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My MIL doesn't have any rights to see my son does she?

(20 Posts)
DaleyBump Sat 15-Mar-14 19:55:54

Me and DH are NC with MIL. She really is an awful woman. I won't go into it but we now refuse to see her at all. She still has my DH's number and texts/calls him at least 10 times a day but she is now sending him threats to take him to court to see our DS. She can't, can she? She's met him once since he was born (he's now 4 months) and doesn't have any kind of bond with him (or my DH for that matter).

Madlizzy Sat 15-Mar-14 20:00:28

No she doesn't have any rights at all.

Nojustalurker Sat 15-Mar-14 20:03:11

Can your husband contact his phone provider and get her number blocked or change his number?

DaleyBump Sat 15-Mar-14 20:07:28

Ah thanks, I didn't think so but I was worrying a little. He doesn't want to change his number and he does have it blocked with a call blocker that he's installed but the notifications come up anyway. He doesn't want to call and properly block her number, I think it feels too final for him.

prh47bridge Sat 15-Mar-14 23:25:33

She has no automatic right to apply for contact but she can ask the court for permission to apply. Even if she does get permission to apply for contact it does not guarantee she will get contact.

DaleyBump Sun 16-Mar-14 00:04:05

She's had lots of run in's with the police and refuses to work (she can but she won't). Would this make a difference with regards to allowing her to apply for contact?

SuburbanSpaceperson Sun 16-Mar-14 00:12:19

What the courts would consider in a case like this is the needs of the child. So if there had been a lot of positive contact and a strong relationship between a grandparent and grandchild that had been beneficial to the child but which had suddenly stopped for some reason then the courts might give the grandparent leave to apply for contact. Your MIL doesn't have a relationship with your DS so there is no benefit to your DS, so she is unlikely to be successful.

TBH from what little you've said about her so far I bet it's all about making a threatening noise but not taking any action. She probably won't even organise herself as far as seeking legal advice, let alone making an application to the courts.

DaleyBump Sun 16-Mar-14 00:51:03

Ah, no she doesn't actually care about my son. Sounds harsh but it's really true, it's all about frightening us and trying to control us. You're probably right, it was just worrying me a little. She assaulted me once, I would never let my DS be alone with her if I had any choice in the matter.

SuburbanSpaceperson Sun 16-Mar-14 00:58:25

I expect worrying about it is what she wants you to do. Ignore it, just decide not to worry. In the unlikely event that she actually makes a court application that would be the time to get some legal advice and make decisions, but there's no point wasting emotional energy on something that will probably never happen.

NanaNina Sun 16-Mar-14 01:24:47

I agree with suburban - she does have the right to request leave of the court to make an application for a Contact Order under the terms of S.8 of the Children Act 1989. Any grandparent (or other relative for that matter) has this right. However it seems most unlikely she will ask for leave of the court to make an application and if she was allowed to, it seems most unlikely she would be awarded a Contact Order.

I think people need to be more certain about giving legal advice (Madlizzy saying she has no rights at all) is incorrect and therefore not helpful in my view.

prh47bridge Sun 16-Mar-14 08:33:06

NanaNina - I'm afraid incorrect (and sometimes damaging) advice from people who don't know the law is a recurring feature of Legal Matters threads. Occasionally one of the lawyers who post regularly will say something about it which generally produces a huge backlash from people saying it is an open forum and anyone can post what they want. True but not very helpful to people who come here looking for legal advice.

babybarrister Sun 16-Mar-14 11:54:30

Totally agree prh47 as usual! The amount of BS on these threads far exceeds that on oher areas I am sure ....

I am just not clear why people who don't know in detail about a particular issue in life would choose to comment on very specific threads - I certainly don't comment on the general health boards offering medical advice as I am not a doctor!

Madlizzy Sun 16-Mar-14 16:01:52

I went from the angle that the child didn't have a relationship at all with the grandmother, therefore very unlikely to be granted contact. I'm not entirely stupid. I had a brief moment to reply and just want to do a brief reassurance before other people came along and would elaborate. I don't generally do bullshit.

NanaNina Mon 17-Mar-14 00:20:49

Madlizzy - your explanation doesn't fit with your emphatic statement "no she doesn't have any rights at all" No-one is accusing you of being stupid or of generally bullshitting, simply making the point that if we aren't absolutely sure about something, not to make definitive comments, as they are misleading and unhelpful. You say you wanted to give "brief re-assurance" but you were actually giving false re-assurance. I think when you're in a hole it's best to stop digging!

EverythingCounts Mon 17-Mar-14 00:30:30

My understanding is (I'm not legally knowledgeable - this comes from threads on here) that, as has been said above, a grandparent can apply for permission to apply, and then if granted actually apply. However, they would be not that likely to succeed if a) there's no relationship established with the child and b) both parents are against contact taking place. There are threads on here recounting this stuff that you can probably find if you poke around a bit.

The legal options to pursue contact seem to have been created to deal with the aftermath of acrimonious separations, where one party says spitefully to the parents of the other half that they can't have any more contact, whereas previously they'd had plenty. Like you, I was threatened by a family member with this prospect, but like you I was not in the above position and once I started looking at info, I was much more reassured. Someone said on a similar thread on here that in their experience contact had never been granted to a grandparent when the parents were united in their wish for there to be no such contact. The trouble is that there are lots of legal websites out there playing all this up to secure the grandparents as paying customers, so be aware that googling this makes the situation seem a lot more scary than it actually is.

DaleyBump Mon 17-Mar-14 00:33:18

Thanks everyone for your advice, you're right, she probably won't even do a thing. I'm reassured that she probably won't get contact with him even if she tried.

Madlizzy Mon 17-Mar-14 17:19:26

Not digging. I'll pass the spade willingly.

DaleyBump Mon 17-Mar-14 18:28:05

Gosh okay, I got the advice I needed, maybe end it there?

BeyondRepair Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:05

* So if there had been a lot of positive contact and a strong relationship between a grandparent and grandchild that had been beneficial to the child but which had suddenly stopped for some reason then the courts might give the grandparent leave to apply for contact

How on earth can you prove positive contact though. Of course the GP would say past contact has been postive.

bobblewobble Tue 18-Mar-14 13:15:08

My husband has denied his parents contact. Our children are now 5 and 3 and have never seen them. We have tried on a couple of occasions to sort things with them but have finally given up on trying.

We saw a solicitor when my oldest was a baby. We were told that the courts would be unlikely to grant contact as there was no relationship there to protect. However she was 3/4 way through a case where the grandparents had had no contact at all for 7 years and were being granted supervised contact. She therefore told us as unlikely as it would be, it could still happen.

As it happened after sending us mediation letters and internet templates for contact, they have so far not taken us to court even though they threatened us at one point. They still like to send messages etc. to have a little dig at us or to let us know they have found information out about us but we do our best not to let it get at us. Oh and they also have the money to take us to court but have obviously chosen not to

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