To whom it may concerned. I was wondering if you could help us to work out next steps. My sister inlaw passed away in February this year after a long 4 year fight against cancer. While she was alive my parents in law were every active in the care of my sister-in-laws' children. However on the night of her passing, her husband had a horrible argument with my inlaws and since that day he has not let my inlaws have any contact with the children. They were not consulted about funeral arrangements which was difficult but that situation has now passed. Now they are not allowed any contact with the children. In fact they have been aggressively warned off even contacting their daughter's friends to find out how the children are. The family understand he is grieving but we cannot understand why is is not letting the grand parents see the children. He has isolated the children from all members of the mother's family (aunts and cousins). We have heard from one of my sisteriin law' friends when they went to stay over night there that the children do miss the grand parents and the rest of the family. When the friend told the husband that the children had made those comments and that she had passed on the message to my inlaws the husband again was very aggressive, even phoning my husband warning and making threats towards the family. I know the law for grand parent access is not yet in force, but I was wondering if there is anything that can be done. Clearly the pain that my inlaws now feel is doubly compounded as not only have they lost their daughter they have ineffect lost their grandchildren as well. Any advice is very welcome. Please understand the family understands the husband is grieving and he may not want their support, but the grandparents want to support the grand children as they did during their mother's illness
HiHow old are the children?Claire
The children are 9 and 7
HIWhilst there are no automatic rights for grandparents to apply for contact they can ask the court for permission to do so - and in circumstances such as these where there is an existing relationship and this is the only way the children can maintain any link with their maternal family not only will permission to apply be granted - but also some form of contact will be ordered.Your Parents in law need to discuss matters with a local family law specialist and possibly offer to try and discuss matters with their son in law using Family Mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)Claire
Hello Thank you for your advice. I would like to believe that the husband would attend family mediation but his current behaviour does not let me hold out much hope for this approach. Given his aggressive behaviour and his continuous snubbing of the family is there anyway he can be forced to attend. Are these sessions mandatory or voluntary? Can recommend any family law practices in the Manchester area or a site where we can see reviews of practises ( a solicitor equivalent of dr foster)Secondly, I am concerned that if and when he receives any legal notices he will be very aggressive. Is there anything we can do to protect my inlaws from that? They are both in their 70s Thank you- you have given us some hope of a way forward to help my inlaws
HiOffering mediation is important in terms of showing the court that everything was done to try and avoid court involvement - if he refuses so be it.You can find a local family law specialist herewww.resolution.org.ukIf he threatens them they must call the police Claire
Hello againApologies another follow up question - so i can make sure that family does everything by the book. Do we ask the family solicitor to write to him asking him to attend mediation? Thanks for the site reference.
HiThat would certainly be sensible and allow the solicitor to give a clear indication that any threats will be treated seriously and not toleratedClaire
Thank you very much for your help. I hope you have a good evening
HiYou are welcome - good luck I hope all goes wellClaire
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