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Do grandparents have rights...?

(10 Posts)
tRyer1 Mon 19-Oct-15 14:28:13

Hi, does anyone have any experience of whether grandparents have rights to see grandchildren?

Separation occurred when the baby was 2/3months (divorce now on going) so there was no significant relationship between baby and grandparents.

Further more one of the grandparents is diagnosed with schizophrenia, the other grandparent is constantly at work so not at home to take care of baby if the baby was there.

Babies father left work to avoid maintenance payments and also has/had mental problems (hearing voices telling him to harm people). Social services were involved now case closed as baby is in a safe place.

He (babies father) showed little or no cooperation with social services. Both the father and grandmother were told by social services baby can never go to their house due to mental illness of the grandparent and his own mental illness. They are now attempting to see the baby. Initially demanded to see him 2 days a week at home, solicitor replied citing serious concerns to which they then immediately switched to seeing baby at contact centre.

My questions are:

What are your experiences regarding grandparents demanding to see grandkids? Plus grandparents with schizophrenia?

Does anyone have experience regarding fathers mental illness and seeing children?

TooSassy Mon 19-Oct-15 18:31:49

OP someone else with more knowledge should come by. But I would seriously advise getting RL advice ASAP. The issues you are outlining here need a proper discussion with someone who knows what they are talking about.

tRyer1 Wed 21-Oct-15 11:05:10

Hi, sorry I'm not sure about all the acronyms used on this site. what do you mean by RL?

There I a good solicitor involved who has outlined the options but I wanted to know peoples experiences of similar situations.

DivorceAlchemist Wed 21-Oct-15 11:17:18

Grandparents have no automatic rights to contact. They must apply for what is known as 'leave to apply' that means the court will consider whether or not permission to apply should be given. Given the history that you describe, Cafcass and Social Services will be concerned and make representations about this to the court. Should the grandparents apply, you will be contacted by Cafcass as part of their safeguarding checks.

tRyer1 Wed 21-Oct-15 14:29:55

thanks DA, we asked the social services to provide what they told babies father and babies grandmother in writing however they were reluctant. something about not being biased in the case. seems silly to me though as its a serious safety concern. however they said they will provide it if needed in court.

The father has now said he wants contact in a contact centre with both grandparents present. What would be the next step? Should cafcass and social services be told?

An issue with the father has always been that he is a compulsive liar and will just lie his way through any process and repeat that he is 'ok now'. Im concerned this will allow him contact.

titchy Wed 21-Oct-15 14:33:12

Just ignore or say no. Let them take it to court.

DivorceAlchemist Wed 21-Oct-15 22:39:12

Is there court proceedings or an order with the father?

tRyer1 Fri 23-Oct-15 11:44:44

No court proceedings currently and no order (however not 100% sure what you mean exactly by order - restraining order?), just the solicitors from both sides exchanging responses. last response from them was that they want to see the baby in a contact centre with both the grandparents (babies fathers parents) present (one of whom has well documented mental problems). we have yet to respond.

There is also a matter of valuables that the babies fathers family have kept and a consent order is being drafted to get them back (they have been messing around with that for about a year now) however they are trying to almost tie the 2 situations together. Sort of unofficially saying they will only give the valuables back once they get to see the baby.

DivorceAlchemist Fri 23-Oct-15 15:48:36

In terms of orders I meant I relation to fathers contact with the child. If not and its still all been done through solicitors, no one can force you to do anything. Ultimately if the grandparents want something you are not happy to agree they will have to apply for the leave to apply I mentioned above.

tRyer1 Fri 23-Oct-15 16:57:36

ok thanks, as I thought just have to go through the process

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