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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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my daughter died 6 months ago leaving behind 7 year old twin

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my daughter died 6 months ago leaving behind 7 year old twin girls who I love dearly but for some reason, of which I am unaware, their father will not allow me to see them. He will not discuss the matter with me even though I have tried but all I get in return is verbal abuse, I just want to spend some time with them, I promised my daughter I would but he will not let me or even discuss it with me, there has never been any love lost between us (their father) but that should not stop me seeing my granddaughters,so is there any thing I can do and do I have legal rights as I could not afford a private solicitor.
Thank you

Mrs Maureen Brown

My name is Mac. I can help you with your question.

In English law it is not the right of the grandparent (or even parent) to see the child, but the right of the child to have a good relationship with every family member, if at all possible.

Unless there are specific reasons to the contrary, I would expect that a Court would conclude that it was in your grandchildren's interest to have a relationship with you, and to order some contact accordingly.

You don't need to have a lawyer to make that application - many people go to Court without lawyers these days, and you can take a friend instead for moral and practical support.

I would tell him (by email or letter if that would be easier) that you are resolute about your view that it would be better for the children to see you occasionally, and say that if he isn't prepared to discuss it in mediation, then you will make an application to the Court. A mediator need not be very expensive, and it would be helpful to have a third party in discussions to keep the father's outbursts in check.

If he refuses mediation, or it's not successful, then you can make an application. You should find that the judge is extra helpful to people who don't have lawyers (and therefore need more help). You should be able to get the form and some help completing it from your local Citizens Advice Bureau (for example) or online. You will need a mediator to sign that form to show either that you have tried mediation without success, or at least attended an information meeting about it. If you did start Court proceedings, the first hearing will involve an attempt by the Court to explore whether they can encourage the two of you to reach an agreement.

I hope that is helpful.

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