Gransnet forums


Should I go to court to get access to by granddaughter?

(28 Posts)
Sal47 Mon 05-Oct-20 08:57:56

My granddaughter lives at present with her father. My daughter has agreed to this as her health has suffered through constant court battles . We have no contact with our 7 yr old granddaughter now as the father won’t communicate with us. He also doesn’t follow the court order to get her to write to or ring her mother. Should I go to court? I don’t know what to do.

PetitFromage Mon 05-Oct-20 09:17:43

I think it would be better for your daughter to pursue this. Why don't they have shared custody?

Babyshark Mon 05-Oct-20 09:21:50

Hi I agree with the pp that your daughter needs to be the one to pursue it and you supporting her. I’m sorry though, your situation sounds really sad. I wish your daughter well (and you!).

Smileless2012 Mon 05-Oct-20 09:32:32

As I posted to you about this on another thread, I hope you saw it, your D has a greater chance of success in seeing her D than you'll have going to court for contact as her GM.

If your GD's father is breaching the court order regarding her writing too and ringing her mother, I would like to think that your D's chances of having proper visitation will be substantially increased.

Sal47 Mon 05-Oct-20 09:49:08

Thank you for your replies. My daughter has given up access due to ptsd at seeing the ex and the deterioration in her daughter’s behaviour due to his controlling and alienation. She cannot go back until she feels stronger and now has to deal with the breaching of the court order. Unfortunately we live a long way away. She wants me to try for some sort of contact and I have already done the mediation ready, but still not sure whether to go ahead. I’m worried in case a court action will make him more difficult to deal with.

Smileless2012 Mon 05-Oct-20 10:35:47

It's a risk Sal and if you were to be successful, as he's not allowing his D to even ring or write to her mother despite the court stipulating otherwise, whose to say he'll do as instructed with this.

I'm so sorry; it's a desperately sad situation for you allflowers.

Illte Mon 05-Oct-20 11:02:43

Can I ask what contact you are hoping for? Would you travel the 200 miles to spend an afternoon with her?
Would you want her to stay with you? If so, would you pick her up and bring her home?
Is your daughter near you now? Is she hoping for contact with her daughter through you?

I'm not unsympathetic but this needs thinking through. I'm sure the mediator has talked to you about what it is you are hoping for.

And the most important person is your granddaughter and how all this is affecting her. Will another court battle really help?

sodapop Mon 05-Oct-20 12:44:36

That's a sad situation Sal47 I feel for you and your daughter. Think carefully about what you hope to achieve by going to court especially as you live some distance away.
Illte had some good points which need consideration I think.
Would it be better to wait until your daughter is stronger before embarking on this course of action.?

EllanVannin Mon 05-Oct-20 13:15:31

Can you get a " free " hour with a solicitor for advice ?

The situation at present doesn't sound ideal for the child.

EllanVannin Mon 05-Oct-20 13:19:20

There are the child's rights to also consider. Unless there's a history of abuse/violence with either parent, it should by rights, be shared access.

Iam64 Mon 05-Oct-20 13:21:32

What a sad situation for you, your daughter and granddaughter. Other posters are correct in saying your daughter, who will share parental responsibility with the child's father, has more chance of contact that you have.
Have you seen an experienced solicitor who specialises in private law? When you say you have 'done mediation', do you mean you have been to mediation with the father?

Would the father agree to mediation with you? It sounds as though the separation was conflicted. The father may feel he's protecting his daughter from further stability. I'm not defending the position and all too often when parents refuse to allow contact with the non custodial parent, they are not acting in the best interests of the child.
Are you in regular letter/card contact? That may help your daughter remain in her little girl's life. Will he send copies of school reports photographs, help her send cards to nana and mummy. This kind of indirect contact can form a bridge of sorts until your daughter gets some help with her ptsd.
Sorry not to have instant suggestions to help make it all ok

Granniesunite Mon 05-Oct-20 13:30:11

Sal47 Horrible situation to be in but i think you need to help your daughter get the strength to go to court for access to her daughter.i hope you have a lawyer perhaps a psychologist to help you both through this nightmare? If its Alienation you're granddaughter will need specialist help too.
Concentrate on getting the help needed for your daughter and yourself. If you can contact your grandchild by phone , letter, ect. Id do that. I'd also contact the school and let them know what's happening...

Starblaze Mon 05-Oct-20 13:58:13

I too think the focus should be on getting mum strong enough to fight for her parental rights.

Also you have to consider the impact on your granddaughter if you fight now then your daughter fights later.

The court process can be long, drawn out and very stressful for all involved, especially the children. Especially if the child is already in a negative environment.

If you have real concern that your granddaughter is being mistreated, then you must report that to the relevant authority. Visitation will not protect her and if he is emotionally abusive, visitation will probably make it worse.

Chewbacca Mon 05-Oct-20 14:07:04

Those are all good suggestions at maintaining contact Iam64 and would keep the door of communication with the little girl open. I also think that a consultation with a solicitor who specialises in Family Law would be a good place to begin.

Madgran77 Mon 05-Oct-20 15:49:12

I definitely think that the focus needs to be on your daughter getting the access that she is entitled to from the court order. Support her with that. Is there a reason why Dad does not follow the order? Has he articulated his reasons? Knowing why might help in discussions about following If she gets what she is entitled to, it could be a step to getting contact yourself, but your daughter having contact needs to be the priority, on the basis of what yo have told us.

Get advice re Family Law. Maybe ask if there can be mediation arranged if dad will agree to participate?

I know this must be heart breaking for your daughter and for you. flowers

Sal47 Tue 06-Oct-20 13:14:39

Thank you all for your suggestions. A lot to think about here. It is a complicated situation. My daughter did have access but voluntary gave it up because of his behaviour and her daughter’s towards her. The courts and cafcass were no help to her and she is writing to her. Unfortunately she’s not sure whether he is passing on the letters as she gets no replies and no phone calls. I have tried contact but he ignores it and the mediator agreed it wasn’t worth trying to get him to comply. My daughter is in contact with the school. She wants me to apply for contact but I do worry it might make matters worse. We will try and get some legal advice. Thanks for all your concern.

Hithere Tue 06-Oct-20 13:28:10

Agree with others

Your dd is the key to see your gd.

Toadinthehole Tue 06-Oct-20 13:50:56

I wouldn’t personally. Could cause many more problems in the future. Just try to support your daughter as much as you can, in the hope she will be well enough to instigate change later on. Do however, keep trying to see, speak to your granddaughter, if you can, so she knows you have always tried.

ExD Tue 06-Oct-20 13:59:37

I seem to remember reading in a newspaper that grandparents have NO legal rights to see their Grandchildren!

ExD Tue 06-Oct-20 14:02:58
I stand corrected - but it does seem that all the previous advice (to support your daughter's efforts) as given on here would be your best option.

Davida1968 Tue 06-Oct-20 14:04:12

As your DGD is of school age, it's my understanding that normally your D should have access to school reports and be able talk with the relevant school staff about how the child is getting on at school. See:
(While you haven't specifically mentioned DGD's school, perhaps this school access/information might be helpful for both you & your D?)

Hithere Tue 06-Oct-20 14:11:29

You cannot do your dd's job.
She must be the one to fight for her child

Illte Tue 06-Oct-20 14:14:11

Normally both parents get school information and reports davida but the situation may have been complicated but the extent to which the OPs daughter has formally withdrawn from parenting and whether she has actually contacted the school to inform them of her circumstances.

As the OP says things have become complicated.

Court battles rarely work out well for children.

Fuchsiarose Tue 06-Oct-20 14:24:39

To be honest, grandparents have rights, as does your daughter, and the grandchild. I found the The Childrens Society were the best at helping myself, when I had problems similar to this. They are great advocates of childrens rights

Sal47 Tue 06-Oct-20 15:07:19

Thank you all for your advice.