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Hope For Estranged Grandparents

(923 Posts)
worthitall Tue 16-Jun-20 16:30:44

I’ve read some posts where people feel it is not worth the fight to see their grandchildren and others which suggest grandparents don’t have such rights - which is correct.

The fact in such matters though is that the rights belong to the children, including rights to see their grandparents unless there is a very good reason why not - and that Is where most arguments lay and a compelling and realistic case has to be made to support 'why not'?

How am I so sure? The Family Court has given me permission to see my grandchildren on a regular basis. Cafcass had no objections to, nor hesitation in recommending, access and the court was able to see that the cutting off of contact was not about the children but about the parent.

The court has enabled me to restart the lovely relationship I always had with my grandchildren.

Do not be afraid to go to court if it is the only way you can speak to your grandchildren. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Good luck

Pythagorus Sat 04-Jul-20 16:04:49

Is this your sons family?

HolyHannah Sat 04-Jul-20 18:05:08

MissAdventure -- You rather skipped over the point of what I said...

Medical practitioners who have done research on the topic of estrangement have all come to similar conclusions and none of that agrees with the idea that 'good parents' are often estranged.

Turning my statements around and saying that my only proof of dysfunction is my "say so" proves nothing. And who cares? Maybe I was abused and maybe I wasn't (from their POV) but my justification remains what it is.

The point is most EAC cite abuse/dysfunction as the reason for estrangement... When that is proven true/accurate it means that in order for the math to work/balance that must mean that most EP's are estranged due to THEIR problematic behavior.

"But there is no 'problematic behavior' except from You!" would scream my 'mom' and my reply is, "And the fact you can't 'see'/refuse to acknowledge 'it' or apologize for anything is why we are estranged."

Madgran77 Sat 04-Jul-20 18:35:01

HolyHannah because I know that I bang on about this a lot, I just want to say that I really appreciate you putting the proviso word of most EPs rather than just "EPs" in your comment.

I expect some would query most, some would say it should be some. I can't comment on that because I don't have any definitive figures but I think that a qualifier of any sort makes space for differences in circumstance.

Niamh5 Sat 04-Jul-20 19:04:08

First post- as I see the abuse some get on this subject. DIL has stopped me seeing grandchildren and my son - just a manipulative, jealous, possessive person and violent. Phoned my daughters place of work pretending to be me and "told them of our family problems". That is all info daughter has given me. So she stopped me seeing those two grandchildren. Have proved with lie detector test never phoned her workplace, but damage done. So due to one person I have lost son, daughter, two granddaughters and two grandsons since 2012. Very close to them all prior to this. They refused mediation and court said they could not act as parents have parental control. My only hope now is in October we are hold meeting in conference centre in London to try to get the law changed. This coercive control over children is wrong - children have rights to see extended family - but no one to speak for them. Coercive control is now deemed to be the same as domestic violence with up to 5 years in prison- now we need the law to uphold childrens rights - not grandparents rights.

HolyHannah Sat 04-Jul-20 21:58:26

Niamh5 -- It's funny and co-incidental that what EP's and EGP's believe is in "the best interests of the children" also coincides with what they want -- access to those minor children regardless of the wishes of the parents.

Thankfully I doubt any such a change will be made...

Smileless2012 Wed 08-Jul-20 11:12:30

I'm sorry that you've lost your son and GC Niamh. Apart from the violent aspect, your DIL sounds just like our ES's wife. We've been estranged from him and only GC like you, since 2012.

Any change in the law that will stop parents from preventing their children from maintaining their relationships with the GP's they know and love will be a good thing Niamh, but TBH I think it unlikely.

Just a couple of years ago, attempts to overturn a GP's need to apply to the courts for leave, to get their case heard was over turned.

Coercive control is in relation to the control one adult in a relationship exerts over another and isn't, as far as I'm aware, applicable to parents denying their children their GP's. Is this a change that is being called for?

Sal47 Sat 03-Oct-20 14:14:24

I’m considering going to court to get permission to have contact with my 7 year old granddaughter. Due to mental and physical deterioration over two years of court cases, my daughter has given up her daughter to live with the father. She still has parental responsibility but does not have any contact with her daughter. She writes to her and the father is supposed to get my granddaughter to write back to her mother or phone her, but he is very controlling and nothing is happening. We always had a good relationship with our granddaughter but haven’t seen her since January. My daughter is happy for us to go to court as she feels her daughter has been alienated from her and us. Despite emails and texts to the father asking to consider contact he hasn’t responded. Do you think I should go ahead?

Smileless2012 Sat 03-Oct-20 14:27:34

You need to get legal advice Sal and you must also be realistic and understand that even if you succeed in getting a contact order to see your GD, there are many ways her father can subvert the court's decision by making excuses as to why she isn't available for pre arranged visits.

You say your D "has given up her daughter to live with her father" but still has "parental responsibility". This is why you need legal advice as it would be far easier for your D to get contact with her D than you with your GD.

My advice for what it's worth is for your D to tell the child's father she wants to resume physical contact with her D. Any genuine concerns he may have with regard to your D's mental and physical deterioration can be overcome if the visits include you, and any overnight stays are at your home with your D also present.

I hope this isn't the case but as your GD is not replying to her mother's letters, could it be that she isn't receiving them?

I can only imagine having been bought so low physically and mentally by previous court cases, how dreadful the thought must be for her to go back to court but a 7 year old needs her mother in her life and no father should be able to prevent that from being the case.

If your D see her D, you'll see your GD and I really do believe she will have a better chance of success as her mother, than you will as her GM.

HolyHannah Sat 03-Oct-20 19:41:12

Sal47 -- I agree with Smileless. It sounds as if there is a lot going on in that child's world. However, the best way for you to gain access is to help keep your daughter in her child's life.

If your daughter is unable to continue fighting due to mental health issues etc. it would be best if she got treatment. The healthier she is the more able she will be to be there for her daughter. I am speaking from experience on that.

In most jurisdictions there are specific parameters that need to be met for grand-parents rights cases to move forward. It may very well be that you do fall into those parameters which is why I always say, "Seek qualified legal counsel in your region."

There are very few instances where I even lean toward saying, "Yes. Sue for GP rights." From what you wrote it may be very beneficial to that child and the child is always my first concern.

Best of luck.

Sal47 Mon 05-Oct-20 09:59:20

Thank you for your replies. I’m still navigating this site! It is all very difficult and a complicated case. I know my daughter won’t go back to court. She has sought for therapy in the past but it is all too long to wait and she can’t afford it privately. I’m sure something will happen one way or another.

Smileless2012 Mon 05-Oct-20 10:32:33

I hope that eventually both you and your D will be able to see this little girlflowers.

BucGirl1987 Mon 05-Oct-20 16:30:15

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BucGirl1987 Tue 06-Oct-20 00:42:04

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HolyHannah Tue 06-Oct-20 01:00:40

BucGirl1987 -- What constitutes 'support' is a topic for debate. Some of us have differing views of what "support" IS and is not.

Smileless2012 Tue 06-Oct-20 10:06:57

That would make for an interesting debate wouldn't it as clearly, we all differ as to what constitutes support.

Lavazza1st Wed 07-Oct-20 23:51:06

I am hoping there will be a reconciliation and dont think going to court would help me either as GS is only one.

Im really sorry to hear that there are other Mothers here whose kids are abusing them. I feel less alone with it, but it's really awful. My kids Dad was an abuser and I thought that by leaving him, I had broken the cycle, but I was wrong. Despite my best efforts I have failed. My son has mental health problems and been sectioned in the past, which he blames me for. It was advised by 3 different Dr's but I signed the papers. I feel he will never stop blaming me for this- and now I forced him and his wife to move out of our house. He can be very vindictive so I don't know if/ when I will see my lovely GS, but I could not continue to live in that atmosphere (especially not with a pandemic raging when I need every bit of strength to stay healthy!)

Stay safe everyone. Maybe we all need to look after ourselves more.

I can only hope time is kind.

Smileless2012 Thu 08-Oct-20 09:19:41

It must have been a heartbreaking decision to sign those papers Lavavzza1st. I hope that with the help he needs, he will come to understand it was done to help him.

Lavazza1st Fri 09-Oct-20 01:04:47

Thanks Smileless2012 it was! I really thought we would lose him if we didn't do it, though. It's hard, you do your best and get blamed for it. Last month he even said he wished he grew up in care. I get that he's not 100% happy, but he refuses therapy and I've explained why things happened and admitted if I've made mistakes. I can't go back and change anything though and it's not healthy for anyone if he just wants to be abusive.

Since he moved out he hasnt spoken to me, but his wife sent me a brief message and a video of GS. I feel hopeful about that, but no idea how to cope if hes still hostile and aggressive. D.I.L wanted to come over and pick up a bag of things, but I said we will bring it over when DS is not angry as it's not good to upset GS.

When they were in China he upset her family too and tried to alienate her from them. He won't like that she is talking to me, so I've tried to limit it to one message and kept it short. I just want the best for my GS and if me being there makes DS aggressive then I just won't be there. He has a social worker and I am wondering if she might want to talk to me at some point? I don't really know how these things work.

Smileless2012 Fri 09-Oct-20 09:24:02

"It's hard, you do your best and get blamed for it". Absolutely Lava.

I don't know how these things work either, if it would be appropriate for example for you to contact your son's social worker.

You're doing the right thing IMO by not being there so prevents your son from being aggressive in front of your GS. Keeping any messages with your d.i.l. short is also the right thing to do.

This lets her know you are there for her which must be a source of comfort.

This is a very difficult and heart breaking situation for you to be in and for what it's worth, I think you're handling it as well as anyone canflowers.

Lavazza1st Sun 11-Oct-20 16:13:26

Thanks Smileless, yes you're right. I have not messaged her again but sent a video of GS that I found on my phone. She said thanks but I've not heard from her now for 3 or 4 days. I doubt my son wants us to be in contact.

When they were living with us I knew he was stopping her talking because they all started avoiding meal times and family time, she went really quiet and then the only time she spoke was by phone when she was in the bathroom. It became clear that she had concerns about his behaviour and she told me about him not getting along with her family and stopping them from seeing the baby too. She said she was deleting the messages before going back in the bedroom, but I think she aroused his suspicions because she was in the bathroom about half an hour and he recalled all the messages and read them. I did mention it to the police, but they said she has to complain herself. I feel for her because she is 100% in an abusive relationship.

Thanks so much for being there. This forum does help!

Smileless2012 Sun 11-Oct-20 16:49:39

You must be so worried about her Lavazza. The police are of course correct but are they unable to respond because of your concerns?

It muse be a nightmare being involved with a coercive and abusive partner. I'm so pleased that simply talking about it here is of some help x

Lavazza1st Sun 11-Oct-20 22:54:45

Thanks Smileless. Yes and it does help to talk.
I raised it as a concern with the police informally when I was talking about something else- they wont do anything unless she complains. Its unlikely that she would complain since the police where she comes from can be scary and abusive. x