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NC ex-mil asking to see children(43 Posts)
I’m really not sure what to do. My ex-mil has now emailed me for the second time in less than a week asking to see the children. I ignored the first email (well I'd hardly had time to process it I got a second one) and I have a feeling it won't just go away.
I had a thread a while back. My exh who was abusive and controlling left the country during the divorce and doesn’t see the children. Last time was Christmas. His family live here, not far. When it all kicked off all those months ago I was keen to keep in touch with his mother at least for the kids’ sake. We'd always had quite a good relationship. I had it quite separated in my head that what exh did was nothing to do with his family. It started ok then deteriorated quickly as exh didn't like it. A few months into divorce, allegations that I neglected the children were made, and I was also asked formally/threatened to stop contacting (ex)mil. Everything stopped. The children last saw ex-MIL around Christmas. She doesn't contact the DCs. Literally dropped off their radar. One of the DC’s birthday has also gone unacknowledged. I have had to deal with the fallout of all this with the children who obviously didn’t take it well. I’m quite shocked still that they could do this but the kids and I have regained stability. To an extent the NC enabled me to recover more quickly.
I'm fearful of ex-mil's intentions. I don't trust her. Her second email is possibly less friendly than the first, she mentions her rights, she says she wants to talk and asks me to give her a ring. I feel sorry things ended this way but something tells me it isn't right, and the timing as well. The kids had a really hard time coming to terms with the situation. And the way exh's family behaved made my anxiety a lot worse.
Any advice? Can she force contact? Her son made no provision for anything involving her. It's up to him to ask, isn't it? Should I tell her to talk to exh and not me? Should I play dead? I don't know what's the best thing to do or if it is salvageable. I just feel complete dread and panic at the thought of having to deal with them again. Exh still emails me on a regular basis but I never respond, and he only talks about himself never mentions his family.
Block and ignore. She has no rights in law unless as far as I am aware. I wouldn't even reply to her.
Just email back and say no and then block her
Assuming you're in England/Wales, she can apply to the court for permission to make ann application for contact.
What do you think she might do?
I would respond in a fairly short e-mail
I was asked by Ex-H to stop contacting you and facilitating contact with the children and yourself on <GIVE DATE>. Please contact Ex-H if you need any more information.
Best regards adorably2014
As takingthep says if you really think you must respond.
She could be trying to trick you/get you to break the formal request.
Personally I'd block her emails, I wouldn't trust her an inch.
That's a good reply from takingthep
Send that and then ignore her.
I wouldn't contact at all, ever. It's in your paper work not to.
Just block her emails. You should only consider 'doing' something if you hear from a court.
Who will most likely do nothing. She has no rights and you've agreed not to contact her.
If you respond you put yourself in the wrong legally for no reason
A few months into divorce, allegations that I neglected the children were made, and I was also asked formally/threatened to stop contacting (ex)mil.
Who made allegations? It just seems to me your ex is not in good relationship with his family and tries to control access to dcs.
Block this woman's e-mail address now. A response is what this woman is after because it then gives her an "in". Radio silence needs to be maintained.
Grandparents have no automatic rights of access to their grandchildren; they have to prove a relationship exists and that such a relationship would be beneficial. Clearly here there is not one, her actions are about power and control.
Thank you all.
The allegations weren't made by exh but by his family. They sided with him princess at the time.
I have no idea what she might do MrsBert. If exh is anything to go by, she could try court. I would have thought if she genuinely cared about the children she wouldn't have gone as far as they did last year, and she wouldn't have cut contact with them or 'forgotten' a birthday. I was also treated like muck really, so why talk to me now?
It's crossed my mind that maybe ex-mil has realised that he isn't as blameless as he claims and maybe wants to talk to me. I feel unsure because I'd like to think she's a decent person, and that maybe she was just lied to by exh and has realised I'm not as crazy as he says. Maybe she's lonely. After all we did see her a fair bit. But I cannot risk the children getting hurt all over again. I don't really trust her 100%. Exh has repeatedly asked where we are moving to so I'm wondering whether she might be trying to keep tabs.
I feel worried about blocking her. I don't respond but I feel at least I can gauge if something bad is about to happen. With what happened I don't want exh's family in my life, there's just a tiny part of me that feels maybe if she had good intentions I might be being unfair to the DCs. Sounds like I need to wait and see. I was called a few times by a new number last week as well but I only ever answer calls I know the number of and no one left a message. I've wondered whether it could be linked to it.
If she was trying to be conciliatory, she wouldn't be threatening you about her "rights". If you have to reply, I'd use what takingthep said.
adorably - This is what jumped out to me: "Exh has repeatedly asked where we are moving to so I'm wondering whether she might be trying to keep tabs." I'd suspect that is exactly the reason why she's trying to engage with you.
As RaeSkywalker says, if she wanted to resume contact with your children in a kind and supportive way, she wouldn't have mentioned her "rights" at all. Sounds to me that her personality isn't that much different from her son's.
Don't respond to her. That will just give her the "right" to carry on badgering you until she gets what she wants. But maybe don't block her emails - can you divert them to a different folder which you only check when you feel like it? - that way you can keep an eye on things. (And have evidence of her attitude should you need it, though I hope you won't.)
Block the email address adorably2014
Do not email back at all.
You are under no obligation to have any contact with any of them. They have all treated you badly.
You said you do not trust her so don't communicate back at all.
You've come a long way now.
Your goal now is to look after you and your children.
You said you are not allowed to communicate with any of them.
Then keep to this option.
Your mother in law can see the grandchildren when they are with their father.
You do not trust for a reason.
Thanks, yes that's true. The first email was quite friendly but the second she does mention she has rights, although the rest isn't too bad.
It's only ex-mil I was asked not to contact. There was no warning. I received a solicitor's letter at the time. It's probably better she claims I'm preventing her from seeing the children than she starts claiming I harass her :/ I used to trust her but I can't really now.
It's rattled me. Previously it was all dealt with by my solicitor as it all kind of went under the divorce.
I think takingthep's response is perfect, particularly if you add that the request for no contact came via a solicitor's letter, which you are complying with. That should put her back in her box.
If you do feel the need to respond I would go back to your solicitor and get them to send her a letter to the effect of you were asked not to contact her and that is the arrangement which you wish to maintain so any future contact needs to be via the solicitor .
I would just reply using the suggestion above, why on earth would she contact you knowing you were told to back off by a solicitors letter?
as they sent a solicitors letter asking you do not contact them, use that as your reason not to contact them.
don't get sucked back into their power games, OP.
You're free. Finally. And stronger.
Get it logged with your solicitor and/or police. She's harassing you. If you contact her in any way she will get her hooks in.
you're under no legal or moral obligation to take her 'feelings' into consideration. She's already tried taking your kids off you, you most definitely can't trust her in any way.
You were told in a solicitors letter not to contact her - so don't contact her.
Its normal for grandparents to have contact when the grandchildren are with the parent who is their offspring; so ex-MIL to have contact when the DC are with their father - its not your fault that doesn't happen.
She's only likely to get contact (in England and Wales) if she had significant contact with them before: this means stayed with them for extensive periods etc. And I'd think any extended period of no contact with them, and forgetting important dates such as birthdays would weaken any such case. So do keep a record of when she hasn't contacted (eg. no present or card for John, or no contact at Christmas).
I would respond, using takingthep's words. If she's generally a good person, who loves her grandchildren, she must be heartbroken.
I wouldn't necessarily advocate blocking all contact, unless you feel that that is what you really want to do.
Yes, the 'rights' comment is noteworthy, but could she be trying to offer an olive branch? During, and in the aftermath of, a divorce, lots of things get said by people on both sides; emotions are running high and there is a lot of fear and hurt. People are trying to make sense of a situation and don't always get it right. If she had always been good up until that point, I wouldn't automatically dismiss her.
My feeling, in this situation, is that she has to rebuild her relationship with you before she has any contact with the children, for all the reasons you state.
FWIW, my son has never had any contact with his paternal family (their choice). When he was 5 or 6, his father's sister contacted me asking me to take him to meet the family. I said that, as they'd never met and I hadn't seen them since before he was born, I would want to meet with them first, just to make sure there was no awkwardness between the adults in front of him.
It was completely out of the blue and I wasn't against it, but I had to make sure it was in the best interests of my son. I never heard from them again.
I would suggest she meets with you first so that you can reconnect, and make a decision following that.
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