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Family Matters No. 67 - May 2004

Children's contact with grandparents after divorce

Neil Ferguson

Abstract

The recent Australian parliamentary inquiry into 'joint custody' flagged the potentially important role that grandparents can play in the lives of their children and grandchildren. This article considers the Inquiry's recommendations in the light of current research in the UK. The author's qualitative study highlights the impact of pre separation grandparent-grandchild relations on post separation relationships, and suggests that reforms in this area should be mindful of the need to balance the interests of all family members while prioritising the child's best interests.

The recent Australian parliamentary inquiry into 'joint custody' flagged the potentially important role that grandparents can play in the lives of their children and grandchildren. This article considers the Inquiry's recommendations in the light of current research in the UK. The author's qualitative study highlights the impact of pre separation grandparent-grandchild relations on post separation relationships, and suggests that reforms in this area should be mindful of the need to balance the interests of all family members while prioritising the child's best interests.

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