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Ask Harris Your Own Question

Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1622
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My daughter lives in Shepshed with her husband and their

Customer Question

My daughter ***** *****ves in Shepshed with her husband Chris and their daughter Hollie who is 5 1/2 years old. Hollie's mother (my daughter) has a mental health problem. I am very worried about Hollie. The mother had a breakdown last year in March 2015. My daughter would not allow me to see Hollie ever again. I persevered and eventually my other daughter Anne brought her round to my house. Hollie is very withdrawn child now, not the happy little girl I remembered. Hollie does not utter a single word and the child refuses to speak to me. Needles to say my daughter Catherine doesn't want anything to do with me anymore. The reason for her breakdown was the loss of her job; it had nothing to do with me. I am the mother of Catherine and remember, that she was a very hyperactive child and wast always craving for attention. As a mother, I can only say, I done my best. The obstacle was my first husband who had a serious mental problem. After being retained in our local mental home for 9 month, he discharged himself, became a violent husband, but managed a very frightened 5 year old Catherine to win her over and told her: "Your mother doesn't know what she is talking about!" Catherine then became Daddy's little girl.
I am 73 years old, very ill and constantly require a breathing machine and lots of painkillers for my arthritis. I remarried 15 years ago and my now husband is very understanding. Please can you help, so I can get my happy little granddaughter back.
Thank you so much
Yours sincerely
Irene Sampays email:***@******.***
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Who is your granddaughter now living with?

Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

Please confirm the above so that I can assist you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi, thank you for your quick response.
My granddaughter Hollie is living with her parents, Catherine and Chris Tideswell. Catherine is my daughter. I think I already answered this question
Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

What has your relationship and arrangements been with her and when did you last see her? Are you seeking to care for her full-time?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi, You want to know what my relationship was with whom?......Catherine who is my daughter, or Hollie my granddaughter
My relationship with Hollie, my granddaughter was very good.
According to Catherine's moods my relationship with Catherine was sometimes good, very often not so good, especially when things went wrong in her life and they very often did go wrong, She started to write an extremely nasty e-mail in March 2015. I did not speak to Catherine between Christmas 2014 and March 2015. She lost her job at the end of February 2015. Then in March 2015 she wrote this nasty e-mail. I tried to phone her, but she just put the phone down on me. I think Catherine just tried to get all her frustration out of herself and accused me of all that sorts of things via e-mail, things that, according to her statement, went wrong in her childhood, She used me as a scapegoat. because she lost her job.. I saved her e-mail as a proof. I have another daughter called Ann, who is 6 years younger than Catherine and she is the sort of child any mother would be proud of.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

Thanks. How often would you see your granddaughter?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Catherine also wrote in her e-mail, that I was never to see Hollie ever again. No doubt, I was grief stricken. I just kept quiet. Then at the beginning of August 2015 my daughter Anne called me and told me, that Catherine and Chris had gone on holiday and Anne was to look after Hollie during that time. I drove to their house (45 miles) and visited Hollie. Hollie had gym lessons and in the evening I baby sat, because Anne went out. Hollie was no problem. The next day we went swimming with Hollie and shopping afterward. During these two days I encountered a very happy Hollie and it was the last time I saw a HAPPY child. After Christmas 2015 Anne brought Hollie over to my house, and I encountered a very distressed Child. She would not speak to me, but later in the afternoon, Anne brought the microphone out and Hollie sang to me. I was glad that Hollie was singing and dancing and she was reasonably happy. Then I saw Hollie again Easter 2016, again Hollie sang a little, but would not speak. I gave her an Easter basket and there was a little smile on her face.
I saw her again in June this year. My husband asked his great granddaughter to join us and we all went to the farm. There was also a side and a swing. Hollie would not speak to anybody, not even even Emily 8 years old. I looked at the photos I took there and a very sad Hollie kept looking at me as if to say - please help me. My daughter Anne is very busy at the moment. I told her not to worry, and said it was better not see such an unhappy little girl again.
I guess, Catherine told Holly not to speak to me or anyone else. Maybe Catherine threatened Hollie, that aunty Anne would tell her if she spoke to anyone
Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. As you may already know, under English law, grandparents have no automatic rights to see their grandchildren. However, the children will have a right to a relationship with their extended family which can only reasonably be restricted if there are child protection or welfare concerns.

In the circumstances I would suggest that you make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: The mediator will assist you in reaching an amicable agreement that is in the child's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court - initially for permission to apply (as you do not have parental responsibility) and if permission is granted to pursue a child arrangement order and the court can make a decision regarding the matter. For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1. The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If I have no right to see my grand child what is the point of pursueing with this case? I have also been very ill just lately.
What do you want me to do
Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

Apologies if it was not clear. You do not have any automatic rights to see the grandchildren - but as you have had arrangements to see them previously which have not stopped because of any apparent welfare concerns you would have good grounds to pursue a court case for a child arrangement order. I refer you to the grandparents association here:

This organisation can provide further advice and support regarding this matter.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If I have no right to see my granddaughter what is the point of........
This is exactly what my daughter wants
Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

Your granddaughter has a right to a relationship with you and, based on the information you have given, you would have grounds to pursue a court application for a formal arrangement.

Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

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