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What The Archers can teach 
us about grandparents’ rights

The Radio 4 soap has highlighted the effects of divorce on the wider family; Elizabeth Fletcher discusses the legal position of grandparents hoping to maintain contact

7 June 2016

When families go through a divorce or separation, the focus is usually on the children's relationship with each of their parents and the practical and emotional consequences of the arrangements that are put in place. But what of the extended family?

BBC Radio 4's soap opera The Archers has been in the news a lot recently for its storyline about domestic abuse and the overwhelming effects that an abusive relationship can have on a victim and the wider family. The storyline has now moved to the Family Court, where the grandparents are trying to obtain contact with their grandchild while the child's mother is in prison awaiting trial for stabbing her abuser and the child's stepfather (who has parental responsibility).
While soap operas can be sensationalised, there are certainly many grandparents denied a relationship with their grandchildren once their child's relationship has broken down - but what can they do?

Grandparents in less dramatic...

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