Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Contact with my GD-Where do I start?

(17 Posts)
2Nans Thu 03-Oct-19 18:56:36

I’ve been prevented from having contact with my GD for 18 months. Prior to this I saw her daily.

How do I begin the process of applying for contact?

Does the following still apply?

The 1989 Children Act enabled grandparents and other extended family members to seek contact orders, but there is no automatic right to apply for an order. In most circumstances, grandparents must first obtain permission from the court.

Urmstongran Thu 03-Oct-19 19:11:32

Sorry, I have no idea about estrangement issues but didn’t want to just read and run. The one thing I would say, which you probably won’t like, is that in my opinion anything done to force contact through the Court rather than through sincere communication won’t end well. Tensions and grievances will run high and your granddaughter isn’t a rag doll.

Your heart must be breaking (mine would) but I just could not go down that route.

I hope in time the situation resolves itself for all concerned. At the end of the day you ALL love that little person.

I imagine other grans can advise you better.

Best wishes.

agnurse Thu 03-Oct-19 19:24:54

Your best bet would be to contact a solicitor.

There are a few things you want to consider. As Urmstongran says, if you try to force contact through the courts, and are unsuccessful, it's highly likely that you will be destroying any possibility of being permitted to see your GD in the future.

Another factor is cost. Lawsuits aren't cheap. If you take the parents to court that will cost you and them money - and in their case, that's money that they won't have available to spend on your GD.

I'd encourage you to think strongly about whether it is truly in your GD's best interests to apply to the court for contact.

GrandmaMoira Thu 03-Oct-19 19:43:10

It may be helpful for you to post on the Estrangement section instead of AIBU. There will be more people there with experience of this.

2Nans Thu 03-Oct-19 22:22:59

Thank you I will try that

BradfordLass72 Fri 04-Oct-19 07:04:02

I am entirely in agreement with the not-going-to-Court route as I know from sad experience that it results in even more alienation and years of resentment.

So PLEASE think very carefully indeed about who you are doing this for - if it's not for the 100% good of your grand-daughter, it might be wise to think again. flowers

annsixty Fri 04-Oct-19 07:49:41

Some on GN have tried this, they do not post anymore so can't give you their opinion, however it did not end happily in any of the cases.
It does not leave the door open for a change of mind.
Please take good, frank, legal advice as others have said.
I am so very sorry for your situation.

Bbbface Fri 04-Oct-19 10:59:20

If neither parent wants you to have contact with the child, it is highly unlikely a court will rule in favour of you.

ZoeGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 04-Oct-19 11:12:56

Hi 2Nans

We're sorry to hear about your situation. We put together this page which has information that you might find useful

NannyKisses Fri 04-Oct-19 11:47:15

Hi 2Nans. Unfortunately Iv been through the same thing with my 2 Grandchildren & Grandparents have no rights. I belong to a Grandparent s Support Group & know Grandparents who have been to court which cost them 15k upwards & even though the court agreed the Grandparents should be allowed to see their Grandchildren if the parents make excuses when you go to
Pick them up there’s absolutely nothing you can do. The police are not allowed to get involved, in fact I know Grandparents who have been arrested for harassment even though the court went in their favour. It’s terrible. Find your nearest Grandparents Support Group & sign the petition so us Grandparents can get enough signatures to be able to change the law. Iv been through hell. Luckily I’m allowed to see my Grandaughters ( until my controlling SIL changes his mind ) which he has done many many times. Xx

Grandparents Lobby Event
Grandparents Lobby Event
Thursday, 5 September, 2019
Matthew has been pressing the Government for a change to the Children’s Act 1989 to give the child a right in law to have a relationship with their grandparents and other members of their extended family. addressing an issue that is dividing families across the country and the Hendon constituency – that of grandparents being denied access to their grandchildren.

Matthew hosted a lobby event in Parliament this week, organised by the Hendon Grandparents Support Group, which was attended by grandparents from across the country, family lawyers and campaigner Dame Esther Rantzen. Matthew told the meeting that the importance of grandparents in the lives of children cannot be overstated with research suggesting that the quality of attachment between grandchildren and grandparents contributes to the child’s well-being and sense of worth and provides a special love and nurturing which is healthy for children.

Estrangement can occur as a result of separation of parents, death, family disagreements, or sometimes a mere word out of place. For grandparents and the grandchildren from whom they become separated, it can be very distressing with grandchildren often not understanding the reasons for the estrangement.

Currently, when access to grandchildren breaks down, grandparents’ only real recourse is through the courts. Many, understandably, do not want to put their grandchildren through such a process nor create further tensions within the family which are only likely to worsen the situation. It can also be a lengthy and expensive course of action – often costing thousands of pounds – and many grandparents are not in a position to afford such costs.

Matthew has raised the issue with the Department of Justice and is seeking a change in the law so that it is not that grandparents should have a specific right of access to their grandchildren, but that the child should have a right, as in France, to have contact with their extended family, including grandparents..

Matthew said: “Disputes involving children can be complex, but placing the emphasis of entitlement on the child, rather than the grandparent – whose relationship with the parents is often difficult and fraught – must be the way forward.It is therefore very encouraging that MPs of all parties are pressing Ministers for a change to the Children’s Act 1989 to give the child a right in law to have a relationship with their grandparents and other members of their extended family.

"The Ministry of Justice has indicated that they will consider any proposals for helping children maintain involvement with grandparents. This will, I am sure, be very welcome by the many grandparents who are affected by this issue, some of whom have been fighting for years for the simple pleasure of having contact with their grandchildren.”

Dear Friends,

There has been such a huge response from grandparents all over the country and it seems there are so many of us in this sad situation. If I have duplicated this email to any of you, I apologize but I am emailing well over 100 grandparents and sadly I have no help this time !

Dame Esther together with Vanessa Lloyd Platt are working towards a convention of perhaps 500 grandparents followed by a march to Westminster.
In the meantime, Matthew Offord together with Nigel Huddlestone and now with a further 2 or 3 MPs are working towards amendments in the law.
I am sending some further links with this email. The blog from Sarah Jane Lenihan has also appeared on a Family Law website. Sarah Jane sent me the following which some of you may wish to take her up on:-
'I someone who would be willing to help grandparents with ad hoc tasks such as letter writing/drafting statements/application filling in/understanding the law, so that they would only pay a fee for small pieces of work rather than incurring large fees for full on litigation, if you have a reference point on your website please feel free to add me. I of course would not want to step on Vanessa’s toes and hence why I have emailed her but hope we can work together to get this important area of law changed and provide grandparents with the support they need.

Just by way of reference I have just finished supporting some grandparents through successfully having thrown out awful allegations of abuse that they are now be able to spend time unsupervised with their grandson'.

Sarah Jane Lenihan
Senior Solicitor,
London Victoria
For and on behalf of Stowe Family Law LLP
128 Buckingham Palace Road,
, London, SW1W 9SA
0203 096 7077
07711 000992

Article below written to Northampton group leader.

below message from Daily Express reporter, look out for the article on Saturday, the day preceding Grandparents Day. Many of the Support groups are working hard to highlight this sad situation and some have been speaking on the radio and have had articles published. We must all continue with this work and encourage our MPs to become involved.

Thank you everyone for your support and I look forward to meeting some new grandparents this month at the meeting in Hendon.
With all very best wishes and Shana Tova to my Jewish members.


This is the message for the grandparents: "The Daily Express will publish its article on grandparents/grandchildren estrangement on Saturday ahead of National Grandparents Day on Sunday. Kat Hopps (the reporter who attended the day at Westminster) would like to thank everyone who spoke with her and shared their story. While she will not be able to feature the story of everyone who she spoke with, she would like to reiterate how grateful she is for their time and hope the published piece will be of some help in raising further awareness of the issue and bringing about change."

Best wishes,
Kat Hopps
Features Writer
Daily Express

Youcantchoosethem Fri 04-Oct-19 11:50:39

Hi 2Nans I saw my granddaughter as a tiny baby by accident - I hadn’t even known she existed - just once and then wasn’t allowed to see her again for 18 months. This was all due to my sons father manipulating and controlling my son and blaming me for our divorce and other issues, and alienating my son who believed him - I hadn’t seen him for two years before then. In Jan 18 when I accidentally bumped into them he told me to F off and I would never see my GD again. I couldn’t blame my son - I had been under his fathers control for twenty five years before I finally got away and knew how convincing he could be. I thought about options to try to get access but had to play the long game, send Christmas and birthday messages and gifts and hope that one day he would realise the truth. That came about three months ago, he finally came to realise that his dad wasn’t what he pertained to be, contact was made via his DP who was brilliant, and now I see him, his DP and my GD at least once a week, he has come to me for advice and guidance again, and I am babysitting my GD again this weekend for the second time and am thrilled to bits. All I can say is don’t do anything that could close doors. I really thought I had lost them all for good and am thrilled to have them back so much in my life. He said the other day that I have supported more in the last few months than his dad had ever done and we are stronger know that for a long time. Please keep strong - you never know what light can suddenly come in to your world. flowers

Juicylucy Fri 04-Oct-19 12:04:28

One of my good friends has just paid or should I say lost £20.000 hiring a solicitor that specialises in family issues 9 months of heartache as well.
There was nothing untoward happened to cause my friend not to be able to see her Grandson other than the mother found a new partner and they wanted to start a fresh with no contact with bloodline family. She had always played a big part in his life until the new partner came on the scene.They moved away changed there phone numbers and changed there jobs. The solicitor had to trace the mother through her National insurance number. But all to no avail as the court decided in favour of the mother it also took 18 months to get it to court, in a 4 year olds world that’s a long time. So all my friend gets now is pictures and the odd update from the other grandmother.So my advise would be proceed with caution.

Shizam Fri 04-Oct-19 19:02:27

For me, I would avoid court route. Try and avoid pressure. Instead a letter saying how sorry you are about the situation. That your door is always open to them. Or they can ring any time. Send cards to child for birthdays etc. Good luck.

midgey Fri 04-Oct-19 20:05:57

I am absolutely not in your position but think that perhaps regular chatty letters might be more use, not mentioning any disagreement but news of the cat or flowers, whatever. Keeping it light and totally non confrontational. Every one likes a letter!

Mamma66 Sat 05-Oct-19 00:57:27

We did not see our lovely grandchildren for almost six months after the breakup of their parents relationship. My Stepson had to go to Court to get access for himself and us. The Court ordered access for all three children even though the eldest is not his biological child but he has been a father to the child from 15 months and the child is nearly 8 years old now. We have had the children every other weekend for the last 17 months and have a civil relationship with the Mother, without Court involvement this would not have happened. The children love us and we love them dearly. Wishing you the very best of luck.

Summerlove Sat 05-Oct-19 02:00:51

I’m so sorry you are in this situation OP. Please think very carefully before you go further though.

Remember that Mamma66 situation is different than yours as it was the children’s father going for access. Not grandparent access.

Nannysprout Sat 05-Oct-19 20:53:38

I’m not sure I’m using this site right!

To be honest I get a daily news feed from this site with 5 or 6 headlines which I tap into with curiosity but to be honest most of the posts are non specific and enigmatic and half the time I’ve got no idea what people are talking about! When I do get an inclination and I decide to put my toe in the water and offer some advice I find it’s totally ignored. It’s all just a mystery to me 😳.