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Can mother refuse to allow me to see grandchild after divorce?

(76 Posts)
Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 10:00:41

Hello. I had expected that after the divorce my son would have the right during contact visits to take his daughter to see anyone. This seems not so. There seems to be no child arrangement in the divorce, only residency. To the great detriment of both of us, the mother has refused all contact between me and granddaughter for 18 months, now coming up 13, and has told my son if he goes against that she will stop him seeing his daughter.
Question is, post divorce, can she dictate who the father takes his daughter to see? Thank you.

Bibbity Thu 07-Mar-19 10:07:25

No she can’t stop your son doing what he wants on his time.
If she withholds contact he would have to go to court and get a CAO.
At 13 your GCs views will be taken into account.

Have you got any way to maintain contact with her? Facebook, Instagram or her mobile number?

sodapop Thu 07-Mar-19 11:02:05

I'm not sure of the legal rights and wrongs of this. However I would be careful not to antagonise your daughter in law over this or it could result in your son not seeing his daughter. It does seem that once again Grandparents are treading on eggshells but you need to think of your son.

March Thu 07-Mar-19 11:30:33

I would absolutely tell him to contact a solicitor. She has no rights to dictate what he does when it's his time with his daughter.

eazybee Thu 07-Mar-19 12:35:14

Your ex-daughter in law does not have the right to prevent your son bringing his child to visit you in his access time, and if he chooses to do so she cannot deny him access to their child on the terms agreed in court.
Best to attempt to create a pleasant relationship with her if at all possible; these are threats that may be made as a result of a traumatic divorce and have no legal validity.

NanKate Thu 07-Mar-19 13:01:57

I have remained civil to my now ex DinL for the sole purpose of access to my DGSs, it has been so hard.

I hope you see your DGD soon Inname.

agnurse Thu 07-Mar-19 13:20:58

No, she can't ordinarily dictate who your son sees. I would definitely suggest he contact a solicitor. Normally, in a divorce case, the AC should be arranging for the GPs (the AC's parents) to see the child.

Summerlove Thu 07-Mar-19 13:31:06

She might have had it written into the divorce decree, is it possible that your son is not being completely forthcoming?

Bibbity Thu 07-Mar-19 13:46:13

That would not have been in a divorce decree.
It could have been mentioned in a CAO but that would only take place if the OP was a proven risk to the child.

What has your son told you? Has the child herself said anything or made any preferences?

EllanVannin Thu 07-Mar-19 14:11:29

This would have been a separate issue during the divorce proceedings so unless there is proof of risk to the child, at 13 years of age I rather think that courts would allow access as the cut-off point for a child's rights used to be 10 years of age because they were old enough to make choices, so unless it's been stipulated that a GP doesn't see their GC then I'd ignore the DiL.

It's never been in the interests of a child or a court for that matter to be deprived of access to her family. It's pretty damaging.

It's only usually when a child refuses to see either parent or family member that it can become a problem.

Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 19:46:16

If only. Absolutely no contact in any form. All the advice online about court orders say it makes things worse to try. And poor granddaughter would get it in the neck. I can see no way forward except giving up. Ideally social services would be concerned about her deprivation, but not these days.

Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 19:50:28

Well aware Soda pop. The residence mother has everyone over a bareel. It's a blatant injustice. As for not antagonising DIL, my mere existence does.
There's an older daughter. She cut her father out and all his side of the family, even changing her name by deed poll. Well she can go. Fine way to repay our huge input, but her sister is suffering from this cruelty.

Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 19:56:26

Oh yes! I have just emailed him. Asked surely there was a child arrangement order? Surely he could have asked for grandparent access then? Is it too late - can he contact the court before Absolutely issued? I had funded some of the early work but he ended up doing it himself and being rather in forthcoming.

Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 19:58:51

Yes. In q8 months I had one contact when I rang my son and he was driving with his daughter. He passed the phone to her and she said, Grandma, I haven't seen you for a year. I love you.'

Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 20:04:36

It's extremely damaging. You're right. I am just astonished the court expects the parents to agree nicely and there's no legal conditions. The mother can even take her child out of the country for a month but the father has to get the mother's consent for such a thing.
The problem is the child is frightened of her mother. If she did see me against the mother's will she would suffer torments of guilt.

Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 20:05:30

Sorry but what is AC?

Innameonlyto4 Thu 07-Mar-19 20:31:31

The hatred from my DIL is entrenched and has lasted even as far back as before my granddaughter's birth. I have not returned the hatred. It was all to do with a sour marriage I think.

Bibbity Thu 07-Mar-19 20:36:38

Adult child.

It’s never to late.
He won’t be able to get you access but he will get court awarded time.
When he has this she will have no control over what he does with her as long as she is safe.
So he won’t have to demand she see you. He would just bring her to you.

The mother would have to demand the daughter be kept away from you to have you actually banned from contact.
But unless she has some very damning evidence against you this will not happen.

GrandmainOz Thu 07-Mar-19 21:42:31

Just wanted to say how much I sympathise. Unfortunately I have no advice that would be helpful, as I don't know what you can do that won't make the ex DIL dig her heels in - so just want to say I feel dreadfully sorry for your situation flowers

LiveLaughLaove Thu 07-Mar-19 22:00:59

Your son is not being entirely honest. I wouldn't let him scapegoat your DIL on this. There's something about his divorce that he doesn't want you to know. When you emailed him those questions, what was his response?

The problem is the child is frightened of her mother. - Nah highly doubt this. The problem is your son is not being entirely honest with you, for irrespective of anything - he can go back to court and get this all fixed.

Again I'd stop looking for ways to scapegoat your DIL. And if he's being truthful with you about what DIL threatening him with, then there was a child agreement order in place and DIL legally barred you from visiting with her child (which is her constitutional right). If your son did not contest her request, then the judge went ahead granted it to her. Your DIL has no rights to dictate what he does when it's his time with his daughter, unless she's simply reminding of the terms and conditions of their divorce decree.
And if that's the case then she does have every right to do so.

LiveLaughLaove Thu 07-Mar-19 22:34:11

The mother can even take her child out of the country for a month but the father has to get the mother's consent for such a thing.

Your son should have got a clear court order/custody decree that included provisions on addressing passports, travel restrictions and custody. Additionally, he could also obtaining an order that prohibits the said child from travelling outside the country if needed. I'm not sure what kind of legal assistance he received (especially if it was paid for like you said) if such pertinent issues were not addressed.

* I am just astonished the court expects the parents to agree nicely and there's no legal conditions.*

Yes the court does expect parents to agree nicely for they alone know what's best for their children. Not sure why this would even come as an astonishment to you. Legal conditions during a divorce proceeding are only imposed when the two parties disagree over an issue.

If she did see me against the mother's will she would suffer torments of guilt.

I'm sure you don't want to teach your grandchildren to see you against their mother's will. Also, your son should be responsible for such visits and facilitating all of this without putting his daughter in the middle.

There's an older daughter. She cut her father out and all his side of the family, even changing her name by deed poll. Well she can go.

Something really horrible must have happened for her to take such extreme measures. Any reason why she did this? Was there any abuse of any nature involved?

Fine way to repay our huge input...

Not sure what kind of repayment you were looking for but your grandchildren really don't owe you anything. Maybe a change in your expectations will alleviate the hurt?
Especially since your son isn't doing what he's supposed to do? If I were you I'd place my focus on my son and not my DIL. He may not give them to you, but he does have has all the answers you need.

Doodles202 Fri 08-Mar-19 10:03:04

As my Mum used to say "There are two sides to every tale". As an ex Dil myself, although thankfully all my children were grown up, it's a pity we can't hear this ex Dil give her side of the story.

nannypiano Fri 08-Mar-19 10:40:19

A very influential male cousin of mine, went to hell and back to keep in touch on a regular basis with his two young daughters, when his then wife walked away with someone else. He spent thousands of pounds going to court for years and even though he won his case, his ex refused to let him see them or communicate in any way. She then spent all her time brainwashing the girls into believing their dad was bad.
Funny thing was, it was her who went off with another lady's husband in the first place. Not because my cousin treated her badly, but the other guy was richer. The worst thing he has had to face was this narcissistic mother insisting on giving the elder daughter away on her recent marriage instead of him. He got a very cool invite, but felt too humiliated to attend. It has wrecked his life not being able to see his girls while they were growing up. The good news is the younger daughter now an adult with a mind of her own has returned to him.
But they will never get back the years they missed together.
So to advise people to fight through the courts is a total waste of time and money and only upsets the children who don't understand any of it. The mothers always win in the end. Not to mention the solicitors who take on the cases, probably knowing the outcome at the start.

4allweknow Fri 08-Mar-19 10:55:23

Why is she stating this and why the 18 month limit? Seems strange.

Ruby41 Fri 08-Mar-19 11:10:23

Innameonlyto4: A link to the government website on grandparents' rights if you haven't already seen it,: /, useful information.