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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1431
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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Our daughter is recently divorced. She has two clever children

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Our daughter is recently divorced. She has two clever children age 10 and 7. She has ups and downs. She has custody of the children. Myself and wonderful wife have moved home 100 miles to be near and to help. We have a loving home in good order. Her downs are so bad that we worry about the emotional damage or even emotional abuse of her children who remain well adjusted and often look after their mother. At best the children recieve some love, meals and happy times with us, while spending most of their time with their mother, and father having them roughly alternate week ends. Our daughter has just stated that she never wants us to see the children again but we are very worried about their safety and well being. At what age can children decide for themselves where they wish to live? Many thanks. Richard Chillcott
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist.
Please may I ask:
- is the mother seeking help and support?
- does the father know the extent of the issues with the mother?
- do you know if social services are involved?
- do you know if school have reported any concerns?
- how often were you seeing your grandchildren?
- why did the mother say you can't see them again?
- what is the fathers position - does he seek to care?
- are the children's basic needs consistently being met?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The mother has some help from friends. The father lived with her for about 15 years and knows her well!!. Social services not involved. School happy with children who seem unaffected. but we contacted the school his morning and they will report back - perhaps giving the children a chance to off load. We saw them several times each week and gave them a meal on Tuesday and Sunday. Sleeping here sometimes. Her statement his morning followed us giving her a letter expressing our concerns to her and saying that her responsibility is to look after the children as best as possible with less total preoccupation with herself. Father seems normal and OK but seems to be in a relationship elsewhere and would not even discuss saving the marriage. He did not want custody. The children's needs are being met although not to the standards of support that we would give. Son ( age 10 ) is exceptionally talented and achnowledged as such at school.

Thank you for your responses.
To answer your original question - children are normally considered to be 'Gillick' competent to decide where they want to live at around the age of 14. This depends on the individual child and therefore might be a but younger or a bit older.
It's sounds like the mother is just managing to hold things together. Social services are unlikely to become involved if the children's basic needs are being met. If however the matter was to escalate then you should contact social services and report your concerns so that they can investigate.
In relation to spending time with your grandchildren - as you have previously enjoyed a good relationship with them - which is now being denied - you should consider making an application to the court for a Child Arrangement Order to confirm that the children can spend time with you.
Form C100. Send to Local Family Court. Court Fee is £215. As you don't hold parental responsibility - you will need permission of the court - which means you need to fill in Form C2.
Before you can refer the matter to court - you must attempt mediation. There are lots of mediation services. One such national service is
If the mother won't engage at mediation and / or the matter can't be agreed then the mediator will sign the form you need for court.
Kind Regards
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