How Family Mediation can help grandparents when they have been denied access to their grandchildren.
Relationship breakdowns are a very emotional time for the whole family and can lead to difficult family disputes. But what happens when grandparents are stopped from seeing their grandchildren? Family mediation can often help.
What is family mediation – and how does it benefit grandparents?
Family mediation is a way of resolving serious family disputes, where mediators help relatives to find their own solutions to their differences.
The best way for grandparents to ensure they stay in contact with their grandchildren following divorce or separation is to remain co-operative with both their own child and their son/daughter in-law. Unfortunately, grandparents sometimes feel they have no alternative but to take their own steps to secure their relationship with their grandchildren. In these instances, grandparents can benefit from mediation.
How does family mediation work?
The mediator meets with both the grandparent/s and the parent/s, to discuss the issues they need to resolve to enable contact to take place. The mediator will then arrange a meeting of all the parties and help them work through the issues raised. The aim is to come to an agreement that suits everybody – especially the children.
Once an agreement has been reached, the mediator can provide a summary outcome statement to help everyone stick to the agreements. This is not a legally binding agreement.
When mediation can help
Grandparents often feel conflicting emotions when their child is going through a separation. They want to support their son or daughter, but in doing so can be seen to be taking sides with their soon to be ex-in-law.
Many grandparents are shocked when they discover they have no automatic right to be part of their grandchild’s life. Family mediation is a confidential and safe process well away from courtroom heat. It can help reduce conflict between family members, and is often the best way to resume contact. It can be a quicker and cheaper way to pursue contact issues than going to court.*