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Worried narcissistic MIL will try and take us to court for access.(69 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
It’s my first time posting here, but I hope some of you may be able to offer advice and share similar experiences. Please bare with me as it’s a bit of a long story.
So 12 months ago, we decided to cut off contact with my partners mother. She is a very controlling and manipulative woman, who will not give in until she gets her own way. Even before we had children, relationships were toxic. We once had the police involved when she attacked my partner and she had also previously attacked a girl my partner had slept with many years ago (for which she ended up in court for). So you can see, she has a horrible temper. She just isn’t any good for for my partners mental health as she bullied and emotionally abused him growing up. She has also poisoned his siblings against him. My partner has blocked her numbers, but she does attempt to contact every now and again, usually pleading and playing the victim (I left a communication channel open incase there was something significant we needed to know - mistake I know).
So we were quite happy with life until a few days ago she turned up at the end of our driveway (even though we made it clear we don’t want her in our life). She eventually went away, but then started texting me with threats of court if we won’t meet her and explain what she has done (even though it’s all been said to her before). She demanded that we all meet otherwise her only option is going to a solicitor.
Now my main fear is that she will try to get access to our two children. My little girl is now 1 - she’s only met her twice when she was a newborn. My little boy is now 3 but she has had very minimal contact up until the age of 2. There would often be many months between her seeing him at all and she never saw him unsupervised. I feel sick that this woman could force some kind of contact. She would do it to punish us not because she cares about anybody but herself. Definitely not somebody I would trust and hand my kids over willingly to her.
Does anybody have any similar experiences or any advice about what I should do?
I’m not sure what your voting options are for but she can waste as much money as she wants on a solicitor but she won’t get anywhere as there is no evidence of a previous relationship with her grandchildren.
I would ignore all texts and communication from her. If she arrives at your property, ask her once to leave and if she doesn’t call the police as she is harassing you.
She doesn’t have a continuous and solid relationship with the children so there are no grounds for her to be granted access. Don’t worry. Let her waste her money.
Just block her and ignore she won't even get permission to apply for access at court.
Do nothing. She has no leg to stand on. No pre-existing strong relationship with the kids, so nothing to suggest it’s in their best interest to maintain contact with her. And that’s what courts go on - what is in the best interest of the children.
There is absolutely no way in these circumstances she would get any sort of access to your children. A solicitor would tell her as such. Please don't worry.
Thanks for all your quick replies! That has definitely reassured me. I didn’t sleep well with worry last night.
@SunbathingDragon I’m not sure how I’ve put voting options on here 🙈. Not used this forum before.
I will definitely be ignoring her. I suspect she may have already tried her luck and told she doesn’t have a case.
She doesn’t have a relationship with either child. Her threats are just that, she’s trying to frighten you to meet up with her.
Given that she’s been in court for violence too she’s not going to spend a load of money taking you to court for access. It’s very expensive and she has very little chance of success (slim to none). Likely the most she’ll do is send a solicitor’s letter.
Ignore her threats and keep you leaving door locked if you think she’ll rock up to your house and if she does arrive at your house and makes a nuisance of herself, call police.
If you use childcare make sure the nursery/childminder knows she’s not to pick them up.
I would also add that when things go back to "normal" please make sure that nursery, playgroups, playdate friends etc school, beavers, rainbows etc know that on no account is your MIL ever to be allowed to pick up your children no matter what excuses, letters purporting to be from you, whatever, she produces and to contact you and the police immediately if she attempts to do so. I'm not saying this to worry you, because it's very unlikely to happen, and if it is she's very unlikely to succeed because procedures in place will already work. However, it does seem sensibly to take that small extra precaution to give an added level of safety.
This also sounds weird, but if you have a photograph of her, please make sure you keep it. Again, just in case you need to provide it for "don't let this one anywhere near them and please tell us if she is hanging about" reasons.
Cross post with Tigerty, who has a lovely name!
She doesn't have a meaningful or lengthy bond with the children.
Plus you can demonstrate that there is evidence of why you have kept her away from your family (the police record of assault on your partner).
Grandparents have to get permission from the court to apply for contact. Even if she got permission, it's very unlikely she would be given contact.
Let her waste her money. Block her completely.
And agree with @Tigerty - bear in mind that solicitors can write anything in a letter. It doesn't mean it's true or enforceable. The solicitor will simply be following orders from the client.
Don’t even worry about it, she won’t get near a court.
I would suggest getting an injuntion out agaist her if sheis harrassing and violent.That would stop any interation and intrusion on your lives and she would be in serious trouble if she broke it.That would put paid to any arguments she could try to use against you in future too.
Just keep a record of all her behaviour, everything that she does just serves to make a case against her, people who are as dysfunctional as she is tend to shoot themselves in the foot mainly!
Keep a diary and refer to the past and abusive actions to your partner
go to a solicitor.
i believe (I may well be wrong) GPs have no automatic right to see a child. It is actually a source of much pain for many GPs who are prevented from seeing children after acrimonious famiyl breakdowns.
If she is harrassing you seek an injunciton.
Abusive people always use court as a threat, they know it will intimidate and scare their victim, but they cant be charged with threatening you with legal action.
My mother tried this exact thing and was laughed out of her solicitors office, no relationship, had a history of harassment etc. She would have had to prove it was in the childs best interests, not hers, and she couldn't.
Generally these abusive assholes dont even try, they are just trying to provoke a reaction from you.
Don't bite, don't discuss with anyone, don't let anyone know you're upset. If she knows she is getting the desired reaction she will keep saying it.
She will absolutely get nowhere, just don't engage.
the fact she has threatened you with 'going to a solicitor' makes it seem to me she has gone to one and they have said that she has no automatic right and she is going off piste.
She's trying to gaslight you into thinking that you have to obey her
Doesn't have a leg to stand on, it's bullshit
There is absolutely no way in these circumstances she would get any sort of access to your children. A solicitor would tell her as such. Please don't worry
I would suggest getting an injunction out against her if she is harassing and violent. That would stop any interaction and intrusion on your lives, and she would be in serious trouble if she broke it. That would put paid to any arguments she could try to use against you in future too.
And this ^^
I would also close all channels of communication so she can’t intimidate you, and keep a diary, with photographic evidence of anything she tries to do.
We are going through something very similar with an abusive family member.
It's incredibly upsetting and stressful. Just remember that you hold all the cards, she is just trying to get a reaction.
Ignore her as much as possible. Put money aside for a solicitor (it isn't cheap), and remind yourself that courts know what they are doing and the best interests of the child are what determines any order. You have very good reasons for shielding your children from her and you will have your chance to explain them. No sensible judge is going to override a decision that two functioning parents have made about the care of their children. Certainly not for the sake of someone who is abusive and who is basically a stranger to those children.
If your in the UK she doesn't have a leg to stand on through Solicotors or courts so just ignore. Other countries will have their own rules for example is the US certain states do have grandparents 'rights' but even then because she has barely met your children and not even babysitted them then it would be a weak case.
It might be worth looking at getting a Solicotors to write a cease and desist with contact though if she is going to keep harassing you
Obviously don't let her know that you are keeping a log of her every move, don't give her any information about anything, keep her in the dark as much as possible.
a solictor can write anything although a fair one wont bother with her-just remember that then maybe think of harrassment charges if she carries on
i cant see it even getting to court unless she lies and says shes been seeing the children which she cant prove
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