My son is about to divorce his wife, will I get to see my grandchildren?

Going through a divorce is rarely easy and something that few relish, particularly for those with young children.  Getting the right advice can make life easier for the immediate parties involved and can have less of an impact on those children.  If you are a grandparent, your rights can be over looked and sometimes lead to reduced access to your grandchildren.  Kelly Bruton and Ben Holden Solicitors at Donnelly & Elliott Solicitors answer your questions

How do I maintain contact with my Grandchildren?

It’s best to try and reach an informal agreement with the parents first.  If you experience difficulties with this you may consider a formal letter or written agreement prepared by a lawyer.   We can assist you with such agreement.

What if I am denied access to my Grandchildren?

If all other routes fail, however, you may consider applying to court for an order to get contact with your Grandchildren.  Unlike the child’s parents you do not have an automatic right to apply for a court order and you will need the court’s permission to apply beforehand.  Getting the right legal advice and representation is often key to making a successful application.  We can complete the necessary application forms on your behalf to make an application to the court and represent you at the hearing.  You may require one or more court hearings depending upon whether the parents are in agreement or not with your application.

Are there any alternatives than going to Court?

Going to court is often the option of the last resort.   Should there be any element of dispute you may consider alternative means to resolve any issues such as ‘mediation’.

Does my Son’s divorce necessitate a change of my Will?

If you die whilst your son is going through a divorce their inheritance could end up in the hands of your daughter-in-law.   You may wish to change your Will to ensure any assets left to your son are ring-fenced and protected against any claims from his wife.  You may also consider setting aside part of your estate for the Grandchildren

Also, your daughter-in-law could be a named executor in your Will.  The position of executor is one of great responsibility and involves dealing with your assets when you die.  Unless you maintain a close relationship with your (former) daughter-in-law it may be inappropriate to have them named as executor in your Will.

What should I do next?

Seeking legal advice from a qualified Solicitor is a must.  Solicitors are trained, qualified and obligated to keep pace with any changes in the law.  Both Kelly Bruton and Ben Holden offer free initial interviews.  Kelly specialises in child access matters and Ben in Will preparation.  To arrange your consultation please call Kelly or Ben on 02392 505 500 or

About us

Kelly Bruton is a Solicitor and head of the Family Department at Donnelly & Elliott.  She has over eight years’ experience in dealing with family law matters.  Kelly is a member of Resolution which means that she is trained and encouraged to deal with family law disputes in a non-confrontational and constructive way.

Ben Holden is a Solicitor, Director and Head of the Wills and Probate Department at Donnelly & Elliott.  He has over a decade of experience in dealing with elderly client matters.  Ben is a full accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly

Donnelly & Elliott are proud to be on the approved lawyer’s list for Grandparent’s Plus who are the national charity which champions the vital role of Grandparents and the wider family in children’s lives.

As part of their commitment to excellence in this field, Donnelly and Elliott Solicitors are proud to be accredited members of the Law Society’s Wills & Inheritance Quality Scheme

Date:January 2017

Donnelly & Elliott Limited Solicitors|38 Stoke Road Gosport Hampshire PO12 1JG |02392 505 500| Important Note: The above information is for general guidance and in part forms the opinion of the author. It is based on the law as at the date of this note. It should not be relied upon in part or in whole as a substitute for independent legal advice.  If any of the issues raised in this article effect you please contact a member of our team.