Children from broken homes are increasingly being deprived of contact with grandparents, it was claimed today.
Family law specialist Sandra Hickson, who heads the Warwickshire base of online law firm Woolley & Co, said lack of grandparents' rights was partially to blame and existing law did little to help them.
"Over the years case law has developed to provide a level of contact with children for absent parents but grandparents are often overlooked in the equation," she cautioned.
"As a result, grandchildren can often miss out on precious contact with their grandparents which is an integral part of their childhood."
If grandparents are unsuccessful in gaining contact with their grandchildren by approaching the child's mother or father directly or through a process of meditation, the final resort is an application to the court.
In which case they are at a disadvantage compared to parents as there is no presumption of contact with the child.
They also have an additional hurdle to get over first in that they must apply for leave to apply for a contact order.
Even if an application for contact is then filed, parents may object which often results in a full court hearing where grandparents must prove they had a meaningful and ongoing relationship with their grandchild and it is in the child's best interests for the relationship to be maintained.