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Grandparents who are Denied Access to Grandchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 14 Dec 2017 | 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difficult for people to see their family members as they really are, but instead they view each other from a possibly outdated perspective.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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[Add a Comment]
Gi Gi - Your Question:
Grandchildren have been unavailable to me since October of 2014. I really don’t know where they have been relocated.It Seems that possible alienating me from my grandchildren!I am seeking advice on what can I do to try and establish connections with “ my grandchildren?

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this matter. If three years have passed, it would be more difficult to bring the matter to court. Unfortunately, it is the parent's prerogative if they wish to move away and sever contact.
ProudGrandparents - 15-Dec-17 @ 10:20 AM
Kit cat - Your Question:
I’ve been a constant in my grandsons life since he was born. I’ve been a main babysitter and he loves all relatives on my side deeply. My son and the boys mom ask me to keep him all the time. In fact the Mom begged me to go on weeend visitation for a while or the boy refused to go to his dads. Last weekend his dad, my own son, begged me to baby 2 days to deal with his girlfriends crisis. To get the kids out I did. Kept 2 days and when I brought baby back , they had attitude hoping to have a 3rd night baby free my son s girlfriend attacked me visciously while I was on my phone and I was made to leave I called 911 so dizzy and bleeding in shock he let her beat me over and over. The police went over and now my son blames me for the police involvement. He diss owned me and with holding my grandson out of anger when all I did was help. The boys mom won’t let me see him now bc the dad said not to. In past she needed me, now she won’t let me. The boy loves me and spent a lot of time with me and our family on holidays, summers , all the time. Now he’s ripped from me for doing the right thing. What do I do. I live in Louisiana. There’s no going back and making up. Too much has happend and charges filed

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, as we are a UK-based website we have knowledge only of UK-based family law. You would have to seek legal advice to see whether you may have a case to apply for access through the court system.
ProudGrandparents - 14-Dec-17 @ 9:21 AM
Grandchildren have been unavailable to me since October of 2014.I really don’t know where they have been relocated. It Seems that possible alienating me from my grandchildren! I am seeking advice on what can I do to try and establish connections with “ my grandchildren?
Gi Gi - 14-Dec-17 @ 2:41 AM
I’ve been a constant in my grandsons life since he was born.I’ve been a main babysitter and he loves all relatives on my side deeply. My son and the boys mom ask me to keep him all the time. In fact the Mom begged me to go on weeend visitation for a while or the boy refused to go to his dads.Last weekend his dad, my own son, begged me to baby 2 days to deal with his girlfriends crisis. To get the kids out I did. Kept 2 days and when I brought baby back , they had attitude hoping to have a 3rd night baby freemy son s girlfriend attacked me visciously while I was on my phone and I was made to leave I called 911 so dizzy and bleeding in shock he let her beat me over and over.The police went over and now my son blames me for the police involvement. He diss owned me and with holding my grandson out of anger when all I did was help.The boys mom won’t let me see him now bc the dad said not to. In past she needed me, now she won’t let me. The boy loves me and spent a lot of time with me and our family on holidays, summers , all the time. Now he’s ripped from me for doing the right thing. What do I do. I live in Louisiana.There’s no going back and making up. Too much has happend and charges filed
Kit cat - 13-Dec-17 @ 8:14 AM
@Lealow - you can either try to reason with her and call a truce between you. Bit often when a relationship has broken down to this level it's very difficult to get in back on track. There's not much you can do really except try to talk to her without rowing. But you can't force her to see your other kids :(
Pattyz\ygf - 30-Nov-17 @ 1:50 PM
@soccerchick - often it's the mother's parents who get to give all the attention to their grandkids. Trying to forge a good and caring relationship with your son's wife will help :(
AmyVB - 30-Nov-17 @ 12:38 PM
I was woundering if anyone could give me any advice. I have been with my partner for 4 years he has a child from a past marriage as do I we also have 2 children together one unborn. Over the last 4 years it has been a constant battle with my husbands mother to get her involved with her grand children at first i thought this was due to my son not being biological but then my other son was born after 2 years of ignoring the fact of the children were trent differently I saw there was no change with a biological child. She favors my husbands daughter she will have her every week with out fail but won't come and see the 2 boys she hasnt for over 3 months now. we have had family issues witch resulted in my husband not being aloud in the family home for a while. She was quick to kick him out to his nans house as if he was there his daughter wouldn't be aloud there. She is nasty and vial to me all the time calling me evil she tried to convince my husband the baby we are expecting isnt his she is always telling him to pack his bags and go home as I will do nothing but make him unhappy. As it stands I have cut myself off from my husbands family and have said she will never have anything to do with my children as I feel this is not do it my children any good my eldest is autistic and get extremely upset as to why she won't see them. What more can i do as it has been circles for 4 years.
Lealow - 29-Nov-17 @ 9:53 PM
I have a 3yr old grandson and a newborn, I have always had a great relationship with my son. Since he has been married and now has children I feel like I have to make an appointment to see my grandson. My son always tells me " I will get back to you" In 3yrs I have only had him 1 time to spend the night & I went thru hoops to have that happen. His wife seems to have anxiety issues with letting him go anywhere with my husband & I. Yet her parents see him 10x more..It hurts my feelings. I looked so forward to being a grandparent. I don't ask anymore because I know the answer..
soccerchick - 28-Nov-17 @ 8:55 PM
loloui - Your Question:
I can not see my grandkids I have a court order I got this in 2013 my grandkids are in foster care my daughter died last year age 29 they have only my self ive tried and tried to see them social services wont talk to me im really really up set I cry all the time

Our Response:
Your only option would be to apply to court and for the court to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your grandkids.
ProudGrandparents - 28-Nov-17 @ 3:25 PM
want to see my grandchildren so badno joy
loulou - 26-Nov-17 @ 7:55 AM
i can not see my grandkidsi have a court order i got this in 2013 my grandkids are in foster caremy daughter died last year age 29 they have only my selfive tried and tried to see them social services wont talk to me im really really up set i cry all the time
loloui - 26-Nov-17 @ 7:53 AM
my daughters relationship split 2 years ago. she has a 5yr old and a 4yr old. Her ex partners mother saw the eldest child once and never acknowledged the birth of the 2nd child. She has never seen them since, sent a card or gift to either of them, never so much as phoned to ask how they are. Suddenly papers served by her ex requesting that his mother can see the grandchildren. My daughter is completely opposed to this for very genuine reasons . His mothers home is filthy, she smokes 20plus a day in the home - sure you have the picture. What value will come of her seeing them for the children? they have been through so much over the last 2 years. What are peoples thoughts on this matter please before we have to attend court? many thanks in advance
caringothergran - 23-Nov-17 @ 4:08 PM
@grandma - this sounds like a complicated and sad case. You don't say why you fell out with your son or why you weren't invited to the wedding, but trying to build your relationship up with him again is the best and only way forward. Not reacting with anger to events, but with kindness. You have no right to tell your son's step mother not to have anything to do with yoru grandson, that is a decision to be made by your son. As painful as it may be for you, if he wants his stepmother to be involved, that is his decision. Facebook is not the place to have family disagreements. There is room enough for everyone to have a relationship with your grandson where your son permits. But at the end of the day, it's up to your son :( Helen.
HGC - 13-Nov-17 @ 11:21 AM
hi i jst wanted to ask wot rights i have because i was close to my son growing up an he met his real dad a couple of times an his dad dropped him like a ton of bricks an i moved away he came down saw me he was happy an then he jst stopped talking he was in touch with his dad again an his dad died a couple of yrs ago to me last yr he got married i was not invited but his step mother was there she dropped him an didnt want to know my son an then my mother told me that they were goin to have a baby my mother was so happy i couldnt be happy i couldnt be part of its life but his step mother was there enjoyin my grandson which i am not allowed is there anyway i can get to see my grandson an stop her from having any contact please could anyone give me advice this is hurting me so much but no one knows how much not even my parents know an they went to the wedding an christening leaving me out now i sed to my mum i will tell his step mother to leave my grandson alone on fb an my dad sed he will disown me how hes my grandson but dont seem like it is they all make it that there all important but me i am a stranger now to me grandson i dont know where to turnnow please help me
grandma - 12-Nov-17 @ 2:25 PM
Hi they I just want advice I not allow to see my grandchildren under social service because my daughter said I have to have supervised to have my grandchildren because my daugther had a issue with my partner I was with at the time we had a bad situation between her and my partner and my daughter told me that social service said I cannot see them without supervised I haven't done nothing wrong what leg have I got to get to see them
Charlie - 26-Oct-17 @ 9:16 PM
My daughterinlaw made it very clear from day one that we would not be major part of our grandsons life. If we wanted to see him we had to make an appointment but this was not always convenient for her. I had always thought we had a good relationship and I am at a total loss as to what I have done wrong
Mozza - 19-Oct-17 @ 10:04 PM
Nanny- Your Question:
No she won't let him see them because he can't see them on the days that she said as he works in retail. She has now told him that his kids don't need him in there lives that they don't Evan ask for him she has blocked his number so he can't ring her to ask to speak to the kids

Our Response:
This would be up to your son to sort out. If his ex is denying him access to the children, then in the first instance your son would have to suggest his ex attends mediation. If his ex refuses to attend, then your son can apply to court. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Your son can request that you also have contact to the children, if your son's ex is denying this. Sometimes, a solicitor's letter outlining his rights to see the children, can help to re-instate access. Your son may wish to seek some legal advice in order to explore his options.
ProudGrandparents - 13-Oct-17 @ 1:57 PM
No she won't let him see them because he can't see them on the days that she said as he works in retail. She has now told him that his kids don't need him in there lives that they don't Evan ask for him she has blocked his number so he can't ring her to ask to speak to the kids
Nanny - 12-Oct-17 @ 5:09 PM
@Nanny - you would have to seek legal advice and se whether you can apply to court. Is your son still seeing his kids?
Jean. - 12-Oct-17 @ 1:03 PM
My son and his ex girlfriend split up 3 years ago and in the last 3 months she now won't let us see my grandchildren I miss them so much and don't want them growing up thinking we never wanted to see them.
Nanny - 11-Oct-17 @ 6:04 PM
Nannie - Your Question:
I have two wonderful grandsons who I don't see anymore they live with there dad an his family now, my daughter there mum had a breakdown an dad took mum to court an won,he won't let any of us see them they lived with me since the day they we're born I had a great bond with them ,I miss them an my heart aches with the pain, not seeing them I love them am so down ,what can I do too have them back in my life

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Your only option would be to take legal advice to see whether you may have a case to take the matter to court for access. The fact your grandchildren have lived with you for a certain amount of time, means you may have a stronger case to answer. However, this would be dependent upon the wider circumstances of your situation.
ProudGrandparents - 26-Sep-17 @ 10:28 AM
I have two wonderful grandsons who I don't see anymore they live with there dad an his family now, my daughter there mum had a breakdown an dad took mum to court an won,he won't let any of us see them they lived with me since the day they we're born I had a great bond with them ,I miss them an my heart aches with the pain, not seeing them I love them am so down ,what can I do too have them back in my life
Nannie - 25-Sep-17 @ 6:49 AM
Who can I ask for help to see my daughter. My mother step father got her not seen my daughter for 3years this year coming up. So upsetting
Rach - 30-Aug-17 @ 8:59 PM
Grandson was taken and they want let the Grandparents see there grandson, these people have taken my grandson and crossed state line and in my mind has kidnapped my Grandson. How can this happen.
GAGrandma - 30-Aug-17 @ 4:24 AM
@Polly - take no notice, there are always some people who have to stick the knife in just for the sake of it. I feel your pain, no parent, or grandparent who are good to and love their kids should have to go through this. On another note, you could apply to court.
Katie76 - 21-Aug-17 @ 2:05 PM
milly what a heartless comment. and no most of us didn't do anything wrong , we haven't used our kids as armoury , hope you never have to be reminded of your harsh opinion
Polly - 20-Aug-17 @ 5:02 PM
my sons partner has stopped him and my grandchildren from seeing us for the last 14 months, she hates my daughter and is jealous of her so has decided to punish all of us The pain she has caused is indescribable. We have lost our son and grandkids, whom I looked after since they were 6 months until they went to school. our family is bereft. Life is hard without them, her hate has destroyed me, everyday is a struggle, I miss seeing my son, and miss my grandchildren words are not enough... She seems to want us not to exist and my son is to afraid of what she will do next and afraid to lose his kids so he does her bidding. I don't wish what she's caused us on my worst enemy, she has a son but I hope and pray she never knows this pain
Polly - 20-Aug-17 @ 4:56 PM
17077 We are in a similar situation to you.Our son-in-law is a control freak and our daughter goes along with him.It is heartbreaking.Ava and Milly - Your comments are unhelpful and come across as ignorant.Have you walked in the same situation yourselves?
Bounce - 8-Aug-17 @ 8:59 AM
I'm a nanna who had a very close relationship to my daughter until she mether husband. He has a problem with me because he thinks I believe he has let her down badly. We have worked through this and after a long period when I wasn't allowed contact my son achieved a successful mediation. The lack of contact kept me depressed and on medication but this greatly improved once contact resumed and my first grandchild was born. In any event I would not and could not let any harm come to anyone, let alone my child or grandchild.He arrived as I was fighting cancer and this was the reason my son intervened. I was allowed to care for my grandson one or two days a week when my daughter went back to work. Sadly my son died in an accident and this produced trauma for all of us. The contact with my daughter and grandchild became even more precious and I saw them every week and made sure my own mum saw them too with my daughter's blessing. There was a hiccup at one point when they cut off contact just after my son died because I was very upset but never when the baby was around. My son in law did not like that my grandson had grown so close to me. But I was asked to cover childcare again until he went to nursery and this was a very happy time. A second grandchild came along which was just wonderful. Over that 5 years we made wonderful happy memories. My daughter is under great pressure though at work and at home because she doesn't get enough support. She has come to me for emotional support which her husband hates. As a result I wasn't allowed to look after my granddaughter although I saw her weekly too . I'm pretty sure the stress my daughter is under has caused post natal depression or vice versa and when she started back at work she was given garden leave for being explosive at work. She is the main earner however and returned but is still under dreadful pressure and as far as I know has not sought the medical help which has helped me deal with my grief . My depression also first manifested as post natal depression and has recurred ever since my daughter was born at times of stress including my separation from my husband , the loss of contact with my daughter , my identical twin's death from cancer and my diagnosis and treatment and then the death of my son. I have tried really hard to be positive and playing music locally and swimming have been a wonderful emotional boost. About 8 months ago I was cut off again, this time because old issues resurfaced in the face of a potential move down south. I offered help but a heated argument at their house which came from nowhere but was fuelled by my daughter literally exploding from being calm seconds before resulted in me being asked to leave by my son in law. He turned violent that night and for the first time I realised how controlling he actually is, even though my daughter is responsible for everything - main earner, finances, the house, the children and running his business . All our good work and
Nannafi - 18-Jul-17 @ 2:43 AM
Kez - Your Question:
My ex partners mum is trying to get access to any youngest daughter does she have any rights as she put my baby in a Moses basket in the car in the dark an fog and anything could of happened to her

Our Response:
If your ex's mum is allowed to take the matter to court, it would be up to the court to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. We cannot predict what decision a court may make.
ProudGrandparents - 13-Jul-17 @ 12:47 PM
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