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My name is ***** ***** I am going to see if I can assist you with your query. Let me just read your first post. I may need to ask you additional questions after I have read your initial post.
Has the grandmother made any effort to use a mediator?
Has she made an application to court yet?
Grandparents do not have an automatic right to access but, after gaining permission from the Court, can apply for a Contact Order under the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.
Contact arrangements can vary dependent on the circumstances. So the court could make an indirect contact order, e.g. letters, cards, emails, or supervised contact in a centre. In Northern Ireland there are a number of Contact Centres which are neutral community venues with facilities to enable children to develop and maintain positive relationships with non-resident parents/grandparents in a monitored environment.
The bottom line is that the court will decide your case on the specific facts of the case, so if the grandmother previously had extensive contact, then she may well get contact via an order.
I would expect the court to investigate any risk of harm to the children, if the grandmother has shown abusive behaviour in front of them towards their mother - so be sure to raise any concerns you have in response to any application she makes.
As I said, the order would be specific to the facts presented to the court, and the decision the court makes. So I am unable to say whether she would definitely get contact and if she did, what form that contact would take.
If you are offering regular contact during the day time that is likely to be accepted by the court as adequate. You can also say you will agree to a contact centre. These are positives as it shows you are not denying contact.
One part of the process she has to go through, other than mediation, is asking the court for permission to make the application - but this is usually just a formality, so won't delay things much.
Can I clarify anything?
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