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Please help - Advice re Grandparent Contact order(9 Posts)
I'm not sure if this anybody here could help me but I am desperate so any help is sincerely appreciated. My husband suddenly passed away 11 months ago and I have been harrassed by his family since. (There is evidence of this). They have threatened me etc as they are after my marital home. There was a history of violence as they abused my husband and treated myself and my own 4 year old son badly. They were issued with harrasment warnings by the police which they have continued to breaach but I am too scared of obtaining an injunction because it means having to face them in court, My son was so afraid of them that he did not feel safe anymore as his dad was no longer here to protect us from them. We had to move in with my parents until he felt safe enough to go home. We have had to put up CCTV cameras, a porch etc at my home because of them and my son was finally settling back and feeling safe again. Now they have applied for a contact order to see him, lying that they had a close relationship with him, He is petrified of them and I promised him I would never let them near him or hurt him ever again. How can I keep that promise now? I cannot understand how Grandparents rights can prevail over a child's rights or a mother's right to keep her child safe. Now I am going to have to face them in court and I cannot stress how afraid I am. Everything they did to us in the past is coming flooding back and I can't cope with this on top of losing my husband. I don't know where to run too, if I run where can I hide and how long for before either the authorities or they find us. Is there anybody who can help us? Sorry for the lengthy message.
God, how awful, feel really sorry for you and your ds
no idea how to advise you, I'd say citizens advice might be the first step
and so sorry for the loss of you dh
i feel so sorry for you but afaik i don't think grandparents have any rights at all.
If you are faced with the prospect of seeing them in court, apply for that injunction. If you have evidence which can be used against them, use it. If you have an injunction in place, it is highly unlikely that a civil court will grant them contact rights. Go and see a solicitor on Monday.
Also, I would see about selling the house and moving away from them if possible.
If it's any help, in the days when I did family law I acted for a mum who was contesting the paternal grandmother seeing her children. The grandmother hadn't done anything particularly wrong - but there hadn't been a close bond over the child's life. Contact was refused - the test was what was in the child's best interests - and there was such obvious opposition from the mum that it really wasn't workable. Contact would have created all sorts of bad feelings and the Sheriff decided it would not be in the child's interests. The staus quo was that there had not been any contact in the past and this was taken into account by the court.
Your story sounds far worse - get a good solicitor - gather all the information you can and I am sure it will go your way.
Talk to your solicitor about getting an injunction - I don't think you would have to face them in court to get an initial order (well you wouldn't in Scotland)
Agree with Freckle - think about selling your house and move away.
Good luck - what a horrible situation to be in especially after losing your dh.
If there is a history and evidence of harrassment towards you then I would state this evidence in any court action.
Why did you not get the injunction done? You would not necessarily have to face them in court and anyway there are special facilities for witnesses who are under threat of intimidation (separate waiting areas, someone to accompany you into court etc - ask about it).
The grandparents do not have Parental Responsibility and would have to make an application for it.
They could make an application for a Contact Order - in response to their application for a CO I would suggest that you feel it is not in the child's best interests for contact to happen as there is a history of harassment and intimidation towards your family when dad was alive and this has continued. Use the evidence of the harrassment warnings from the police (presumably you have copies of them/crime reference numbers - or contact your local family liaison police officer for advice) to demonstrate what has happened.
It may be ordered, however, that contact with the child's extended family IS in their best interests and you should go with it for the moment. Due to the history of harassment and intimidation I would push for contact to occur under supervision (but grandparents will probably be on their best behaviour!) to observe any funny goings on.
If the child is overtly distressed this should be noted by the contact centre staff, you may have to return it to court again in a couple of months for further directions from the court for no contact.
Maybe moving is the best option? To escape the intimidation too?
I agree with freckle. If you have evidence against them, use it. You should not have to face them in court in order to get an injunction against them - an injunction is generally taken out because of threat of violence/fear for safety so it would be wrong to suggest you have to face them in court in order to prevent them coming near you.
They have no rights over your family home. As his wife you are legally his next of kin and they have no rights wrt any of your property.
Iirc grandparents have no rights. So I would gake out the injunction, and tbh, I would then seriously consider selling the house and moving, and not telling them where to.
I'm afraid I disagree with yerblurt though re if contact was granted - I would sooner face the wrath of the courts than force my child to see such ghastly individuals.
Thank you for the advice everyone.
Wannabe, I completely agree, I promised my son he would never have to see them and I will do anything to keep it even if it means the courts taking action against me.
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