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Grandparents rights if they have no contact with parents of child

(23 Posts)
Rachaelkiss Sun 03-Feb-13 15:04:53


I'm new to mumsnet and was just looking for some information and anything would be appreciated!

My partner and I have an extremely good and happy relationship ourselves, but unfortunately his mother is someone we do not want in our child's life. I won't give the long winded version but the short of it is that she likes to create trouble (particularly within our relationship) using ANY means.

My partner and his mother recently stopped talking after he'd had enough of his mother's ways and he has no plans to reconcile whatsoever after her manipulative, honestly insane ways towards him just got too much and after she relentlessly tries to cause trouble in our relationship, she also directly insults me (to me as well as to him), directly insults him (to him as well as to me), lies, tells me how much my partner is not interested in me and will get bored as our relationship is a waste of time and meaningless he will find someone else etc, tries to break us up, blames everything she doesn't like to do with my partner on me, makes things up about our relationship to try and meddle, as well as trying to turn the rest of his family against him. Just to say, she had been this way before i was in his life but it has got progressively way worse since I've been around because it is very clear she just doesn't like me and doesn't want to regardless of every effort being made on my part to be polite and nice even when she is being disgustingly rude and nasty. She tries every angle and is extremely needy to try and convince my partner he should be friendly to her again but he has told her on numerous occasions he doesn't want a relationship with her - I had even tried to go to see her off my own back to see if we could find a way for them to reconcile as i didn't want him to not have a relationship with his mother if we could help it but to no avail as she was the same old way she always is so it just didn't work even after me sitting there taking all her usual crap - she was extremely rude on that occasion, even more so because her partner wasn't around so she obviously felt she could say anything to me with no proof of her saying it afterwards to try (again) to twist things to make me look like the nasty one.

We recently had a child and neither of us want her involved in their life whatsoever (they have been born since we stopped contact with her) because we wouldn't like her to try and do the same and have toxic effects on our child, or our relationship by being in our lives at all. The last thing we want is her talking crap about us to our child like she has tried to both of us or trying to negatively impact our child and our relationship. This is something that is highly likely she would do, this is no exaggeration - she will try anything and it is something we are genuinely concerned about.

We have a feeling she will try and take us to court, do we have a case because she causes trouble in our relationship and because we don't talk to her or is it likely we will have no say on this?

BumpingFuglies Sun 03-Feb-13 15:27:47

Hi Rachael

Sorry you are having to deal with this.

DP and I are in the process of a court battle with DP's parents, who are trying to get a contact order to see DC (his boys, I am their SM). There are many differences in our situation, but the common factor is that his parents are toxic and we don't want them around the boys. They are nearly 8 and 5.

The GPs began by applying to the court via solicitor for Joint Residency/Contact. The judge rejected the application for Joint Residency (thank God) and they are now trying to get the contact order.

We have social services involved and I am getting the impression that it will very much come down to the Social Worker's recommendations in the Section 7 report. The big difference with your situation is that the GPs were very much involved in the boys lives before DP and I got together, whereas your DC's GM has never been involved. I am guessing that will make it harder for GM to get contact.

We are now going to Mediation (a formality, since the GPs will just walk out) and are waiting for the next hearing upon completion of the S7 report.

I'm not experienced in these matters, just wanted to share this with you as it's the first thread of it's kind I've seen on MN!

I think you will of course have a say in what happens and remember that DM will need funding to go to court. I think the rules on Legal Aid change in April.

We have a strong case for denying access/having the GPs supervised, but still don't know what will happen yet. There is a history of violence and inappropriate behaviour, plus attempts at parental alienation and emotional abuse.

I would consult a solicitor on this, but remember nothing has happened yet! Sincerely hope it will not happen for you as it's hugely stressful.

Don't forget to update smile

BumpingFuglies Sun 03-Feb-13 15:29:24

Just saw you're new so please tell me if any of the acronyms don't make sense, sorry blush

PandaOnAPushBike Sun 03-Feb-13 16:16:15

I'm not a legal person, but my understanding is that it's all about what's in the best interests of the child and maintaining the status quo.

So for example, if I fell out with my parents and denied them access, they would have a very good case. This is because my daughter is older and has always had an extremely close relationship with them (stays over most weekends, cared for after school 3 times a week, regular holidays with them etc).

They wouldn't have much of a chance if they fell out with my brother. He lives a long way away, his child is still a baby and because of the distance they have had very limited contact so far anyway.

<Waits to be corrected>

crabbyoldbat Sun 03-Feb-13 16:17:15

This may be interesting you - another poster's experience (over several threads) - although they had a long background of no contact with the grandparent:

betterthanever Sun 03-Feb-13 16:26:45

I was just going to post those threads - the thank you one gives the result of the court case.

Fifi782005 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:29:42

Sorry to read this i know how you are feeling .
The threads that have been linked are mine . We are now at the end of a horrible couple of years being dragged through the courts but with a very successful outcome .
We really didn't believe it could happen but it can ! If I can help in anyway feel free to pm . We represented ourselves in court but the process would be the same I'm sure .

Collaborate Sun 03-Feb-13 18:06:07

OP If they apply to court they need the permission of a judge. You should certainly contest the granting of permission given the facts. I don't think they'll be awarded contact by the court.

colditz Sun 03-Feb-13 18:10:05

Your partners mother has no right to your child in any way shape or form. If she was to take this to court, the onus is on her to prove that she has been significantly involved with the upbringing of your child, and that contact has (a) been stopped and (b) that this action has had a bad effect on the child.

As she's never met your child, it's fairly self explanatory that this won't happen.


Rachaelkiss Sun 03-Feb-13 18:20:30

Thanks everyone for your responses, they've all been extremely helpful, especially the links! I'm sorry to those of you who have also been in a similar situation. Luckily, it hasn't come to anything yet but I just want to prepare myself for, what I imagine will be, the inevitable. If anything does come of it I will update though!

BumpingFuglies - I hope it all works out for you, I have in fact been lurking mumsnet for a while without an account so have got to grips with the codes haha!

Fifi782005 - I am so glad you have had the outcome you wanted, albeit after a lengthy stressful time! If anything comes of this I will be straight onto you PMing so thank you!

All of you have made me feel much more comfortable and less worried about what could happen so thank you, I am so glad that I came on here and grateful that you were all here to provide help! Will definitely be on here more in the future!

Thanks and good luck to you if you're in this position!

Rachael xx

BumpingFuglies Sun 03-Feb-13 19:26:44

Thanks so much for your links crabby
Think I hadn't searched exhaustively on this matter as it seems quite unusual! Just scanned threads and will read in full later.

Fifi So sorry you had to go through this too but I'm glad you got the result you wanted.

Rachael thanks for this thread

luckz666 Sat 16-Feb-13 06:57:30

hi,just a bit of advice really...
myself and my bf havent spoken to his mum in just over 10 years be ause of trouble she caused when we first met! now we have a 10 month old baby who she has had nothing to do with we have received a letter from a solicitors regarding contact and mediation! i cant believe it! we both do not want her to have any access! any advice would be much appreciated!

betterthanever Sat 16-Feb-13 10:51:12

Write back yourself so you do not incur solicitors fees. Refuse both and she would then have to apply for permission to make an application to court. If they did accept it which they may do if she lies on the applications form (as some do), then see the links above. There is already lots of good advice above and reasons why she should/would not get contact. It is so sad hearing what some people put others through for their own selfish needs.

luckz666 Sun 17-Feb-13 10:28:44

thanks,i am entitled to legal aid so am going to a solitcitors. Thing is we were going to let her see him and although i didnt like it she came over to us while we were out and asked my bf if she could see our son. we agreed and she was therd less than a min. then we had letters through my mums door and jasons dads door as we have recently moved and she doesnt know the address asking to see him and if we didnt take him round then she would contact a solicitor! its so upsetting what shes putting us through

luckz666 Sun 17-Feb-13 10:34:43

thanks,i am entitled to legal aid so am going to a solitcitors. Thing is we were going to let her see him and although i didnt like it she came over to us while we were out and asked my bf if she could see our son. we agreed and she was therd less than a min. then we had letters through my mums door and jasons dads door as we have recently moved and she doesnt know the address asking to see him and if we didnt take him round then she would contact a solicitor! its so upsetting what shes putting us through

betterthanever Sun 17-Feb-13 12:43:19

Legal aid is ending very soon and many solicitors are not taking on new cases.

Fifi782005 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:22:59

Hi there,

It probably not what you want to hear but grandparents do have the right to apply to the courts for contact and its about what's in your sons best intrests (his rights to a relationship with grandparents) your background and wishes are taken into consideration but its nothing to do with your "rights" as parents sad . I think that someone has posted links above to my posts . I have just got to the end of a two year court case with a very similar situation to yours . If you would like me to answer any questions or share my experience with a little more detail please feel free to pm me . We did have a good outcome but with good reason but it has been a terrible time for us as a family .
One thing I would say is that if you are being harrassed with threats , unwanted visits or letters etc keep a record and if becomes really bad contact the police on the non emergency number .
Hope it doesn't get to court but if it does please feel free to contact me and do not feel pressured into allowing contact in the mean time(unless you want to) as it stands she has no relationship to protect and allowing her to build one with your son would help her case .

luckz666 Tue 19-Feb-13 09:32:48

thanks fifi,how do i pm you? cant find the link?

prh47bridge Tue 19-Feb-13 09:49:43

To the right of Fifi's name in her last post there are three links. Click on "Message poster" to send a PM.

prh47bridge Tue 19-Feb-13 09:52:02

And just a minor correction to Fifi - grandparents don't have an absolute right to apply for contact. They must first ask the courts for leave to apply for contact. Being granted leave to apply for contact does not mean they will be granted contact.

Collaborate Tue 19-Feb-13 10:01:12

Sorry Fifi but grandparents cannot apply for contact as of right. They need the permission of a judge to proceed. But what do I know. I'm only a family law solicitor.

FerrisBueller1972 Tue 19-Feb-13 10:04:49

This is an interesting thread and I am pleased to have found it and the links etc that it contacins. We are on the other side as we are trying to find out if there is a way we can get to see my neice?nephew. Relationship with my brother broke down due to the terrible trouble his wife was causing to my mum. Very abusive and just downright nasty.

Despite her however we have tried to send letters to my brother, call etc and have continued to send birthday cards and christmas presents etc (breakdown of relationshp was May 2012). All cheques cashed, no thank you or call or anythinh has ever been given. I don't believe the children have ever received them tbh. They only live 20 minutes away. We have tried all the methods we can think of to try to get a dialogue going but if they will not talk to us what are we to do?

We miss the children a LOT and my ds is so confused and upset that he cant get to see the cousins he has grown up with (he is 7).

It is just so incredibly hurtful that a parent would cut the contact off from a Grandparent out of nothing more than spite. It makes my blood boil that she (SIL) can get away with doing this and the fact that my brother does not stand up to her infuriates the hell out of me. This is not the brother I have known for nearly 40 years, she is so financially controlling and emotionally abusive and controlling is is just horrible to witness.

Any other advice from anyone that has been in our position would be very much appreiated.

Fifi782005 Tue 19-Feb-13 15:23:56

Sorry worded incorrectly was typing on my phone . They have the right to apply for leave but after lots of contact with others in the same position nearly all have leave granted [shocked]
Was just offering words support to the op as i myself have just got to the end of a very similar case and know how she feels from an emotional side of things rather than professional .

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