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Father in law taking my husband to court for visitation??(34 Posts)
Me and my husband live together with children. I have a 3 and half year old and a 6 month old. We advised my father in law on 30/08 that he was not allowed to flit in and out of childrens lives anymore and could not take them the park for a few hours then on the 02/09 he applied through courts for access. There are numerous reasons as to why we have denied access (he constantly sent suicide threats, was telling my daughter she was his favourite and the unborn baby at that time would not be, kept telling her he was the favourite grandparent and when baby come she could go live with him, disappeared with her on an occasion, used her in his bitter divorce telling her to not live the grandmother and say things to her) these are just a few of the numerous things he has done. The fact that we only said no on the Friday 30/08 and he went to the court in person on the monday shows how little he has tried to work things through with us and how little he thinks of the children.
Has anyone been to court before over this? what is general outcome and what do they see as him having played an important role in their lives? as one is only 6 months?
Also on a legal note he has only made the application in my husbands name, no one will speak to me their mother about this, if I want my name putting on the application so I can attend the court hearing I have to prove im their mom in writing????????? which isn't enough time for the hearing on the 16/10.
So in short I am not even allowed in the court room?? how can this be? I am really confused as to what needs to be done. Any help appreciated
As far as I know, grandparents have no legal rights for visitation, so he can apply all he likes. He won't have much luck
Thanks thats the general feedback im getting from a few sites, i just cant believe its allowed to go this far and my husband has to take time out of work, courts have appointed cafcass to get involved without any checks into the sincerity or details of the application. they have confirmed a court hearing, not telling us the time and not even confirming legal parents on application.
Grandparents can make an application for contact with a child, they just need the Court's permission to do so, unlike a parent who has the automatic right to do so.
Takingthestairs - I'm not sure what you are basing "he won't have much luck" on but from cases I have heard about it is very much possible for grandparents to be awarded contact if they can prove they have previously had a meaningful relationship with the child and that to stop this relationship would not be in the child's best interests. It's certainly not impossible by any means.
I'm not a legal person though, so hopefully one will be along to give you a legal opinion OP x
As a parent you should be a party to proceedings. Go to court and the judge will sort that out.
From the sound of things I can't see he'll get contact, although that doesn't mean to say he won't get leave. Being given leave is not the judge saying he's likely to get contact.
Thanks mumtobe, that's what keeps coming up when I research it but he 100% can't prove that as he hasnt. We have been reasonable and even said he could see them when we were there so he couldn't say things to LO but he wanted to take the 2 of them off, which my 6 month old has only ever met him 3 times and hasn't seen him since she was 2 months so that definately wasn't happening. He hasn't even tried mediation/talking to us we didn't agree to his demand and he stormed off to court. I'm hoping best case scenario and they just deny it as there is no grounds that court action was his last resort. That's why I think feedback is generally h won't have much luck as he hasn't been a constant in their lives.
Thanks collaborate I am definately going to take birth certificates and try it but when we rang the courts they said no and they wouldn't adjourn it until after relevant paperwork could be file
That all sounds really weird. I was also under the impression that grandparents had no legal rights above the wishes of the parents. You are in the UK aren't you?
It did surprise me, yes uk but not much comes up on clear guidelines on uk law
Grandparents are able to make Section 8 Applications (Contact, Residence) so long as they have the leave of the court to do so.
The family procedure rules make it clear that all parents should be Respondent to such an application.
Yes it proves I'm the parent but they want it in writing as apparently they can't just add a participant on the day (paperwork legalities) etc basically the fil has filled it in wrong as he hasnt got a solicitor and made a rash decision (thats how much he thought about doing an application) and the court are assuming my husband is the sole carer they will find out on the day he is not. I just wanted to know if anyone had experienced this before it seems like a huge waste of time especially when ive rang and told them (cafcass will have to start all over again aswel) but I'm just assuming it will either get declined on the day due to the frivolous nature of it/get adjourned until im a party to proceedings or maybe that's me just hoping.
I hope the FIL's application gets chucked out once they realise that your children are enjoying a stable upbringing. I wouldn't let anyone have my six month old. I am sure the courts will dismiss it, although I've been surprised at how far this application has got!
If he's threatening susicide and filling their heads with crap, then I'd only be offering visits in my presence too OP. Stand your ground and keep us posted.
I hope you're putting together as much evidence as you can on all the things you have said? Do you have any written evidence - emails etc? Can you work out a list of dates he's seen them?
He hasn't sent any emails but a lot of txt messages that we have kept as proof, he's only seen them about 8 x max this year so shouldn't be to hard to work out but the things he's had the Lo saying I can't prove as they won't speak to her as she is so young I'm hoping it won't get that far though when they see he hasn't even bothered putting me on application
Make sure you have all of that information readily available in several copies though - really doesn't hurt.
Just turn up on the day, the judge will make you a party to the proceedings, on the day, because as Collaborate says, under the Family Procedure Rules you should be a party. The court staff are not legally trained by the way and shouldn't really be advising you. If you wanted to delay further you could not turn up I suppose and the judge would have to adjourn for you to be served with the papers, but presumably you've seen them as your husband has them, and best to get on and deal with the stress I would say.
A grandparent needs leave to make an application, i.e. there is an extra hurdle before the judge will consider the merits of contact. You have the opportunity to say why this should not be granted. Ask for time to file a statement, focus on the stress that he causes you, the limited contact he has had with the children so far, and the reasons you stopped contact. There is no automatic right for a grandparent to have contact; it is uncommon if the parents/main carers oppose it unless there is a real benefit to be had for the children, and substantial caring involvement in the past.
The judge might suggest mediation, have a think about whether you would be willing.
That's great thank you : ) seeing solicitor tomorrow for a free half hour : ) I will definately show up on the day as you said go not want to delay this whole nasty situation any further. Will keep everyone posted on what happens incase anyone finds themselves in this situation. Thanks for all support and advice given x
More help needed???? seen solicitor and advised the cafcass letter I have is not the court papers? Apparently my husband should have been served with letters from the court? with details of the application. And also that I have to fill in a c2 form and pay £215 to be added to the proceedings? Anyone else experienced not being served and what happens. Im really worried about what my husband will be walking into now.
Your husband should ring the court and ask for a copy of the application and notice of hearing, explain he has only been notified by cafcass. Really, just turn up and ask to be added by the judge, you should have been named, you shouldn't need to make your own application and pay when the grandfather has wrongly not named you, and you should automatically be a party. Your husband could make an oral application in front of the judge if necessary. But perhaps you might have been named if you haven't seen the application yet. Bring birth cert and ID with you.
Cafcass have the application but state I am not mentioned in it. I have just rang the court (its in UK) and its just a contact centre who said I have to write a letter (and there is a 4 week backlog) and they do not have a copy of the application themselves, there is no direct number to the court. So if we do not receive the copy in time and do not attend ( as dont know full details) the case could go ahead without us there??? Also apparently the judge is reviewing the case so the date is in question now?? I am completely baffled and amazed by this whole situation and cant believe I have had more help on these sites than the courts are willing to do. If its not stressful enough the court dont seem to want to help in anyway and just say we will send the application or give you details : (
So you or your DH have spoken to cafcass? I was going advice that you did that. Are they putting a schedule 2 letter together before the court date?
It seems strange that you can't speak to a court clerk at the court your first hearing is scheduled at - it will be a court clerk who process the application when it comes in as far as I am aware. Each court normally had set days for family hearings, I would ring them on the same day as your hearing is due i.e. if you are going there on a Monday ring them on a Monday.
How do you know the judge is reviewing the case?
Sounds very stressful.
I'm sorry I don't even know what a schedule 2 letter is, cafcass won't speak to me as he didn't name me on the app but hubby rang them and
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