often provide stability and security for their grandchildren both in practical ways and by way of emotional support and it can be a very significant relationship for both the grandchildren and the grandparents. However there are issues which need to be considered in the event that the parents’ relationship breaks down.

1. Position on a parent’s death - Testamentary guardianship

Grandparents may be concerned about what will happen to their grandchildren in the event that the children’s parents separate/divorce and then die. They may be particularly worried about their ongoing relationship with those children. A parent may wish to provide that a grandparent is made guardian of the children on the parent’s death. Will this be effective?

This depends on:

  1. Whether  the deceased parent had “parental responsibility” (PR)  for the child. Parental responsibility means all the rights duties powers responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property by law. The mother automatically has PR. The father has PR if he is married to the mother is on the birth certificate (if the child is born after...

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