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


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


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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