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The mess left behind

(36 Posts)
tickingbird Wed 26-Dec-18 11:13:37


Two months ago my son’s partner died suddenly. She had had a sub arachnoid haemorrhage (brain). Although they weren’t married, my son had finally proposed and they were to marry next year. They had been together 17 years and had 3 sons. 11, 6 and 3. My son tried desperately to revive her not knowing she had died instantly and nothing could be done. He is, understandably, bereft. I do worry about suicide and try to help as much as i can.

The major problem is her mother and brothers. The mother was always very controlling and possessive and now believes she has the right to keep the boys. She has the eldest one at her house and has completely turned him against his Dad. We believe and so do his teachers, that she’s convinced him his Dad killed his Mum. As they weren’t married she has taken over everything and emptied the bank accounts, sorted the funeral ( which didn’t take place until 9 weeks had passed) and generally been nothing short of evil to my son. I believe she would love nothing more than to drive him to his grave. All this came about after social services informed her my son had parental responsibility and he would make all decisions regarding the boys. He had to stop the youngest two visiting her as they weren’t returning until she said they could and when they did, they were saying he wasn’t their real Dad as they weren’t married, and i wasn’t part of the family and wasn’t their grandma. There is so much this woman has done and one morning one of the uncles arrived at my son’s st 6am shouting obscenities and trying to kick the door in. My son has done nothing wrong - he and his partner had a happy relationship with no falling out or violence but he never liked the mother but was always civil and allowed her to have far too much involvement in his children’s lives (in my opinion).

The funeral was an exercise in spite and my son was kept in the dark but was told by friends when it was. He wasn’t allowed to carry the coffin and wasn’t mentioned at all. It was as if he didn’t exist in his late partner’s life at all when, in fact, he was the love of her life. He is a broken man and is doing his very best for the two boys he has under rxtremely trying circumstances.

Thankfully, the mother is such a dreadful woman that all professionals are now firmly on my son’s side as they have had to deal with her lies and demands. Christmas Eve court papers arrived as she is making a bid for custody of the boys and the hearing is New Year’s Eve. As everyone will probably be very hard to get hold of before then we are worried how this will go as he will probably have to defend himself.

Sorry for such a long post but it’s been so awful and shows no sign of stopping.

EllanVannin Wed 26-Dec-18 11:23:13

This is so typical when there's a death in the family except yours comes with the added complications.

The father of the children has more of a say in this matter and it would serve him well to get a good solicitor/barrister in the New Year.

It's shocking to think that people can behave in this way at such a time, but as I say, I've been through it all but not involving small children just spiteful adults.

Luckygirl Wed 26-Dec-18 11:24:28

He does need legal advice and I am sure there is a way of getting that before the hearing, in spite of the bank holidays. A close relative of mine is battling to get an appointment with a solicitor in time for a court hearing and is just simply not giving up.

It is very unlikely indeed that this woman would get custody, especially as the statutory services have seen her for what she is.

But it will be very hard over the future months to deal with the emotional fall-out to grieving children of the messages she has been manipulating them with. I am sure that you have a role to play in this aspect and send you good wishes in dealing with this challenge.

Anniebach Wed 26-Dec-18 11:28:12

A mother is grieving for her daughter, doubt she is thinking straight , everyone is in shock and struggling with their grief

Eglantine21 Wed 26-Dec-18 11:28:42

Did he sign the birth register do you know? Not just named on it, but went to register the birth?

Since 2003 this is crucial to establishing parental responsibilities.

sodapop Wed 26-Dec-18 12:03:49

This must be such a difficult situation for everyone in the midst of their grief. The children need to be reassured that you still love them and will support them tickingbird .
I can't imagine how hurt your son is by all this he needs you too.
Anniebach I understand what you are saying about grief but this has gone beyond that and is very spiteful.

Fennel Wed 26-Dec-18 12:26:52

One of the natural feelings following a sad sudden death like that is anger. Who to blame?

M0nica Wed 26-Dec-18 12:37:58

The couple were living together happily and bringing up their sons together until his wife partner died.

It will be very difficult for the deceased's mother to claim custody, but legal advise is urgent. There should be a presumption in favour of the father

Google 'Emergency legal aid' and the name of your local reasonably sized town. This should give you the names of legal companies who can help your son.

maryeliza54 Wed 26-Dec-18 12:51:27

Comments about normal reactions to her daughters death are frankly heartless and ridiculous - this is a well established family unit she is wanting to destroy. Also tell your ds to get onto the banks - she had absolutely no right to any of the money unless entitled after probate had been granted.

ninathenana Wed 26-Dec-18 14:27:08

Your poor DS what an awful situation. Yes, the mother is grieving but this is on a different level.
If it comes to him needing proof of parentage a DNA test is a fairly simple process these days. I hope it dosen't come to this, the fact that he and his partner had a long term stable loving relationship you would think would make it unnecessary though.
He does need to contact his bank asap.

Anniebach Wed 26-Dec-18 14:32:35

sodapop some do such things in the anger grief can cause, it’s all so sad

FarNorth Wed 26-Dec-18 14:35:16

Does anyone here know - can he ask for an adjournment to allow time to get legal representation, if that's not possible in the time available?

Surely the children's future shouldn't be rushed through within a week?

Eglantine21 Wed 26-Dec-18 15:01:33

No, it doesn’t quite add up as the normal time before calling a custody hearing and conducting it is 4 weeks. That is the initial hearing to set out what will happen and then 12 weeks are allowed for each side to prepare before the second hearing.

The OP is obviously distressed but I think there may be some misunderstanding. If professionals have advised that he has parental responsibility there are no grounds for a custody case. Maybe that is why the hearing has been called at short notice -to reaffirm his parental responsibility to all parties.

It’s hard to know what’s going on without actually seeing the papers.

StillGame Wed 26-Dec-18 15:14:30

If they were living together and had three children why on earth hadn’t they already got married which would have given the family unit legal protection. Some people say the don’t want to get married because it’s ‘just a piece of paper’ or they can’t afford the wedding. But it gives you vital legal protection in so many ways and you can get married for very little money at a registration office.

tickingbird Wed 26-Dec-18 15:45:27

Thank you for your replies. I admit it does sound strange but totally true. Initially the professionals were impartial and put the mother’s behaviour down to grief but after dealing with her behaviour for two months they are of the opinion she’s mad. I believe she’s just bad. She is very possessive and falls out with all ‘outsiders’. There is no reasoning with her at all.

As for the court hearing i can’t believe the timing. I have advised my son to get hold of someone from social services asap and if the worst come to the worst, to explain to the court and request an adjournment in order to get legal representation and call for witnesses.

I should also add that obviously there was an investigation by the police as a young woman had just died at home for no obvious reason. The investigation is over, the coroner has decreed no foul play and death was from natural causes and yet this woman has posted stuff all over facebook to the effect that the police are still conducting a secret investigation. Just character assassination of my son and no thought whatsoever for the well being of 3 boys whose lives have been turned upside down.

tickingbird Wed 26-Dec-18 15:52:11

Just to clarify. The mother has instigated this court case as she’s saying he’s an unfit father!! The professionals aren’t aware of this latest development tet!

maryeliza54 Wed 26-Dec-18 15:53:20

Very supportive Still . There’s a time and a place for comments like yours and this isn’t it.

maryeliza54 Wed 26-Dec-18 15:54:33

I think you / your son must screen shot the FB posts as potential evidence of her behaviour

glammanana Wed 26-Dec-18 16:13:19

I think your son also needs to speak with the bank manager and find out how and why they allowed the mother to empty the bank accounts also get evidence from the teachers as to the comments made to your eldest DGS.
This calls for the court case to be adjourned for all the details to be obtained by a family solicitor.

Eglantine21 Wed 26-Dec-18 16:19:32

I’m sorry ticking bird, this still doesn’t make sense. Before a court hearing mediation must have been tried and both parties must have appeared before a Family Panel.

As I said before, if your son has Patental Responsibility as agreed by SS then the GP has no case to apply for custody.

You can’t get a hearing just by saying that someone is an unfit parent or just because you want custody.

Your scenario just isn’t possible.

Are you not in the UK?

debohunXL5 Wed 26-Dec-18 16:39:29

This is shocking. I feel so bad for your son, his children and you. All you can do is support your son and grandchildren as best you can. I really feel for you all.

Coolgran65 Wed 26-Dec-18 19:15:18

Son should get a legal representative who could request a court adjournment for time for him/solicitor to prepare. Definitely needs a legal rep.

Did the daughter leave a Will. If not then any assets should go to the next of kin, being the children, probably with their father (their next of kin) as the guardian of their assets. (unless there is a big-ish estate where there would be Probate)

How come the mother could access the bank accounts. Something not right there. Did she go to the bank with a death certificate and say she was next of kin ?? even so. The bank needs to explain their actions.

tickingbird Wed 26-Dec-18 20:36:26

Eglantine 21 i can assure you this is possible here in the UK. I haven’t studied the court papers that arrived as so clise to Christmas and trying to sort everything out. I believe this is some private action brought by her. All along we have been given poor advice by social services etc. My son was told to go and fetch his eldest son (who’s on the autism spectrum) and if she kicked off to ring police who would remove him. Guess what? He went to the police who said they wouldn’t get involved. SS have made it clear to her that as their father he has parental responsibility and there are no welfare issues and her only option is to take legal advice and she has done exactly that. Although i do appreciate all support i do wish people wouldn’t make statements of fact that aren’t accurate or strictly true. There is a hearing and the action has been brought by her.

tickingbird Wed 26-Dec-18 20:44:21

Coolgran65. She did have an interim death certificate and went into the bank with that. My son also obtained one. When he went into the bank he said he had 3 children with his partner and he had responsibility for and acted on their behalf. He said they were very nice and rang somewhere who confirmed she was the legsl next of kin as they weren’t married. I questioned this but he just accepted it. I believe they’ve made a mistake. Can anybody advise me? According to what i’ve been told the children are next of kin and whoever has legal rights of children acts on their behalf. Also she had a collection box at the funeral and stated this was for the three children but my son hasn’t seen any of it. Also his partner’s work colleagues had a collection for the family and she’s had that.

Eglantine21 Wed 26-Dec-18 21:46:34

There is no such thing as a private custody application in England.

Ah well........