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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

Madgran77 Thu 18-Jun-20 16:07:10

MissAdventure How sad...for the grandchildren and for your neighbour! Exactly the case in point really about making no assumptions in these difficult and challenging scenarios about vulnerable young children.

Nonnie Thu 18-Jun-20 16:27:05

Seems to be an application of common sense since I last posted. I realise that for those who have actually been through this it must be very hard to see the other side of the story but I think we should all try to be open minded as put the children first in all circumstances.

Smileless2012 Thu 18-Jun-20 16:52:03

It's understandably hard to see the other side which is why open mindedness is so important.

Whatever a posters personal experience of abuse and/or estrangement is, those who talk about their experiences are in pain and that should be respected, even if it can't be understood.

worthitall Thu 18-Jun-20 16:53:27

I didn't quite know what I would have started here. I now realise there are so many different situations and that different countries treat them differently. Thank you all for your responses, a very interesting discussion. I can assure you that in my case there was no suggestion of abuse on either side and no child-centred reason given for cutting me off. It was an adult issue which the parent refused to discuss and refused mediation. I certainly agonised before going to court and would much have preferred to spend money on my GC but had no choice if I ever wanted to see my GC again. At no point in the proceedings did I retaliate to the parent's false accusations and the court obviously saw the situation for what it was as did cafcass. If, as someone has pointed out, the continuation of the happy situation we had before is not mutually shared I will have to accept, but the point is I now have a chance to help make it so.

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 16:53:45

Again Nonnie do you see me as damaged goods? If I cannot heal and become whole after my abuse, how do you expect any adult child to recover from any issues they have? Or is there a sliding scale I am missing here? Am I just too damaged to have a valid opinion on something I have a lot of experience in through life, education and contact with other people?

Am I so damaged I somehow only attract other damaged people?

Please explain how this works

Madgran77 Thu 18-Jun-20 16:56:57

Worthitall "I can assure you that in my case there was no suggestion of abuse on either side and no child-centred reason given for cutting me off"

I am sorry if anything I said implied that I thought/assumed there was any suggestion of abuse in your case. That was very far from my intention. flowers

Granniesunite Thu 18-Jun-20 16:57:10

It’s a living bereavement to be estranged from loving grandchildren and be helpless in resolving the situation.

I’m so happy to see that the courts are now taking into account the happiness and emotional welfare of the grandchild and I’m happy at the outcome withitall.

As one poster up thread has already mentioned what happens to the grand child when it’s the abuser who’s cunningly shunning the loving family and friends, alienating the child Isolating and controlling who,when, and what that child does?

To me that’s child abuse and it does happen. Do grandparents just stand back watch and do nothing??

MissAdventure Thu 18-Jun-20 16:58:07


Smileless2012 Thu 18-Jun-20 17:03:02

Thank you for starting this thread worthitall as you'll have seen it's made for an interesting discussion.

I sincerely hope that going forward both you and your GC will continue to enjoy the time you spend together and the relationship you haveflowers.

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 17:06:24

Madgran it's always a problem when an adult puts their hurt feelings above the welfare of vulnerable children. I've seen others in my line of work who are not estranged also weigh in on the issues children face during court cases and they aren't heard either. It's a shame.

Its not assigning blame

Its not taking sides

Its not bias

Its just the reality of a sad situation

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 17:18:23

Here is an article of the types of damage that children suffer when there is parental conflict, there isn't much information about grandparents but I image given that they are a close family member that this type of thing can cause similar damage. This is what I want to prevent, nothing against good grandparents who are cut off through no fault of their own BUT they really must consider the longterm impact they could cause.

MissAdventure Thu 18-Jun-20 17:23:08

Still though, it isn't all about putting ones own feelings above the child.
That is the point people are trying to make.

Smileless2012 Thu 18-Jun-20 18:04:25

When good GP's are cut off through no fault of their own the parents who have done the cutting off as well as the GP's must also "consider the longterm impact they could cause".

Parental responsibility in such cases should not be ignored.

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 18:23:17

The parents responsibility comes when they estrange. When you go to court for the grandchildren it's probably an end to sorting out that situation in a lot of cases.

If you can't sort that situation out then there is a problem on one or both sides of the relationship. This then damages the children by going to court.

That's just reality. As much as I would love it to be all hearts and flowers

MissAdventure Thu 18-Jun-20 18:41:08

Nobody has said anything about hearts and flowers.
Simply pointed out that each situation is different.

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 18:50:27

I said I would love it to be hearts and flowers MissA and yes every situation is different but that doesn't change the issues it can cause which won't be known until after the damage is done.

Smileless2012 Thu 18-Jun-20 19:04:33

What damages children Starblaze is losing the GP's they know and love and that damage is intensified by parents who refuse to re establish that contact for their children.

Children can be left thinking that their GP's don't love them, that they've done something wrong which is why they can't see them anymore.

That is the reality. Yes, you can put the blame on GP's who decide to go to court but the real blame is with the parents who put their own grievances above the welfare of their children. Who stop contact not because they are putting the welfare of their children first, but because they can.

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 19:10:04

I'm not putting blame anywhere Smileless please stop putting words in my mouth when I am being very careful to not lay the blame on either side. Like I previously said, if children have already been damaged why risk them suffering more?

Also again, what about when courts don't see through an abusers mask and reward contact to abusive people?

No one has addressed that that will be the case if these cases become easier.

Smileless2012 Thu 18-Jun-20 19:25:15

I'm not putting words in your mouth Starblaze and I don't understand what may have been posted on this thread, that makes you think cases where GP's go to court to maintain access to their GC will become easier.

As I've previously posted, it's a difficult and protracted course of action. If mediation fails, GP's then have to apply to the court for leave (permission) to then take the case too court.

There's nothing to suggest that the application process for GP's will become easier and tragically, as highlighted earlier by Madgran we know what happens "when courts don't see through an abusers mask and reward contact to abusive people".

I do not want to generalise here but in the vast majority of such cases that we do hear about, it is parents and/or their partners who abuse children, not GP's.

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 20:18:59

Abusive parents and/or their partners do not become magically not abusive when they become grandparents.

Starblaze Thu 18-Jun-20 20:32:33

This post is entitled "hope for estranged grandparents" because Worthitall has gained access to her grandchildren through the courts. That sets a precident. Thats generally how laws change. The more cases of this type that can be cited, the more often a solicitor can say "yes, you have a chance, let's fight this in court" and the more success stories, the more people will try.

So that's why it worries me that it could get easier and that's why I am worried that more damage will happen to children. It's not a huge mental leap.

I've stated why I'm worried, what the damage is and I've backed it up.

The ultimate choice on whether or not other grandparents persue this route is up to them. But it does leave the door open for abusers too and abuse is the reason why most divorcing parents end up in court.

That's not saying all grandparents are bad it's just the reality that they should be aware of before taking such a decision. The children may be damaged by this. At the moment you will probably lose and the children will be damaged for no reason. You will never have a normal relationship with a grandchild if you cannot maintain one with their parent and that is stressful for everyone, not just the children.

Anyway I have talked myself to death on this one and if people want to see it as a "me" problem or an "estranged child bias" problem instead of what I keep saying, "an innocent children problem" then I just don't know what to say any more.

Ironflower Thu 18-Jun-20 22:46:38

"the courts are only interested in evidence, not unproven accusations"

This scares me. Like I said abusers are very good at hiding and denying things. What is proof? Things they put into emails? They aren't that stupid. Everything I claim, they would deny. I think that this has become more of a debate on the fairness of the courts. Sadly there are people that make up false claims, this hurts the people that really are abused out there.

OceanMama Fri 19-Jun-20 04:37:45

Nonnie, obviously I don't think every grandparent is going to be a problem. I'm objective enough to know that sometimes the problem is partly both parties, sometimes it's one. Sometimes it is the adult child who has problems. I don't believe the parents are always to blame for making them that way either. There are many things in life that can influence, parents are just a part of it, less and less so as the children get older usually.

In my case, my MIL can present whatever evidence she wants that she was alienated to the children, that's not a threat. My now adult children remember their grandmother and want nothing to do with her. They have passed their memories and reasons to the younger children who do not remember her but trust their siblings. Children are not blind and notice more than we think. I am confident that any attempt on my MIL's part to play the innocent victim will backfire.

rosecarmel Fri 19-Jun-20 05:33:26

Look at the bigger, legal picture- Historically- Society influences changes in legislation- Not the other way around- So it goes through phases according to societal fluctuations-

Case in point- The fathers rights movement began in the 60's, but surged in the 90's / early 2000's- Long story short, it led to courtroom, retaliatory, psychological massacres of women and children-

Did these men, from the fathers, to their male representatives, to the male judges on the bench truly act in the best interest of the children? No- Logic and reason were tossed out the window because "the guys" collectively had axes ( X's) to grind-

Who bolstered/funded the fathers warfare? Their parents- Who wound up raising the children? Their parents-

And it was right there where grandparenting went off the rails and led to the craziness craze it is today, where parenting and grandparenting converged, where enmeshment occurred and was deemed a legally, meaningful relationship -

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 09:30:39

The fathers rights movement enabled fathers whose former wives/partners were denying them contact with their children, to re establish contact.

Some mothers would have wanted to keep their children and themselves safe from abusive men and some withheld their children from their father's out of revenge.

Taking abusive men out of the picture, why shouldn't the parents of those father's help their son's out financially to go to court to ensure they can see their own children?

Of course, if father has contact with his children, this facilitates contact between the children and their GP's; what's wrong with that?

If "warfare" is a reasonable term to use in this discussion, who started the war? The mother who wouldn't allow her children to see their own father and one set of GP's.

The accusation of "courtroom, retaliatory, psychological massacre" is just as applicable to mothers who force their former husband/partner, the father of their children to go to court, because they cannot see their own children.

That's a very important point not to lose site of OceanMama
"Children are not blind and notice more than we think".