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Struggling to see my grand daughter after my daughter’s death

(47 Posts)
Sharon4068 Mon 22-Aug-22 18:53:57


Hi Everyone,

This is my first post. I’m hoping to find some advice on here if possible. I hope this is allowed.
My daughter sadly passed away in Feb leaving her 8 year old daughter (my grand daughter) and her husband. Her husband isn’t my grand daughter’s biological father and he hasn’t adopted her. Since my daughter’s death, he has stopped me from contacting my grand daughter, changed all phone numbers and blocked all social media. I don’t even know where they are now living, I think it’s somewhere down south. When I’ve spoken to the local children’s services, they have just advised me to get a special guardianship order through the courts. I applied to the court but they have just sent the form back saying I need legal advice on how to apply. I’m not in a position to pay for expensive legal costs but I am desperate to have some contact with my grand daughter.
My daughter died unexpectedly but she knew something was going to happen because she sent numerous messages and verbally asked me to look after her daughter if anything happened to her. He death is being investigated due to her being in a controlling and cohesive relationship with her husband.
Had anyone else been in this position and able to offer any advice because I’m just hitting brick walls everywhere I turn.
Thanks in advance.

crazyH Mon 22-Aug-22 18:59:04

Oh Sharon4068 - how awful for you. Someone with legal knowledge will come on here and give you the right advice. I cannot believe how heartbroken you must be. Lots of hugs for you and your Granddaughter ? ? xx

Elusivebutterfly Mon 22-Aug-22 18:59:25

I don't have any advice for you but wanted to give my sympathies on the death of your daughter and concerns for your granddaughter. It must be awful for you. I hope someone will be able to offer constructive advice soon.

Harris27 Mon 22-Aug-22 19:05:41

So sorry to read this. Get in touch with a solicitor that deals with this type of case and also social services if you think your granddaughter is in danger. They have to respond. I’m so sorry for your loss I really am.

Daisymae Mon 22-Aug-22 19:10:47

I would start with social services and tell them what you have detailed. You may also be able to get some advice from the CAB. Plus some lawyers will give a free half hour. Maybe someone else on here can offer a legal view. Hope you get some help soon.

Smileless2012 Mon 22-Aug-22 19:34:00

I'm so sorry for your loss Sharon and that you're being denied any contact with your GD and that I have no legal advice to offer.

You really do need to get some legal advice asap. If your s.i.l. is not her biological father, hasn't adopted her and hasn't been appointed as her legal guardian, he has no right to do this.

As you D's death is being investigated, social services need to be informed so they make sure that your GD is safe and well. In your position I would also contact which ever police force is carrying out the investigation.

I hope that you'll be able to let us know how are things are progressing.


Sago Mon 22-Aug-22 19:37:31

What a dreadful situation.
Have you any contact with the biological father?
If he is a decent person he could be the key.

Smileless2012 Mon 22-Aug-22 19:45:57

That's a good point Sago.

Callistemon21 Mon 22-Aug-22 19:50:34

I'm sorry for your loss, Sharon. flowers

I can understand how worried you must be about the welfare of your granddaughter.
You need urgent legal advice (try Citizens' Advice initially) and should contact Social Services too so they can trace them. If your SIL has not legally adopted the child then I would not think he has any legal rights.

AGAA4 Mon 22-Aug-22 19:52:19

This man has no legal right to keep your GD if he hasn't adopted her.
You will need a solicitor to go to the family court.
So sorry. This is an awful situation for you ?

Allsorts Mon 22-Aug-22 19:57:21

I am so very sorry you are in this awful position. I can’t imagine anything more painful than your daughters death and being kept away from your gd. I agree with the above suggestions, I would notify social service and the police handling the case, but also a lawyer to get their perspective. Is there a reason the biological father hasn’t come forward? I would think he would be first on the scene. Do hope you get to see your gd very soon, keep us posted please.

Sharon4068 Mon 22-Aug-22 20:00:12

The biological father isn’t on the birth certificate and has no contact with my GD.

MerylStreep Mon 22-Aug-22 20:16:28

I’m so sorry for your very sad situation.
What I would do now is report your granddaughter missing, which she is. Not only that you have every reason to believe she’s with someone who isn’t her legal Guardian.
Don’t be fobbed off. Get a crime number and keep pestering them.
Make an appointment to speak to your local MP, they can sometimes be helpful.

Cabbie21 Mon 22-Aug-22 20:18:10

I wonder if this link may be of any help?

MadeInYorkshire Mon 22-Aug-22 20:20:16


The biological father isn’t on the birth certificate and has no contact with my GD.

Oh I am so sorry that is horrific ...... Have you been in touch with Children's Social Services Safeguarding team Sharon4068?

If there is ANY doubt about how your daughter died and that he is potentially the perpetrator then it is vital that the Police dealing with it and SS get that child away from him NOW surely?

Iam64 Mon 22-Aug-22 20:34:37

What a dreadful situation to be in.

The police in the area your daughter lived in will have a specialist team responsible for domestic abuse. Speak to the sergeant in charge. Find out what ‘the investigation’ you refer to is up to. Could you report your granddaughter missing? Given your comments about your daughter’s death surely the police should be concerned for a child in this man’s care.

Put a brief chronology of events, incidents you have first hand knowledge of this man’s coercive, controlling behaviour. Take it with you to and appointment with a solicitor whose name is on the Children Panel, someone experienced in family law.

It sounds as though your granddaughter has no responsible adult with parental responsibility. Legally, who can consent if she needs medical treatment for example.
Children’s Services may be right in advising Special Guardianship is the way for yiu to get PR and responsibility for your granddaughter but you don’t know where she is. You’re rightly concerned for her welfare.
You need a lawyer and to involve the police - that should clarify how to involve the Family Court

Callistemon21 Mon 22-Aug-22 22:10:57

He death is being investigated due to her being in a controlling and cohesive relationship with her husband

Contact the police who are investigating your daughter's death and tell them you are fearful for your granddaughter as they have both disappeared.
Keep on until you get a result.

Hithere Mon 22-Aug-22 22:34:23

Horrible situation.

What was the custody agreement with gd's father?
Is he fighting to see her?
Where is he in the picture?

In the US, there are lawyers provided by the state to work with you if you cannot afford to pay - do you have something similar in the UK?

Hithere Mon 22-Aug-22 22:35:19

Any lawyers that could help you on a reduced fee plan or for free?

Kate1949 Mon 22-Aug-22 22:42:46

Oh Sharon how dreadful and sad. I hope you can get some help.

ElaineI Tue 23-Aug-22 00:02:40

Some lawyers offer a free session or contact CAB about it then you could apply for legal aid but definitely report it to the police. What a worry for you.

Summerlove Tue 23-Aug-22 00:35:56

I’m so sorry for your loss Sharon

VioletSky Tue 23-Aug-22 01:25:57

I'm so sorry for your loss

Is she the only child? They had none together?

I really think you need to find someone to give you the right advice, where are you? Maybe we can help find something.

If you are in the US I know that some sites have third party rights so you could have a fight on your hands.

Another thing to consider, if you can't afford legal advice for the form how will you financially support a child? I ask this because if you go for custody you will need to prove you can.

Good luck and best wishes

MissAdventure Tue 23-Aug-22 01:41:07

I need to correct that, I'm afraid.
There is no onus on you to show that you can support a child, as you will be fully entitled to the same benefits as any single parent (?) would get.

I presuming, though, that you would just like a relationship with your grandaughter?

There are various court orders, but you would need to find out which one would work for you.
There is an organisation who explain more; I'll see if I can find it.

Hang on..

MissAdventure Tue 23-Aug-22 01:50:07

There is lots of reading and resources here, but it is specifically for those who want or need to take on the role as legal kinship carer.

You can actually (depending on your local authority) be paid as a foster carer for taking on a relatives child, but it does mean cooperating with social services (who decided they were going to set me "homework" to do each week - that's where we parted ways)