Grand-parent's Access

  Bingalau 13:51 31 Mar 2011
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Well this looks to be another load of "old cobblers" The chances of it ever working are just about zero. Women just take no notice of court decisions and only a lengthy jail sentence for them when they flout the law would help cure it. I've only seen my grand-daughter once since she was taken up to Scotland about ten years ago. That was when my son and I managed to contact her on Facebook and arranged a secret meeting for about two hours. The only chance of seeing her on a regular basis will be when she decides to disregard her mum's regulations. My wife never did get to see her again in spite of us both bringing her up to the age of about five because her parents were working. Court cases which went in our favour were ignored completely. How do they get away with it?

The mother of course, took off with her boss (a bank manager, (now district manager in Edinburgh). The grass was greener money wise of course... My son had done nothing wrong but has been punished ever since, as has his daughter.

  HondaMan 14:13 31 Mar 2011

"How do they get away with it?" Probably because you gave up. If you want justice, you often have to fight very hard for it.

Get in touch with a solicitor and ask him to apply, in the first instance, for a defined contact order. Explain what the history is. If granted by the courts and ignored by your (former) daughter-in-law, she could face prison.

  Forum Editor 14:14 31 Mar 2011

the law was "too blunt an instrument" and giving grandparents such rights could damage the children involved."

I think this highlights the prime guiding factor in any proposal to change family law, which is that the interests of the child or children concerned should always take precedent.

There are situations in which it could be damaging for a child if its grandparents were given legal rights of access. Let's remember that there will be two sets of grandparents and each couple won't necessarily have the same slant on a situation. A child could find itself being used as a weapon in the tense situations that often ensue when a marriage or partnership fails. One set of grandparents will - rightly or wrongly - feel that their own child is the injured party in the split.

In broad terms the law must surely take the view that adults may create relationship problems but children have to live with the consequences, and if they're very young they have little or no say in who they see or when.

With that in mind it would be wrong, in my opinion, to create a legal device which could be used by grandparents to enforce access - the child involved may not always wish it to happen. The wishes of the grandparents - hard as it may seem - are not the most important factor in the equation.

  peter99co 15:40 31 Mar 2011

Well said!

  Forum Editor 16:47 31 Mar 2011

if I had typed 'precedence' instead of 'precedent'.

  Bingalau 18:40 31 Mar 2011

HondaMan.

It's o.k. for you to say that it was because we gave up. it's not that easy. We fought very hard for it but there comes a point where you just can't afford any more money for court cases, solicitors etc.

Of course the opposition had a surfeit of money compared with us. They also had access to friends who were solicitors, Financial advisers in the same bank etc. So from the start we couldn't outgun them money wise and when it comes to justice you need money to fight these type of people. We ran out of cash rather than effort.

How many mothers do you know who have gone to prison for these sort of offences? Not many judges will commit a mother and their child to imprisonment. Very wrong in my eyes because these mothers play on that fact.

  Forum Editor 18:53 31 Mar 2011

that mothers use the fact that the law weights things in their favour in these situations. The law takes the view that a child's interests must be paramount, and that those interests are generally (although not always) best served if the child is with its mother. There are exceptions, but that's the rule.

Fathers and paternal grandparents have to rely to a ridiculously large extent on the goodwill of the mother, and of course that cannot be guaranteed - along comes another man,bringing with him a set of ready-made prospective grandparents, and suddenly all the ingredients for an unholy fight are assembled - it's a self-fulfilling prophesy in a huge number of cases.

Sitting in the centre of all this is a small child, totally unable to act on its own behalf, so the law acts for it - the law says that the mother's wishes count for more than anyone else's until proved otherwise. In this respect the law is indeed a blunt instrument, but at the moment it's the only instrument there is. Fathers and Grandparents (and sometimes estranged mothers) have to fight for what they can get - at least they do if they haven't previously negotiated an arrangement that has been approved by a court.

There has to be an answer, but so far nobody has come up with one that doesn't rely on a degree of goodwill on the part of all the parties involved.

What's certain in my mind is that handing grandparents a legal right to access is definitely not the way to act in the child's best interests.

  Bald Eagle 19:33 31 Mar 2011

My wife and I regularly see our three grandchildren, no problems. I cannot understand our grandson's other grandad who has shown no interest in him over nearly six years.

  morddwyd 20:13 31 Mar 2011

"a review of the law in England and Wales."

Sorry, my old friend, but if she's in Edinburgh any laws, existing or new, in England are likely to have limited application.

Not just devolved but a totally separate system, as we saw with al-Megrahi.

  john 52 20:26 31 Mar 2011

Forum Editor

As you say this is a terrible can of worms to deal with and this law will make no difference .The unfortunate thing is that sometimes the children are used as pawns in the break up and that is so sad .

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