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Ask Jackie: would I get custody of my grandchildren?

Created by Jackie Highe in Ask Jackie, No contact



Q: I was wondering if you could help with something that has cropped up regarding my grandchildren. My daughter has recently separated from her partner to whom she was not married . They were together for 8 yrs and have one daughter together.

 

My question is really regarding my daughters older two children. Her ex partner has said that if anything happened to my daughter that the children would go and live with him. My daughter doesn’t want that to happen and we are assuming that because I would be the children’s next of kin that they would stay with me however we would rather know what the legal situation is rather than taking it for granted.

 

We live in Scotland and so the law here may be different to England. Anything you could let me know would be great.

 

A: The answer is that you can’t take for granted that you’d be next in line, because grandparents have no rights in law concerning their grandchildren. If your daughter wants you to be the official guardian of your grandchildren in the event of anything happening to her, then she’ll need to make it legal. And that’s assuming that her ex has no parental rights over his children. I don’t know what the original arrangement between them was, and you don’t mention how often he sees them, or whether he’s involved in their lives at all. Social services will have a view on what constitutes their ‘best interests’ – and if there’s a dispute between parents they’re obliged by law to act in those best interests.

 

You need to have a good talk with your daughter about the current situation with regards to custody, and then she could have a talk with her ex. This is something they have to discuss between the two of them. He might agree that you’d be the best solution – but he might not. Talk to a solicitor, too.

 

Contacts: Citizen’s Advice Bureau – number in your local phone book , or go on their website www.adviceguide.org.uk

Finding a solicitor: www.lawscot.org.uk

Office of Public Sector Information – the law in detail for Scotland: www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/

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