Sadly, grandparents do not have an automatic right to see their grandchildren. If no agreement can be reached in mediation, it will be necessary to issue an application to the court for a child arrangement order and ask for leave of the court (permission of the court) to make such an application. If granted there will be a first hearing where it is hoped matters can be agreed, failing which CAFCASS may be appointed to establish what is in the best interests of the children.
CAFCASS are independent court appointed welfare officers, who will meet with the parents and if appropriate, the child/children, to establish the views of all the parties and the recommendation they make is based upon their investigations. They will also undertake a safeguarding check to ensure there are no risks that have not been highlighted. These include police checks, whether there has been any social services involvement and enquiries of the school if relevant. They will then make a recommendation to the court. If matters still cannot be agreed, then a final hearing will be listed for the court to decide.