Home > Distance Grandparenting > Grandparents who are Denied Access to Grandchildren

Grandparents who are Denied Access to Grandchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 12 Oct 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difficult for people to see their family members as they really are, but instead they view each other from a possibly outdated perspective.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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
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
Kez - 12-Jul-17 @ 12:02 PM
My son has been denied access from the social workers for 2 years. He had a break down after a nasty separation, and I'm included in this. I have no idea why. I was very close to the mother and my grandsons, I feel also like I'm being punished for things I haven't done. I've no idea about the legal process and the social workers never contact us I'm constantly chasing them. It's effecting my health and I cannot get over it. It's a terrible loss .
Kayla - 11-Jul-17 @ 9:27 AM
canaloki - Your Question:
I need some help to get to see my grandsons. My daughter was a drug addict and had her sons taken away from her. It was decided that the boys should live with their father and his mother became their main carer,Over the past couple of years their father has left the home due to a breakdown of relationship with his mother and her partner and very rarely sees his boys at all, His mother now has Guardianship of the boys.To begin with I was allowed to see the boys whenever I wanted but over the last year it has got harder and harder to get any time with them at all. I'm a nurse so have to fit visits around my shifts and weekends off but there is always a reason why I can't see themLast year I had to wait till the end of January before our family could see them for Christmas and this year have not been able to see them for their birthdays.I have asked if I could have them overnight at the beginning of the school holidays (have to ask by text) but being ignored.Is there anything I can do? I think its such a shame that the boys are missing out on play days with their cousins and a relationship with our side of their family.Is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
Your only recourse is to suggest mediation to see if an agreement can be reached. If not your only recourse would be to seek legal advice and see whether you have a case to apply to court.
ProudGrandparents - 10-Jul-17 @ 3:30 PM
I need some help to get to see my grandsons. My daughter was a drug addict and had her sons taken away from her. It was decided that the boys should live with their father and his mother became their main carer, Over the past couple of years their father has left the home due to a breakdown of relationship with his mother and her partner and very rarely sees his boys at all, His mother now has Guardianship of the boys. To begin with I was allowed to see the boys whenever I wanted but over the last year it has got harder and harder to get any time with them at all.I'm a nurse so have to fit visits around my shifts and weekends off but there is always a reason why I can't see them Last year I had to wait till the end of January before our family could see them for Christmas and this year have not been able to see them for their birthdays. I have asked if I could have them overnight at the beginning of the school holidays (have to ask by text) but being ignored. Is there anything I can do? I think its such a shame that the boys are missing out on play days with their cousins and a relationship with our side of their family. Is there anything I can do?
canaloki - 10-Jul-17 @ 8:02 AM
@Meema - this is awful. Did you fall out with her in any way? Do you know the reason? :(
Liv57 - 7-Jul-17 @ 11:21 AM
I was very close to my daughter & she made me a grand ma at the age of 36. So I'm a young granny of 2 very beautiful grandbabies. Unfortunately she moved away to Scotland in March past. The only way I had to contact her was FaceTime & PM. On 23rd June she stopped answering me. Last wk she took me & my whole family off facebook. I got so worried that I had phoned the police to do a welfare check to make sure she was still alive. She is & told the police she just doesn't want to talk to her family. So now I've lost all contact with my grandbabies & there's nothing I can do. My beautiful wee granddaughter turn 2 in my & my very handsome grandson will be 1 in October. They are never going to remember me. Or know me. And I don't know why.
Meema - 6-Jul-17 @ 6:05 PM
@Roz - you don't need to give a reason to withhold access. Both of you are the parents with parental responsibility. The court will maybe allow grandparents to apply to court if they have played a big part in their grandchildren's lives and for some reason have been denied access. But you guys personally don't have to justify your reasons for not allowing the grandparents access.
Dom - 3-Jul-17 @ 11:37 AM
I am a parent of a child and have a partner. I AM NOT THE GRANDPARENT. I do not want my partner's parents to have a regular relationship with my child. My partner has agreed to this. The reasons are his mother is depressed, on medication and has been negligent over the years with my partner. There are a lot of people coming and going at the house. She is not with the grandfather yet he stays over there bon a regular basis and is an alcoholic. She also has a dog which has behavioural problems. This is a set of grandparents who are big drinkers, have ex heroin addicts as friends and the grandmother even smoked whilst she was pregnant. We have decided they can see the child when we are there and it will not be regular contact as we don't want to expose our child to this. I do feel that grandparents do sometimes need to loom closer at them selves and their lives to see why they have been denied access. I am in the process of drawing up an agreement which my partner will sign and I will sign. Please can you confirm in a court of law willthis stand ? Can we do this ? The fact that they wont have regular contact means they cant cause harm or effect the childs well being if all ties were broken.
Roz - 2-Jul-17 @ 4:52 PM
Shaz - Your Question:
I've been denied access to my grand children today in court because of my son's and the mother's destructive relationship.cafcasSs has recommended no contact and no section 7 although the court recognised I was a loving grandmother it seems contact with me would disrupt the children's lives because of the relationship my son had with HER. SERING ME WOULD REMIND TGEM OF MY DON. who has had an injunction on him by her although allegations have not been proven. What can I do now to try and obtain access

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is beyond our remit to advise what you can do beyond this, except to seek further legal advice to see whether you have grounds to appeal. If you wish to appeal, the appeal must be lodged within 21 days.
ProudGrandparents - 23-Jun-17 @ 9:48 AM
I've been denied access to my grand children today in court because of my son's and the mother's destructive relationship.cafcasSs has recommended no contact and no section 7 although the court recognised I was a loving grandmother it seems contact with me would disrupt the children's lives because of the relationship my son had with HER. SERING ME WOULD REMIND TGEM OF MY DON. who has had an injunction on him by her although allegations have not been proven. What can I do now to try and obtain access
Shaz - 22-Jun-17 @ 12:20 AM
For Sob,I know exactly how you feel as I did the same. The child was already under a care plan. Now my daughter has stopped me seeing them. Sometimes it is best to take a step back and let them get on with it. I know the children are safe because the social workers keep me informed but I miss them terribly.
Sad - 18-Jun-17 @ 11:27 PM
@Milly - that's a bit of a sweeping generalisation. We haven't seen our granchildren because our daughter-in-law does not wish them to be in our lives and she makes our son's life a misery if he disobeys her. There are some nasty people out there who for no reason are on a power trip to make others' lives a complete misery. Me and my husband have never done anything wrong and have gone out of our way to be supportive, kind and generous of our grandchildren but for some that means nothing and it breaks our hearts.
Liz - 15-Jun-17 @ 12:32 PM
Yep. Every grandparent on here is completely blameless. No accountability or ability to see maybe you might play a part in the estrangement. No wonder you guys all don't see your grandchildren
Milly - 13-Jun-17 @ 9:04 PM
My sons xwife will not let me see my gkids. She was in jail on probation violation and the day before she got out i posted on her fbook page she was in jail which the kids knew and nkw shes getting a restraining order against me for posting. I know ot was wrong but i was ready to pull her hair out. I had my grandaughter here for her time in jail. I dont kniw what to do now. I have 3 gkids they live in a dump she lives with a man for 4 yrs. That has beaten her up i seen the 2 black eyes 3 yrs ago. She has them in a dangerous situation. But with this order agaist me i need to call a lawyer right.He plays in a band no licence no job except his big big they suck. She has no job and as far as i know she has no drivers licence for not paying her car ins. I dont know what to do. My son is working out of ohio for gas people and he cant come home till mid june. Im beside myself
Deb - 30-May-17 @ 11:18 PM
I'm absolutely devastated! My daughter in law doesn't like my husband n I (long story) and has worn our son down with constant arguments with him that he has now said he doesn't want us in his or his daughters life as its easier and less stressful! We have tried so hard to sort things out but to no avail. I really don't know what to do as I know we as grandparents have no rights. I've been trying to find out if there is any sort of organisation that can put us in touch with young parent that don't have grandparents as a support network. My husband and I have so much love to give, it's a shame we can't offer to support another couple. Can anyone help (heartbroken grandma)
Heart Broken Grandma - 24-May-17 @ 7:23 PM
My grandchildren are now 7 and 5 years old.I have never seen them, nor have I ever met their mother or seen her family.Despite many attempts, I have had no contact with my son for 11 years.I found out about his marriage and whereabouts accidentally, I do not know what he is doing, actually.My daughter is also married, and I have no contact with her and her husband either.They have no children. Since my separation from my first husband in 2003 and consequent divorce in 2007 the children have had no contact.
chlothra - 22-May-17 @ 3:40 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ProudGrandparents website. Please read our Disclaimer.