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Someone please help

(13 Posts)
Chamonix1 Tue 27-Oct-15 08:36:45

Such a long story, I'm going to keep it as brief as possible though as I really need help.
Narcissistic mother in law, father in law her enabler, have always controlled, manipulated and have no boundaries. Dp has spent years desperately trying to please them, desperate for the parents he longed for he thought if he did as they wished and always agreed they'd be "normal". Fast forward 3 years and they've had regular access to dd (almost 3) and she does get on well with her grandparents, however dp and I have has a HUGE bust up with his parents, I basically spoke up for the first time ever to them and told them I'm fed up of their manipulation and control and sick of watching them bully do. Resulted in fil saying he's always hated me and basically saying I am crazy and to "watch out".
Dp now wants nothing to do with them, basically he's been waiting for a proper excuse to cut ties (trust me there's been so many times we could've done this) and I KNOW that they will apply to the courts for access to dd.
I know they'd never physically harm her, but I've watched them manipulate their own son and watched how it's affected him. I am so worried they'll do the same to dd when she no longer conforms to what they want her to be, in all honesty you can't say 1 negative word to mil without her crying all day and fil going ape because you've upset her. I feel sick. And I'm rambling...genuinely thinking of moving very far away.
We were thinking about having another child next year, now I can't even consider it, they'll end up with unsupervised access to another child at God knows what age. What do I do?

ChiefInspectorBarnaby Tue 27-Oct-15 10:08:23

Can grandparents even apply for access? It's not their child...? Don't plan your family life around them. If you want more children then live your life. Cut ties with them. Also if grandparents can apply for access, start gathering any evidence of them being bad news.

AnnieKenney Tue 27-Oct-15 10:19:33

They can apply for contact but only if they have parental responsibility - in other words they will have two hoops to jump through and it will cost them.

Although nothing is certain in the family courts, it is unlikely they would succeed against your and DPs objections. Do, however, start keeping a record of their behaviour - you never know when it might come in handy.

kittybiscuits Tue 27-Oct-15 10:26:13

No they won't. Calm down. They are extremely unlikely to get contact with your child(ren) if you and your OH stick to your guns. Keep a record of all threats and dodgy behaviour.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 27-Oct-15 12:42:43

How often does your dd have contact with these grandparents? Do they have unsupervised contact with her and does she have overnight stays with them?

Notwithstanding the above questions, in the circumstances such as you've described your dd's paternal grandparents have no legal right to have contact with her.

If they wish to apply for a court order they must first ask the Family Court for leave to commence proceedings and it's by no means certain that permission will be granted.

However, if the Family Court grants them leave to apply for a child arrangements order* they will first be required to undertake a compulsory Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to which you and your dp will be invited to attend and you will be at liberty to give your views as you've expressed them here.

If, after any such meeting, they proceed further it is highly unlikely that any Court would favour them over you and your dp.

Unless they intend to represent themselves in which case I shall put my mind to helping you have them laughed out of court these proceedings do not come cheap, as they will discover if they decide to consult a solicitor who, given the zero limited chance of success, will most probably dissuade them from making any application and steer them towards mediation as distinct from the MIAM mentioned above.

I suspect that, unless you are able to block them entirely from phones/emails etc, you and your dp will be subjected to a load of bluff and bluster interspersed with assorted hollow threats, but please don't worry as they won't succeed in law and, for the record, they cannot apply for parental responsibility as your dd does not live with them and they are not raising her.

*Child arrangements orders have replaced contact orders - those who hold the latter orders do not need to re-apply.

Chamonix1 Tue 27-Oct-15 13:13:25

They saw her for the first year of her life probably once a week with us there, very very rarely alone and I hated it when they did. then they moved away for 1 year and barely saw her, or us. Then for the past 8 months they've seen us once a week id say they'd taken her for a couple of hours on their own maybe 10 times.
They've had her overnight maybe 5 times her whole life, if that.
They have a fair amount of money and are very stubborn and controlling and I can totally see them spending ££££ to get their own way.
Their own son can't stand them and feels bullied by them I shouldn't have allowed my child near them, I'm seriously regretting it now.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 27-Oct-15 14:12:10

Relax. It doesn't matter how many thousands of ££££'s they throw at lawyers, they don't stand a snowball in hell's chance of getting a court order which will effectively override your own and your dp's wishes for them to have no contact with your dd.

In order to circumvent your wishes they will need to prove to the court that they have had a meaningful and important relationship with your dd and that it's in her best interests for it to continue and, given the infrequency of their contact with her to date, that is clearly not the case. Furthermore, in the unlikely event that she talks about them of her own volition, unless she hears you/her df mention their names she'll soon forget about them.

Also, please rest assured that hell will freeze over before they stand any of chance of gaining access to any further dc you may have as you now know not to let them anywhere near your loved ones.

They'll try to bully and intimidate their ds, but he's got you standing beside him and their days of calling the shots with him are well and truly over. They've blown it as parents and, as a result, they won't get to see their gdd or any more dc their son has, for which state of affairs they can only blame themselves.

Chamonix1 Tue 27-Oct-15 21:19:07

Thank you for your reassuring words.
I am so worried. sad my stomach is in knots and they haven't even done anything yet.
They come across so well, it's behind closed doors they treat their son like dirt and EVERYTIME we leave their house he is sad and hurt, feeling a failure who can't make his parents happy. It breaking my heart to think they could be making dd feel like that in years to come. I'm so worried for her.
I'm worried that because we've allowed them to see her, in hope for a healthy and balanced relationship with them eventually the court would argue we couldn't see them as an actual threat to dd's wellbeing, which for now at least they aren't, but I really am concerned that as she grows into her own person with her how opinions, interests and life that they will tread her down just like they have their own son.

Borninthe60s Tue 27-Oct-15 21:28:14

Spend a few quid and seek legal advice. It may well put your mind at rest X

Suddenlyseymour Wed 28-Oct-15 09:06:56

Doesn't matter how wealthy they are, money doesn't mean they can circumvent the law. Calm down, save yourself the stress, they have NO legal grounds for access. Echo what pp has said, go see a solicitor yourself just to reassure and empower you.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 28-Oct-15 10:54:35

There is absolutely no chance that a court would force you to make your children spend time with them. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

If they tried the judge would probably make them pay all the costs because of it being a frivolous case. Really. No chance of success. Their solicitor would tell them all this immediately if they were daft enough to try.

The fact that you are getting so stressed about something that will not happen shows what a number they've done on you. Toxic people are not above the law even if they think they are. They don't always win even though they make you believe they do.

Never ever see them again. Never ever talk to them again. Never ever pickup the phone to them or open an email from them or open a text from them.

Then you will win the prize of freedom!!!!

Chamonix1 Wed 28-Oct-15 14:14:48

Thanks everyone. Feeling s bit more relaxed today, although I am worried that I've read of many cases were grandparents are granted access to grandchildren, a few of which on mums net, even when they've had no contact with their gc before they went to court.
We've contacted a solicitor for some advice.
I really don't know whether they'd stand a chance but I do know that if they do id rather avoid court all together and meet Them in a public place every other week with dd so they can see her than them dragging us through court and getting unsupervised access, especially now I've seen their true potential.

Suddenlyseymour Sat 31-Oct-15 18:44:50

Really, they do not stand a chance. At all. Get yourself to the solicitors, and believe what they say - do not let these people frighten you into thinking they even have a chance, so that you buckle with fright and end up facilitating access. Seriously thanks

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