Step-parents and Grandparents

Divorce and separation can put a huge strain on family relationships, often making the roles of step-parents and grandparents very difficult.


Step-parents may be required to assist in the upbringing of their spouse’s child, whilst at the same time having no legal status. They can also be viewed as a threat by the other parent.

There are a number of ways that step-parents can apply for legal status: through a parental responsibility agreement, a joint resident order or by a court order. Betteridges can advise you on the process and help you make the right arrangements.


Grandparents can feel excluded after a divorce or separation, leaving them desperate to see their grandchildren but with little clue as to what their rights are.

Legal rights for grandparents do exist, although they are limited. If you are a grandparent whose requests to see their grandchildren are being obstructed or denied as a result of divorce, then we can help you obtain a contact order or residence order. Such orders are often viewed favourably by the family courts, as they recognise the invaluable role that grandparents can play in the upbringing of a child.

If there is a specific issue you would like advice on, such as adoption or legal guardianship of a child, we can guide you on the legal implications based upon your individual circumstances.

To find out what your rights are as a step-parent or a grandparent and for advice on the likely outcome of your particular case, you can arrange an initial enquiry with one of Betteridges’ highly experienced family lawyers. Please call us on 0333 12 12345 (International callers +44 1992 505 406), complete our Online Enquiry Form or email and we will soon be in touch.