Children of divorce may be damaged by grandparents

Grandparents can cause damage to children, by complicating the procedure and increasing conflict between warring partners, says chairman of family justice review

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Grandparents can sometimes make the situation worse in divorce proceedings, a government advisor on family law has claimed.

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David Norgrove, who is the chairman of an official review on family justice, said that some couples used their parents as a weapon during difficult break-ups. “Not all grandparents are good grandparents. One of the separating parents can use his or her parents as a weapon against the other partner,” he said.

“Grandparents can be used by parents as a way of getting at their ex-partner. Grandparents are not always straightforward in the way they behave and the result can be damaging to children,” David also said.

David’s comments come with a report out today, which also threatens the legal right of dads to spend time with their children.

Grandparents don’t have any specific legal rights to a relationship with their grandchildren. Instead the report recommends they apply for access through the court if necessary.

The report also suggests that couples try “do-it-yourself” divorce before resorting to the courts, to speed the procedure up.

“We should not be putting all the emphasis on the rights of the adults. The question is wrong: it should be what is in the best interests of the child, not what is right for the adults,” David said.

Do you believe grandparents should have a legal right to spend time with their grandchildren? Or have your experienced your in-laws making a split more difficult? Let us know below…

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