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Ask Dave Kennett Your Own Question

Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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My daughter died under circumstances that are questionable.

Resolved Question:

My daughter died under circumstances that are questionable. She was living in an abusive relationship and had intended to leave when I visited her the next month. The night that she died, I had attempted to call her numerous times with no response, and the call I received was from my Son who told me that she was dead. Her 'husband' denied that there was anything wrong, but I know for a fact that she had documented all the abuse in journals for over three years. Her father-in-law was a deputy sheriff in the county where this occurred, and he-and his son had repeatedly told her that if she should attempt to leave and take the children (three of them) out of state she would not be around very long. After her death, I flew to Florida, and was denied any personal time with my Grandchildren, and they were taken to school each day to 'deal with it'. The night of her death, there was no 911 call - her husband just called his father. I have been living in fear of attempting to do anything until he had retired from the county department, and I still fear any repercussions that may come about. I have not been in frequent contact with my Grandchildren, and was told by their father, that he can refuse any and all contact with them. My Granddaughter will be 11 this year, and last year she was wearing the same size clothes that she did last time I saw her when her Mother died. This has worn me out, and caused excessive stress and torment.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 2 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Have you had any contact with your grandchildren?
Will the father permit you to visit?
What exactly is your goal in this situation?
Are you wanting the police to do something about your daughter's death or are you simply concerned for the welfare of the children?
How old are the children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would like the Children to have the opportunity to visit me, and spend time with myself, and their Uncle and his family. My Daughter died a horrible death, and there was no emergency services called. My son and I saw how the apartment and her things were trashed, and everything that I had given her, and all the things that she had packed to move into a shelter were thrown. The only visiting that I would be allowed is in his (the) fathers or his parents presence. I have lived over five years without being a part of their life, and the father tells me to get over it she's dead, and the kids need to forget her. The children are 11, 9 and 8. I do NOT want to have their Mother - my Daughter - totally thrown out with their trash like they have done. The pain and suffering that the Children, my Son and myself have gone through is extreme, and the Children will continue to suffer - psychologically as well as being physically affected by this situation. I know that the records were not complete, the evidence was discarded - my Daughters journals, and the threats the her father-in-law made are real. I cannot see traveling to Florida and being fearful for what may transpire.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 2 years ago.
DearCustomer- I am so sorry to hear of all of this as I know it is painful. Legally you have a right to file a motion with the family law court for visitation with your grandkids since this is the exact situation that grandparent visitation is designed to cover. Whenever the child of the grandparent is not available or deceased then the grandparent has a right to file for visitation if the surviving parent refuses to allow the visitation. As for the circumstances surrounding your daughter's death, the only thing you could have done at the time was to report this to the police. If there had been some evidence of foul play then I would assume charges would have been filed but after this long it would be very difficult to get the authorities to act unless there was some new evidence discovered. You can't change the way the father is acting with respect to your daughter's memory but you can certainly get visitation and talk to your grandchildren and help them remember in that way. You will have to file your motion in the Florida court in the county where the children reside.
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience: 25 years experience as practicing attorney
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