Gransnet forums


Banned from seeing Grandson

(13 Posts)
Livey Mon 09-May-11 19:58:10

Due to a family disagreement (not of my making) I have been banned from seeing my grandson. I was told that there are now rights for grandparents to see their grandchildren. His dad is my step son would that make any difference would you think. Any advice please...

bikergran Mon 09-May-11 20:30:51

Sorry your having this trouble and it could effect any of us at any although I have no info for you im sorry...but will follow the post with sure some one will be along soon to perhaps point you in the right direction...and good luck..

mollie Mon 09-May-11 20:43:54

Oh dear, Livey...I am sorry that you're in this situation. I don't know if being a step-gran affects your rights but with so many families with steps of every kind I would think you should be given equal consideration ... is there any way you can reach an amical resolution with your step-son? Would family mediation help? Haven't got any useful advice but I would say don't give up hope and keep in touch somehow...send cards and letters to show you want to be part of this lad's life...good luck and fingers crossed.

lottie Mon 09-May-11 21:01:23

Well, we have a similar situation and were interested to hear of a local couple who went to court and were readily granted access. Unfortunately, their daughter in law gave their son so much hassle that they now don’t see him!
We were constantly on at our son to resolve our problem, but were worried that he would stop visiting if we constantly nagged, so we have had to accept that we may never see our only son’s only child. A very bitter pill to swallow, but we still have our son!

nananina Mon 09-May-11 23:17:18

Grandparents have the right to ask leave of the family court for them to make an application for contact (S.8 of the Children Act 1989) I'm not sure about the step son issue. Would it not make more sense for your H to make the application, as presumably the baby's father is his son.
If the court agreed to your application, the situation would be assessed by a CAFCASS (Children and family court Assessment Service) social worker, who would make recommendations to the court.

However as Lottie says, even if contact is awarded to you by the court, the parents can still be very difficult over actually allowing you to have contact with the child. Disobeying a court order is of course contempt of court, but courts are very reluctant to give a custodial sentence to the parents because of the effect on the child/ren.

If you are thinking of going down this route, you will need a lawyer who is experienced in family law. I don't know what your financial circumstances are but if you qualify for legal aid, I would do it sooner rather than later because the govt are withdrawing legal aid for private law cases.

Disputes in the family courts are always difficult and I really think that if at all possible, you should try to negotiate with the parents, rather that going down the legal route, but of course what you decide to do is up to you.

What age is the child btw and did you have a loving relationship with him before this conflict. If he is old enough, his wishes and feelings should be taken into account.

nananina Mon 09-May-11 23:18:29

Sorry CAFCASS stands for Children & Family Court Advisory Services.

bawrkilp Tue 10-May-11 09:07:06

Lively... Sorry for your distress. May I suggest you visit Citizens Advice Bureau, they should be able to lead you through the do's and dont's about what your legally entitled to. Grandparents do have legal rights, but it's a large subject. smile

Livey Wed 11-May-11 11:33:27

Thank you all for your help and kind words. My problem is that my husband died last year and that is when the problems started. My step son thought that all his dads belongings should be his and took them from our house. My little grandson is nearly 3 and I did have an excellent relationship with him. We made many a fine garage out of bricks ! His birthday is quite close, do you suggest that I send a birthday card, I would love to.

lifestillrelevant Wed 11-May-11 16:13:33

Yes you must send him a birthday card. Definitely. Could you also ring and ask to speak to him to wish him a happy birthday or do you think that might upset your grandson too much to hear from you and not be able to see you?
What is your relationship or what was your relationship with your grandson's mother?
It does sound from what you say that this problem started last year when sadly your husband died and that before this, you had a reasonably good relationship with your step son? And a very good one with your grandson.
It seems that perhaps you should try to talk to your stepson not about his refusal to let you see his son but about the issues surrounding your husband's death and the fact that your step son took it upon himself to take all your husband's possessions.
I am sure you will have tried several times to resolve this but it may be worth trying again and again and don't give up until your stepson and you resolve this problem. Perhaps don't focus on the fact you are unable to see your dear grandson but take him out of the equation and try to resolve the underlying problems between you and your stepson.
I am so sorry this is happening. Let us know how you get on.

babyjack Wed 11-May-11 20:32:54

I agree , you should send a card, but maybe to his dad with a note saying you hope he will give this to your GS and possibly a small amount of cash so he can get a gift for him. This way it shows your commitment to your grandson and your respect to his dad. Maybe when your husband died both of you were upset and not sensitive to the other.
It sounds like you are both united in one thing, the loss of your husband and his father.
You may feel like you are making all the concessions but try and bite your tongue and console yourself with the fact that yo are doing this for your GS and the benefit he will have by having you in his life.
I do hope this works out for you.

lili Wed 11-May-11 21:51:19

Poor you Livey... I read an article recently either in the Observer or The Guardian of grandparent/s who had won a court case and now saw their grand daughters regularly... so yes there is now legislation and it would be a good idea to visit your local CAB and go from there. Please share your experiences with this if you can as I am sure lots of grandparents suffer likewise... and of course how horrid for children to miss out on the love and care and experience of grandparents.

Livey Thu 12-May-11 15:01:46

Thank you all for your advice. A problem shared ...

Lizz Sun 29-May-11 12:31:18

There is no substitute for your own family but I have thought for a while that there must be so many children out there with no grandparents and people with no grandchildren. Could there be a way to bring them together? Just a thought ...