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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Grandparents rights to maintenance from their children


Grandparents rights is a hot topic right now. But normally in relation to grandparents rights to have contact (often called "access") to their grandchildren in the event of a divorce of their parents.

But Baroness Deech has strongly suggested that grandparents maybe should have a right to be financially supported by their children in return for the free childcare they will have given over the years. I do begin to wonder if the Baroness just looks for subjects she can get publicity from! I have discussed before her views such as "Massive financial settlements are degrading to women". (Try being a woman with nowhere near enough settlement; that is degrading, Baroness).

In fairness, she does point out some problems with her proposal but misses these:

  • would the claim be against a divorced son or daughter in law, too? If not, why not?
  • do all grandparents give free childcare? Really?

The Telegraph reports her as saying that four out of five children receive some care from their grandparents, while five million grandparents spend three days a week caring for them. And it reports elsewhere that a parent who works full-time saves £6,144 per each pre-school child by persuading their parents to care for youngsters instead of paying for care.

I can see where the argument comes from but please let's not inject another area of legal argument, Court and legal costs into the area of the family. There is more than enough there already.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce solicitor

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