Gransnet forums


Our son died when his daughter was 4 months old

(23 Posts)
stressedoutmom Thu 26-Sep-19 16:55:15

Our son died 9+ years ago. He left behind a 4 month old daughter. He was living with the mother. The mother tried to cut us out. We talked to a lawyer about grandparent rights. She changed her tune and let us be part of our granddaughters' life and we welcomes the mom into the family as well. Mom suffers from mental illness and over the past 9+ years it has been difficult to respect mom. She eliminates people from her and her daughter's lives so quickly. Even her own family. We (father's family) were the only constant family members in our granddaughter's life. Now mom has decided to turn on us and is making false accusations. We spoke to a lawyer and his recommendation was to go for custody of her and let mom have visitation. We cannot afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to pursue custody. Suggestions?

LondonGranny Thu 26-Sep-19 17:30:52

I'm pretty sure most posters here are UK based so law is different. My best guess is to go to some sort of charitable law centre in your state (guessing you're in the US) as state law varies a lot too.

paddyann Thu 26-Sep-19 18:01:50

I certainly wouldn't expect any court to take a child away from its mother without very serious reasons,cutting out family isn't one one them.If she has menatl health issues she needs SUPPORT and help not this.What kind of people think because a mental health issue is there the mother should be punished by taing her child away. I hope the court says no to you and that the motherof your GRANDCHILD (not your child) gets the help and advice .

stressedoutmom Thu 26-Sep-19 18:39:06

Paddyann I was in the same mind set until I witnessed first hand this mother for the past 9 years. She has done more to emotionally damage her daughter than help. She frequently threatens to kill herself if her daughter won't go along with her. During her daughter's birthday party she threatened to have their two dogs euthanized. We begged her to give us time to have the dogs rehomed. Which we did within a week. She let her daughter's pet rabbit go in the back yard and convinced her daughter that she left the cage open. She has left emotional scars you cannot imagine.

stressedoutmom Thu 26-Sep-19 18:45:12

I did not post the worst of her behavior, but I assure you this family court lawyer would not have suggested going to custody, if the history was not horrible. My granddaughter was sexually assaulted by her boyfriends teenage daughter. The boyfriend and his oldest children were living with them while he was awaiting his trial for a rape accusation.

stressedoutmom Thu 26-Sep-19 18:49:16

I'm all for the mother getting help. But the child needs protecting as well.

agnurse Thu 26-Sep-19 19:10:09

One important thing you may want to consider before you go for custody: your age and health status. Seriously. Let me explain:

I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong for you to go for custody, if this child is genuinely in danger. But you'll need to consider your own health and life expectancy. This little girl is still going to need care for at least 9 years or so. If you suddenly became seriously ill or passed away, that would be an extreme loss for her, especially because she has already lost her father and would have left her mother's home. This is why sometimes courts are hesitant to award custody to grandparents, especially if there are other, younger family members who are available to care for the child.

I'm not saying that you're too old to look after her! Far from it! I have no idea how old you are. I'm just saying it is something worse considering. If you feel that you would not be in a position to care for her long-term, it may be a better option to see if there is other extended family who could care for her, or if she could be placed in a long-term foster family and then you could retain contact with her.

Bibbity Thu 26-Sep-19 20:20:10

What services have you got to support you in the case?
Police reports, social services, teachers etc?

This is definitely emotional abuse but unless you’ve got serious irrefutable evidence you’re entering into a he said she said argument.

stressedoutmom Thu 26-Sep-19 20:32:38

We are both in our 50's and to be honest we love being just being grandparents. We raised 3 kids and know how much energy it takes, if you are giving it your all. I would NEVER consider taking a child away from a parent unless the circumstances were well . . . like this. We have not made any effort to start a custody battle. It breaks my heart to even think about what my granddaughter would be put through in her home if her mom even knew we were told to consider it.

MovingOn2018 Sat 28-Sep-19 03:31:24

Do you have any police reports to these facts? Or are they just allegations? Your original post and subsequent elaboration are a brow raiser. Something's amiss!

MovingOn2018 Sat 28-Sep-19 03:36:53

Also if your allegations are true, why hasn't social services removed the child from the home? You mentioning to fight for custody with mom insinuates that she still has her child with her. So after the sexual a use allegations your lawyer didn't tell you to contact the police? And social services? He's best advise was for you to file for custody? If it doesn't make sense its typically not true. Or maybe I've misunderstood it but I highly doubt it.

Hithere Sun 29-Sep-19 02:59:07

Like others have me room, documentation is key here.

Have you called CPS (child protective services) so they can investigate?

Going for custody is a long term solution and this girl needs help yesterday.

Hithere Sun 29-Sep-19 03:02:35

Like others have mentioned - autocorrect had a blast with my post

Summerlove Sun 29-Sep-19 04:01:41

I’m so sorry for your loss

stressedoutmom Mon 30-Sep-19 13:35:40

Initially the mother didn't want to do anything about the sexual abuse report, after she saw our reaction she reported the sexual abuse and filed a restraining order against the teenager. We demanded that she get counseling for her daughter. I was told she went to counseling but not for long.
The mother is OCD about her home so when CPS arrives my granddaughter has been coached on what to say and the house is meticulous. We are keeping a journal but have no hard core evidence. Mom is very careful about leaving any trails. I am genuinely worried about my granddaughter. I I always knew the mother was using us but I never thought she would take everyone away from her daughter. My granddaughter literally has no one besides her Mom.

MovingOn2018 Wed 02-Oct-19 14:35:29

No court of law will grant you the grandparent any custody of anyone's child when there's no evidence of abuse.

Also after the alleged sexual abuse were there any charges pressed? For it the restraining order if assuming that's all that was granted - just doesn't make any sense.

Did you diagnose her with mental health issues or was this done by a mental health specialist? And why do you keep calling CPS on them anyway? Seems like you want to raise your grandchild and are more cynical over issues that no one (including CPS) but you sees. What are your reasons for calling CPS on them?

MovingOn2018 Wed 02-Oct-19 14:41:51

"my granddaughter has been coached on what to say" - and how exactly do you know this? Are you there when CPS arrives? What if sea telling the truth? Has it occurred to you that your liking for problems where they are none? I find that grandparents that vindictively call CPS on their grand children's parents have other serious issues going on, for WHY did you call them? Also if CPS removes the children from that home there's no guarantee that they will come to your home and you'll get custody. They will likely end up in the foster system if you, your husband or anyone that frequents your household has a questionable past. Or if they for whatever reason deem you unfit to care for her. This story to me still doesn't make any sense. Something's still amiss.

Anja Wed 02-Oct-19 15:36:00

Unlike a couple of very aggressive and disbelieving posters on here, I feel really sad for the position you are in and understand that you are trying to do the best you can.

You are in a terrible situation and while I cannot offer any suggestion I do offer you my sympathy xx

MovingOn2018 Wed 02-Oct-19 19:31:42


Call it aggressive all you want but its the hard truth. These are some of the few tough questions that she will be asked by the judge when she files for custody. Or do you think the judge will simply believe her testimony against the defendant and it will be all rainbows and flowers and a walk in the park for her? As a plaintiff the burden of proof will lie on her and not her DIL whose child she wants custody of but has no substantial proof of anything. I just want to know what she was calling CPS for. hmm

MovingOn2018 Wed 02-Oct-19 19:37:48

Mom is very careful about leaving any trails

Or maybe she's just a great mom to her child hmm

Starlady Fri 04-Oct-19 20:38:03

Stressedoutmom, my deepest condolences on the loss of your DS (dear son). I am sorry, too, about your checkered relationship w/ your GD's (granddaughter's) mum. I know you feel there are abuses going on, even though there is no evidence, and it must break your heart. I know it would break mine.

Since there is no evidence or diagnosis you can point to, it's hard for me to gauge what's actually going on between GD and her mother. And I'm not sure where the sexual abuse issue came in (all of a sudden, you mentioned sex abuse by a teenager). But, clearly, there have been tensions between you and the mother, and I imagine that may be why she cuts you out, now and then, though her mental issues may be part of that, too.

If you really feel GD is being emotionally abused, please document everything, and keep trying to get CPS to help out. If the mother knows or suspects you're the one who's reporting her, though, expect her to be angry w/ you. So please thinks carefully and don't take action unless you are convinced. Beyond that, try to stay friendly w/ the mother, so you can be there for GD. And, of course, being as loving as possible to GD, praise her good qualities and encourage her dreams, etc. (you probably already do). Hugs!

absthame Sun 06-Oct-19 15:36:18

stressedoutMom do not be deterred by any negative postings. Although the law in the UK is not the same as that in the USA and I understand that it may differ between states the basis is similar. However processes and facilities are very different.

The suggestion of LondonGranny is probably the most sensible together with gathering as much evidence as possible. Photos, videos and sound recordings are very helpful, make sure that you keep your phone with you it is a great sound recording device and camera and can be very discrete in use.

I pray that you manage to resolve things for yourself and your GD.

stressedoutmom Thu 10-Oct-19 12:54:19

Thanks so much for the responses. I understand the negative postings. I never imagined I would be in a position like this and probably would have reacted the same if I heard a story like this. We have started gathering evidence. As best we can.