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Grandparents who are Denied Access to Grandchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 10 Sep 2019 | comments*Discuss
Access To Grandchildren Family Counselor

While grandparents who are denied access to their grandchildren by the children's parents must certainly feel hurt and angry the fact remains that legally, grandparents are not automatically guaranteed any rights to their grandchildren.

There are a number of things that grandparents can do to best assure that they will be allowed to develop relationships with their grandkids, but in all but the most serious of circumstances, parents have the right to decide which people can and which cannot spend time with their children.

Healing Rifts

If at all possible, grandparents who are being denied access to their grandchildren should make an effort to mend any hard feelings that exist between them and their grown children. In most cases, parents keep their kids away from their own parents due to unresolved conflicts that exist between the adults. Sometimes, what starts as a minor misunderstanding grows into an argument serious enough to cause discord amongst family members. While both sides may choose to stubbornly hold onto the idea that they are "right," by doing so, everyone loses out on the love and support that happy families provide for one another. There comes a point when being right becomes less important than getting along, and grandchildren are as good a reason as any to make the decision to put aside past hurts and focus on a brighter future.

Grandparents can contact their grown children and express their desire to talk, preferably at a time when the grandchildren will not be present. If a first attempt is unsuccessful, it may be wise for grandparents to take a step back and give their children a bit of space. Ending the call by reassuring their kids that they only want to make peace and letting them know that they would be receptive to being contacted at a later time will let their grown children make the final decision about a reunion without applying excessive pressure.

Seeking Professional Help

While it is not reasonable to expect that old hurts can be healed overnight, willing family members can forge an agreement to begin over, leaving old arguments behind. It can often be difficult for people to see their family members as they really are, but instead they view each other from a possibly outdated perspective. Grandparents sometimes view their grown children as the irresponsible people that they may have been as teenagers or young adults, while the grandparents may be seen by their grown kids as judgmental and controlling -- characteristics that may no longer be accurate for either generation. Seeking the assistance of a licensed social worker or family counselor may be beneficial since an outsider can sometimes offer an objective point of view not easily achieved by those closest to the situation.

Extreme Circumstances

In some families, the reasons for disagreements are well founded. Addictions, abuse issues, and some illnesses can cause adult family members to purposefully distance themselves from one another and also to protect the youngest family members from being placed in possibly dangerous situations. In cases where grandparents have a history of destructive or abusive behaviours, it is not unreasonable for their grown children to keep them away from the grandkids.

Grandparents who can admit that they once engaged in distasteful behaviours but have since sought help and mended their ways may be able to convince their grown children to allow them to be a part of their grandchildren's lives by proving that they no longer pose a threat, but the final decision must be left to the children's parents. Parents have a responsibility to keep their children safe, even if it means keeping them from their grandparents or other family members.

Conversely, if it is the children's parents who are a dangerous influence, grandparents may be forced to seek protection for them. Grandparents who feel certain that they are being kept from their grandchildren because of their grown children's gross dysfunctional behaviours may want to seek legal advice. Children deserve to be raised in a safe, loving environment and while grandparents have no right to interfere with their grown children regarding the raising of the grandchildren under normal circumstances, if the children's safety or well being is at risk, grandparents must take steps to intervene.

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My four children have expressed that they do not wish to know me. 12 years have passed and I still surf the net to find out how they are. I still get blocked. What I would like to know is Can I legally get them to tell me my granddaughters name and birthday?
Nobbysoham - 10-Sep-19 @ 5:48 PM
My daughter restricts the grandchildren contact with me, allows or even encourages their rude noisy behaviour and if i try to mention it she tells then Nanny doesnt love you...." and then ignores contact for weeks. She is passive aggressive in most situations and takes her frustration out on me but treats the outside world with love & people think shes great. I know she saw me as a good mum and i did my best to give her (& her brother) a happy childhood, she was a difficult teen but that passed, howevers shes now 27 & becoming more distant & negative towards me, despite all my attempts to communicate, offer support, assistance etc she seems to enjoy hurting me. She had a loving relationship with my dad (her Grandad) who passed away 2010 and i thought she'd want the same for me and her children.
Beth - 4-Sep-19 @ 9:21 AM
My son is doing life in prison and his babys mother just recently stopped me from seeing my granddaughter that is now going to be 4 years old I have always had her with me but ever since my daughter-in-law has gotten this new boyfriend she wants to start saying I'm no good I'm pathetic my family's low lowlifes we all do drugs Etc etc what could i do about this i need some advice.
Neenee - 19-Aug-19 @ 3:13 PM
Hello my daughter and partner split up 3 years ago with the children staying with their dad since then I have only seen then once at a birthday party since them I have been refused and contact at all the reason being their dad said I slagged them all off on social media which I never I did say that people should not be allowed to used children as weapons but I never said any names. They have said that if I say sorry it will be forgotten and I can see them I have said sorry so many times I have lost count.i have even said I will see them on their terms the answer I got was the girls want nothing to do with me I have harmed them or even shouted at them in any way. They are now 13 and 10 now but in the past something must have been said to them for them not to want to see me I did say it was wrong that my daughter got kicked out of the family home then a couple of days later the children’s dad moved his girl friend in I said that was unfair on the children but I would never harm them I love them and I want to spend time with them
Debs - 10-Aug-19 @ 12:59 PM
My son died on the 2nd of April 2018 on his way to work his moped crashed with a car. 18 days before my son died he became a Daddy for the 1st time, he was 23 lived with his girlfriend's family and we we're all looking falward to baby Nellie bringing so such joy to how life's. The day after my son died the police bought his phone back an his girlfriend found messages to other girls, since then she hasn't let me see my granddaughter iv asked so many times in fact its taken me a year to get hold of a photo of my granddaughter! My hearts broken I lost my baby boy he was my world an I can't even see his daughter please help me, I'm the only one who will tell my granddaughter all about her Daddy. Iv got bad depression an since my son died I find it very hard to get out. The day he died a part of me went with him! I no things will never be the same again but having his little girl in my life will help me so much, I just don't think its fair she can play god with her an my sons daughter an his not here to defend his self so I made a premise to my self that my granddaughter would no everything about her Daddy he was such a good man, we all had so many plans for when baby was here but should won't even let me have a photo I'm blocked on everything
Ash - 20-Jul-19 @ 8:33 PM
My son died on the 2nd of April 2018 on his way to work his moped crashed with a car. 18 days before my son died he became a Daddy for the 1st time, he was 23 lived with his girlfriend's family and we we're all looking falward to baby Nellie bringing so such joy to how life's. The day after my son died the police bought his phone back an his girlfriend found messages to other girls, since then she hasn't let me see my granddaughter iv asked so many times in fact its taken me a year to get hold of a photo of my granddaughter! My hearts broken I lost my baby boy he was my world an I can't even see his daughter please help me
Ash - 20-Jul-19 @ 7:49 PM
My son diedbut was never marriedbut doeshave name on birthcertificate is partner has turned round and said i was an unfitmother to my son so your never seeing your grand kids again which is not true
Flowers - 17-Jul-19 @ 8:38 PM
Hi , I'm in a odd situation where my son had a one night stand and the girl became pregnant.They decided to have the baby and stay friends. She became possessive and demanding with him . She had a boy and my son stayed every day and some nights to help out because he wanted to but she wouldn't allow him to take his son out ECT.Anyway it came to a head in January when she told him he had to stay at hers every weekend, he wanted to have his son in his own home but she wouldn't allow that. He decided to go to court to get access, she's dragged this out as long as she can . They went to court today and she's now using my mental illness as a reason . He still lives at home ,I have had the death of my mum , son ,brother, marriage split over six years so as you can imagine it's affecting my mental health.I suffer from severe depression, complicated grief disorder and PTSD.I'm no danger to anyone , can she do that ?
Trace - 1-Jul-19 @ 2:41 PM
What can I do my daughter has stopped me having contact with my grand daughter of only 19 months old She has recently started to see her father after 18 yrs hence the lack of contact with me and my family she has established a relationship with him and his wife after they stopped contact with her when they had there own family that isn’t my problem but the results of this made her have less contact with me and my family over the months ignoring my calls delayed return of texts asking to see my grand daughter my time is limited as I work full time shift My daughter has made it difficult for me to see my grand daughter in so many ways to the point of making appointments in advance to see her I have earnt the right of been a grand parent I brought my daughter up I don’t deserve this it’s like she has swooped one family for another
Lily - 21-Jun-19 @ 6:51 AM
Some of the stories I've read on here are similar to mine..Not allowed to see my two Grandchildren and wasn't informed about the birth of the second after saying that I would not lend my Son money. They bought me out of a property which I paid the.deposit/legal fees...has equity and which my Daughter in law hardly paid anything for. I've had abusive texts and emails and lies told..The grandchildren don't know me The last time I saw the little girl.was 2 years ago. But we're in the same town.The Daughter in law has been abusive in public, given me the finger....All I. am do is sit and bide my time. Maybe my Son will contact me one day...Ive offered to pay for mediation and counselling so I'm just playing a waiting game...I don't really know that there is anything else I can do..
Lucie - 16-Jun-19 @ 8:21 PM
Hello. I stopped from giving my grandson up for adoption. My grandson was released to come home with me. I raised my grandson up to 2 1/2 yrs old. Now my son ex girlfriend told my son she is moving to Florida at the end of July. What can I do to stop her from moving out of state with my grandson? Please advise me I'am so upset and stressed out about this situation.
Bea - 13-Jun-19 @ 10:52 PM
I’m at the other end of the debate.I felt my in laws never bothered with my son.They never made much effort, and always hated me. My late husband completed suicide which they openly blamed me for.I’ve since stopped access to my son.I don’t need him hearing those things. I wish things could be amicable, but we’ve tried mediation which unfortunately failed.It’s all a very sad situation and I wish we could get together and fix it.
Potpourri - 11-Jun-19 @ 3:53 PM
Our son and daughter in law use their children as pawns with us. We give them money plus a deposit for a house plus bought them a car. Recently I said no to our son he wanted to stay at our house and rent his house out on air bnb..I said no he and his wife have become very bitter towards us and think we are manipulative narcissist were the words used They both work from home part time doing computer work. Earning power is not great but we think they can’t budget so always looking for a way to get more money or use us. It’s the first time I have ever said no but as much as I know in my heart I am right I think we may never see our grandchildren again.Do I give in to keep the peace give them more money? I am lost our 2 other children ask us for nothing just to babysit Our other children think we should stop worrying about our son as they think he’s awful and also have very little to do with him.. it’s just so sad can anyone come up with a suggestion?
Belle - 10-Jun-19 @ 2:02 PM
My son lives next door to me I haven't seen my granddaughter in 2 yearsand they just had a baby who is now 6 months old .Who I've never met. I live right next doorto him that's really hard he got mad because I made him get his car out of my garage have been in there for 5 years and I guess that's my punishment not seeing my grandkid or the baby I've never met
Gma - 29-May-19 @ 7:10 AM
Grandparents are often the "forgotten" victims when parents split.It's very unfortunate. I have helped so many grandparents as a professional McKenzie Friend in these situations.Heartbreaking :-(
Familia CoParenting - 20-May-19 @ 8:09 PM
Never thought in a million years I’d consider cutting family ties. Some of you may want to consider that your memory is getting selective and you were a bad parent. That “I did my best BS” is not acknowledging crappy things you did as a parent. Own your past behavior. It might get you a visit with your grandkids. I am a self admitted hot headed person, assertive and fiercely protective over my wife and kids. My parents are typical for their generation. Zero conflict resolution skills, never dealing with issues directly, picking favorite grandchildren (simply because the misbehaving child comes from a single parent household). I can handle the physical and mental abuse I endured at the hands of my mother who is in complete denial about the situation currently and the abuse I suffered at the hands of her boyfriend. What I will not put up with is they treat my kids differently, deny it, and refuse to even entertain the possibility the perception is there. Since I am the hot head of the family, had a lot of problems as a kid, I’m thought of us the irresponsible kid. Even though I’ve held a marriage together the longest, and have been in the same career for over 20 years. Some of you older people need to do a checklist of your past behaviors and you not being able to see your grandkids is because you sucked as a parent. My kids will not know the life I had as a kid. If it means cutting off blood relatives, then so be it. Even if means I can’t have a relationship with my other 2 siblings and their kids. My kids are growing up to be self reliant, confident and hopefully will not enter familial relationships with the too too many damaged people out there.
Busydad911 - 20-Apr-19 @ 6:23 PM
My sons ex girlfriend is the most wicked on this planet pure narcissistic she uses my grandkids as tools against me and my son has stopped contact past 4 weeks got a new boyfriend 8 years younger than her and the family are scum taking over my grandchildren they dont love them they just want to see us hurt this is slowly killing me
Nanny - 12-Apr-19 @ 3:44 PM
My son got with a controller freak had my granddaughter. I spent first four years where my Granddaughter would stay with me every weekend. I would babysit one night during week too. She was a happy little girl Then her parents split up and it all went down hill her mum uses my granddaughter as a tool she won’t let us talk on telephone she refuses all gifts I’ve sent I no she will be calling us to my granddaughter I’ve begged and broke my heart I’ve cried so many tears. It’s being 4yrs now I still cry. My poor granddaughter must think we don’t care about her. But everyday we think of her.
Missingmybelle - 10-Apr-19 @ 2:44 PM
My grandson was born three days ago. I have been told I will never see him, by my daughter, his mum. She fell out with me over 7 years ago after I had an affair that ended in me and her dad divorcing. She has never forgiven me. Ironically me and my ex are now on good terms. My other grandchildren I look after one day a week ( I work full time so cannot do more) and if I didn’t do that I’d never see them either. My punishment goes on. I can see this is my own fault.
HB - 9-Apr-19 @ 1:12 PM
My daughter has fallen out with her cousin and has decided that I cannot have my granddaughter around her cousins child I have objected to this telling her that there argument is nothing to do with the children I have now been stopped from seeing my granddaughter (usually every Saturday for the last two years) because I disagree with her controlling behaviour her partner won’t tell her she is wrong and the in-laws are scared to say anything incase they are alienated toothinking of going to court to get this sorted as this is the 3rd time she has used my granddaughter as a weapon over silly things
Pauline Henry - 22-Mar-19 @ 9:30 AM
I have two grandchildren both live in Berlin my 9 year old grandson is no longer allowed to see us my don and daughter-in-law are divorced . My second grandson is only a year old we have never met him my son is now with his new partner and has cut us out of his life no talking about it just finished I have written emailed lots of times but no response .it is beyond heartbreaking and has been two years now . I don’t know what else to do now
Lindy - 13-Mar-19 @ 8:52 PM
My two ex daughter in laws have both stopped me having contact with my grandchildren. I always had a wonderful relationship with the children.
KK - 13-Mar-19 @ 1:09 PM
My son has been sent to prison for attacking my gran daughters mother I do still get on really well with her but now she is saying I have to see the children supervised she said probation have put this order on me I can't understand why
Dolly - 8-Mar-19 @ 8:40 AM
my son learnt sixteen years ago this June thathe was to become a father for the first time he was over the moon as he had always wanted children but in the next breath she told him she was booked into an abortion clinic and the middle daughter by her exhusband left leaflets all over their bed, he did something he has never done to a female before or since then he hit her just once but when he admitted it to me he said he was so ashamed as he knew I had not brought him up that way. He sat her down and talked her round and they had a beautiful little girl, they moved away and a few years later moved back just down the road from me I was invited to tea with my daughter. Afterwards on the way home we both looked at each other and said together don't like her with in 15 seconds I knew she was controlling my son and not for the good either, just before this visit I had been in the church yard of our local village when this banshee came yelling and screaming at me wasn't I goingto say hello to my grandchildren, now the last time I saw my granddaughter she was 3 months old and this child I reckoned was about 5 and there was a little boy with her who turned out to be my grandson now I did not know I had a grandson, eventually her aunt who was with her pulled her away. Several years later (and for two years I watched it happening and was unable to help till my son asked me for help) he suffered a monumental mental breakdown he turned to me and asked for help and boy did I move fast but the look she gave me well it's a sonder I did not drop dead. I got him to the doctors who got him into counselling. I will refer to the counselor asP who told my son he was suffering from what is typically known as the battered wife syndrome. This last week we have received notification that her second husband has applied to adopt the children and my son just said to me look mum I am going to do what you did with us when you told us you would leave it to us if we wanted to see dad or not (they chose not too) and he is leaving it to the children as he says he loves them so much he wants them to get on with their lives. Unfortunately they do have a lot of anger in their systems my granddaughter ended up where the schools could not deal with her and my grandson whilst at first school had to be taken to school by his mother and collected before the rest of the school came out, he would kick teachers, tried to strangle a child and another child he kicked a child so badly in the head they moved and yet the mother not once had got them any help. She often threatens to put them in care mind you she always told me she never wanted them as her other kids were grown up. Although I am legally still able to see the children if I want to I have chosen not too the mother has so damaged those children with her lies I will not put them in a position that they have to feel they don't want to see me. I know they are headed for trouble but if they want my help at a later date I will
dolly - 22-Feb-19 @ 8:01 AM
My son hooked up with an evil vindictive woman when expecting his firstborn with another woman. She controlled him and insisted she was the baby's mother. I was blamed for causing drama because I could only see my only grandchild thru his actual mother. My son married this woman and later had two children, fought for custody of the first and won. I was not allowed to see any of them for periods of time. And they are suspicious of me and won't talk to me when their mother is around. The youngest told me "my mommy talks bad about you all the time". I have been removed as a family member. I've had to let this go. I thought maybe when they're grown,they would reach out to me. But I had spent the most time with the oldest when he was a baby and a toddler- many many weekends with just the two of us. I saw them all Christmas, the oldest on guard with us around the stepmother, The youngest shunning me completely. It had been a year and half. I always thought there would be more time My beloved firstborn grandson killed himself last week. Even as I write this, there is fear in me that I have spoken the truth and they will punish me.But I am finished with all of it. I am done. Enough .
Sue - 18-Feb-19 @ 8:04 PM
My son is 18 now andlives with us (mum & dad), he was with a girl she fell pregnant 2 months into their relationship he was 16 at the time, her mum kicked her out...she moved in with us. We help her in everyway possible looked after her and our grandson...help her get a place became garentours for her, paid a large deposit, pay towards her rent. We were asked to looked after our grandson every weekend by our son and her, then there relationship broke down. Our son and us still had James every weekend which we love having him. She met someone else moved him in straight away. Now she wants to stop us the grandparents from seeing our grandson, but wants our son to still have him, how will this work when it's our house that our son lives in. We are all very confused...she keeps telling my son if he don't agree she will take us to court and enforce that we can't see him. So last weekend she told my son he can't see him, then this weekend she wants us to have him if we and he don't agree she said she will take us all to court. What can we do?
Toni - 18-Feb-19 @ 7:51 PM
Advice needed desp. I'm paternal grandma and have had my grandson at least 2/3 times a wk since he was 3mths old. My son was using drugs whilst with baby's mum and there was violence but I don't know the full story. Anyway he was sent to prison for this and she carried on seeing my son etc and when he was released also. Social services were rightly involved and my son did everything they asked of him, she was then allowed eventually to let my son have my grandson overnight at my home where he resided. All was well until both parties got into new relationships a few myths later. She had an argument with my son and then stopped contact, he waited a few wks hoping she'd calm down and met her at my home regarding something else they argued in front of my grandson and she just kept telling him to take her to court. He then pushed her on her shoulder and cried why won't you let me see him before I made him leave. Since then she has said he's to have no contact with my grandson and if she finds out we've let him see him then she will stop us too. I had my grandson on a day I wouldn't normally and my son called in staying for around 15 20 mins. She found out and said I couldn't have him anymore as social services have said my son isn't to see him, I find this hard to believe as when I contacted her social worker she said there was no reason why my son couldn't see him but if his ex said no then he would have to go to court. She keeps threatening me with keeping my grandson from me if she finds out my son has been to see my grandson. I really need to know what to do as I want a reasonable relationship with his ex as she my grandsons mum but I don't want her to keep threatening me as I'm on tenterhooks all the time in case my son just turns up...I just want something in writing that neither she nor I can go back on. Any ideas pls thankyou
Tj - 5-Jan-19 @ 9:36 PM
It is almost six months since I've been allowed to see my two grandchildren, age almost 3 and 1. The eldest, my grandson I have been taking care of for 1/3 of his life, staying at my house every weekend since he was 3 weeks old with myself, my husband and my youngest child, son (his uncle). The father of my grandchildren, my eldest son, has ruined our lives by going with a repugnant, evil narcissistic female (the "mother") who has been mentally and verbally abusive to me for 2 1/2 years, has physically attacked me in the presence of my then 7 month old granddaughter and 2 year old grandson, and threatened me on many occasions. She had called my husband "a beast" and has threatened to have him "shot". This is because she owes debt at my house, owes money to our family friend, caused the police to threaten to kick in our door (they were looking for my son as she had (as always) started a fight with him, smashing up "her" house, threatening to do harm to the kids and leave them - a neighbour had called the police. She expected to "use" my home to get whatever she lied and cheated to get and expects to pay for nothing. She has tried to get me, my husband and my son all jailed through her lies. She lies constantly, slanders our names and threatens us. I had cancer only 3 years ago, I wasn't expecting or asking to be a grandparent then (at 49). She tried to stop me seeing my grandson first when he was 5 months old - for no reason whatsoever. Resulted in her calling me and texting me at my work with the most awful things, telling me to "get over" having cancer, because I dared ask my own son when could I see my grandson again. After that I was really upset but my son asked if I still wanted to watch the child that night as usual. When I declined my son ended up calling me back, pleading for me to take him that night as she was "going mental". This is what it has been like. She has smashed up things of my son's, my grandson's window, threatened on many occasions to "smother" or put my grandson's face through a window. She told my husband during this awful time she wanted to "stab" me in my eyes. When my son went to court because of her lies - it wasnt even heard - she knew he was free but let me go to court anyway. He didn't know. She reluctantly let us take my grandson on a weekend break but the day before we were leaving there was suddenly an appointment for him first thing on the Monday morning that she "couldn't change". I refused to come back early so it was agreed my son would collect him a day early. Low and behold, we had only just picked up my grandson to go the holiday, hadn't even hit the motorway yet, when we got a text saying the appointment had miraculously been put back. When my middle son was having an engagement party, the night before she threw her dummy out the pram and stated she wasn't going because she didn't get things she wanted. Whenever we have bought my grandchildren anything or taken them anywhere it's always been m
Nan - 28-Dec-18 @ 4:53 PM
Iv not seen my granchildren for three years due to sisters falling out lm ill and not and just turned 70 christmas round courner again lv writen to the daughter who sent a nasty text but no joy of contact lm to ill to go to court for acesswhat can l do .
Mow - 23-Dec-18 @ 12:54 PM
My daughter has issues and a huge rift between herself and her father, it all started when she allowed her 13yr old to go out with friends and was meeting up with boys but in fact these guys lied about their age, turned out to be between 15 and 24, her parents did nothing at all so her grandad went into a parental mode trying to protect her and show her the right way, We took the 2 eldest grandchildren on holiday where grandad established a close bond with the granddaughter and realised what a troubled girl she is, she confided in both of us saying she felt depressed and that her mam wouldn't do anything about it and also she felt uncomfortable with her step dad as she feels he does not love her it's all false . When we got home after a fab holiday her grandad was trying to see her as much as possible maybe yes he was a bit overwhelming and and at the time too clingy with her but would never harm her or any of our grandchildren.My daughter had stopped contact with her dad at first until he seeks help because she thinks he's done wrong. I've had time to go over the situation step by step and the children don't have an easy life at home,my daughter is not very houseproud , she argues on a daily basis with her husband and the swearing and shouting is unreal and this is in front ofall the kids , and she does like to give them a good hiding now and again, and I've been a sounding board for her for years , you can't have a civil conversation with her because she flies off on one then used the kids as weapons saying you'll never see them again , so I've kept my comments to my self for years.Her husband came round to talk to my husband and some of the things he came out with on his list was unreal,he mentioned social services we unfortunately i spoke up and said go get them I can tell them a few home truths , he left didn't like hearing what I had to say got a call few minutes later off my daughter shouting at me calling me with swear words I hate and now has for no reason what so ever cut me off social media and I'm to stay away. My eldest grandson who is nearly 16 does not want to lose contact I'm devastated would going to seek advise be the right way to go . There is no going back with her and her father,but I've done nothing but try and keep the peace all I did was for once gave my views and they didn't like that. I'm at a loss I've always been close with those kids , can someone please give me some advise thanks
Skooby - 18-Dec-18 @ 8:34 AM
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