A LAWYER in Huddersfield has welcomed a proposal to ensure grandparents can still have access to the children when parents separate.
The proposal is among a raft of measures designed to ensure youngsters suffer as little as possible during bitter divorce battles.
It forms part of a Government-commissioned review on family justice by David Norgrove, a former civil servant, who recommends courts draw up new contract agreements for the benefit of parents and children.
The report suggests building access rights for grandparents into Parenting Agreements.
Under current law, grandparents have no rights of contact with grandchildren when their own children divorce.
Nigel Priestley, senior partner at Ridley & Hall Solicitors and a leading solicitor supporting grandparents’ rights said: “This is a long overdue recognition of the central role many grandparents play in the life of a child.
“When relationships break down children can be all at sea wondering what is going to happen.
“Grandparents can play a key role in offering stability at a time of emotional upheaval. It’s an important step in the right direction.”
Mr Priestley was speaking yesterday from Cardiff, where he shared a platform with Lynn Chesterman, chief executive of the Grandparents Association, at a conference organised by Children in Wales to discuss the rights of grandparents and kinship carers.
Said Mr Priestley: “When illness, drug issues, mental health or even prison impacts on children it is grandparents who are at the frontline. This report recognises the fundamental position grandparents hold in the life of a child.”