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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33283
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My Daughter in law has stopped access by my son to his two

Customer Question

My Daughter in law has stopped access by my son to his two children aged 2 and 3 . I am their Nanna and have now not seen them for 2 months either. She says that I can't see them as I will let them see their Daddy. We all miss them terribly . they don't see their half sister who is 9 and cannot understand why she can't see her brother and sister , they don't see their Great Nanna or their Uncle all of whom they loved. I am at my wits end as I can't afford a solicitor. She has told me what I have to do to see them , I agree then she ignores me . I feel like she has me jumping through hoops for nothing. I would even see them at a contact centre rather than for them to think none of us care about them. Any advice would be appreciated Thanks
Yvonne King
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Glos solicitor replied 2 years ago.

Glos solicitor :

Hi

Glos solicitor :

thanks for your question

Glos solicitor :

How often would you see your grandchildren before the access was stopped?

Customer :

I looked after them every Wednesday from 9-5 whilst their Mum was at work and would quite often have them at weekends sometimes over night

Glos solicitor :

hi

Glos solicitor :

thanks for letting me know

Glos solicitor :

Has she appeared to believe you when you said that you would not bring your son into contact with the children?

Glos solicitor :

And is this the only objection she has made you aware of?

Customer :

Yes it is the only objection and no she does not appear to believe me . Prior to her stopping contact she would texty me to say the children were crying for me and could I see them for a few hours I did so whenever it was possible

Customer :

Whilst I believe their Dad should have contact we both feel it is more important for the children that I have contact than none at all

Glos solicitor :

Okay. Is your relationship with her good enough to see the children at her house or whilst she is present to start with so that she can see you mean it when you say that your son won't be around?

Customer :

No which is why that isn't an option she is very angry and bitter when I try to talk to her she just shouts and doesn't care what she says in front of the children. Also the man she moved in with her and the children 6 weeks after the split is known to my Son .She told me I had to meet her at a play centre , I agreed as it would be public but then she stopped taking my calls or answering texts

Glos solicitor :

Sorry to hear that things are so difficult

Glos solicitor :

I accept that you have said you would be unable to finance a solicitor, but it appears to me that she has ended all direct contact with you which will make any further attempts on your own behalf very difficult and frustrating

Glos solicitor :

Mediation is always an option to try and find a solution, but that too has a charge

Glos solicitor :

and also depends on both people in attendance having a positive and productive attitude

Glos solicitor :

As things are still in the fairly early stages of the separation, do you believe that there is any chance that she will calm down in time and allow contact?

Customer :

No I don't, I am 58 years old I worked with vulnerable people and am used to negotiating with people , there appears to be no way forward without legal help. She holds all the cards and she knows it. The children are only 2 and 3 their Daddy has been replaced . She also has 2 older children aged 6 and 9 who have now had 2 new men in their lives in 4 years she has their Dad run ragged and has always used him as a baby sitter who she verbally abuses in front of his children all the time . Is there no assisted legal help available

Glos solicitor :

Changes to the legal aid system in the last 18 months or so now mean that in order to obtain legal aid, there are very specific evidence requirements which need to show that there has been domestic abuse in a relationship between 2 people or that there are child protection concerns to the extent that the children are subject to a child protection plan, and a copy of that plan is required before funding can be granted, or subject to court proceedings in the last 2 years

Glos solicitor :

I'm afraid that people in a situation such as you find yourself in are victims of the legal aid cuts and whilst the involvement of solicitors may assist - it won't be possible without making a payment of fees

Customer :

I believe it s possible to represent myself in court

Glos solicitor :

yes, it would be

Customer :

The how do I go about that ?

Glos solicitor :

changes to the family court process came into force last week, and we now, in England and Wales have a single family court - you need to make an application to your local court and you would then be sent to mediation

Glos solicitor :

You need to apply for leave intially - that is permission of the court.

Glos solicitor :

as a grandparent you do not have an automatic right to apply for court orders which is why the court needs to give you permission to do so

Glos solicitor :

with the level of contact that you used to enjoy, I see no reason for you to be denied leave

Customer :

Ok thank you I will look into that

Glos solicitor :

I do hope you are able to enjoy contact with your grandchildren soon

Glos solicitor :

Can I help with anything more before you are happy to leave a positive rating about our chat today?

Customer :

No thanks

Glos solicitor :

okay - all the best to you

Customer :

Sorry but I don't feel that you have told me anything I couldn't have got free

Glos solicitor :

I would rather that a poor rating wasn't provided - there is nothing more to tell. It is not a poor service if you simply don't like the answer

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you
The law says that a child is entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce it if necessary
In addition whilst grand parents have no automatic right to even apply to the courts for contact they can ask the court for permission to do so and if the courts believe that it is in the best interests of the children for there to be contact then it will be ordered
The starting point (for both you and your son - but separately) is to offer to discuss matters with the mother using Family Mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
If that fails then you can apply to the courts for a Child Arrangement Order giving you contact with the children - possibly at a Contact Centre
You can read more here
http://www.familylaw.co.uk/system/uploads/attachments/0000/2078/CB1_1108.pdf
You would need this form
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/c100-eng.pdf
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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