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Grandparents.....what are their rights
#1
Hi all

What rights do grandparents actually have when it comes to custody.

I have a complicated situation with my ex having a terminal illness and her parents wanting to take custody of the children when she passes.  The children currently live full time with me as they care for their daughter in their home, but they are talking of selling both their own house and the daughters to buy a larger house and take custody of the children, both before and after she passes.

Any advice please
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#2
Basically none – grandparents have no automatic legal rights or responsibilities regarding grandchildren because they don’t have Parental Responsibility. They can apply to a court to acquire it, but as a person who already has Parental Responsibility, you would be able to contest this if you wished.

One possible alternative way for them to get it that I am aware of is that if your ex had previously been given residence of the kids under a Residence Order or a Child Arrangements Order, she could appoint her grandparents as guardians in her will which would then give them Parental Responsibility automatically.
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#3
Would I have been informed about this if this was the case? We never had a residence order as we arranged everything amicably where possible.
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#4
Yes, you'd know if there was a residence (or child arrangement) order in existence, as they're only put in place by the family court when those with parental responsibility can't agree on access or living arrangements.
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#5
So basically, her parents will not have any parental responsibility or claim to custody?

I'm not in any way trying to stop them seeing them, look, I need a night off too now and then, I just don't want them taking my kids from me in the future. As a father I feel I have no voice, my opinion counts for nothing and that I'm expected to just roll over and take it.
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#6
No if anything happens to your ex partners , kids would be in your custody unless there were any safeguarding issues etc which there isnt

Also for ex to have a residency order you would know about it as you would of had to attend family court. in fact you have PR so if she was too ill you could at any time decide to have residency of children as you are both on a level standing
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#7
That's pretty much it - they'd have to go to court over this, and as the kids have been living with you and you have parental responsibility for them then your ex's parents would stand virtually no chance of having this changed if you didn't agree.

Best option of course is to try and sort something amicably with her parents so that they know they will still see the kids regularly if your ex dies, while politely making clear to them that the final decision on what happens after her death is yours alone unless a court decides otherwise. If communication with them isn't good (and I guess it must be a difficult and emotional time for them), then you might try using a family mediation service.
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#8
I just read they are already at yours full - time anyway and spend time with grandparents and mum. so there would be 0.01 % chance as you are already caring for them , taking them to school and everything else no problems. I am sure your children would want to remain at yours too and see grandparents.
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#9
(09-10-2018, 11:43 AM)RockAndAHardPlace Wrote: Hi all

What rights do grandparents actually have when it comes to custody.

I have a complicated situation with my ex having a terminal illness and her parents wanting to take custody of the children when she passes.  The children currently live full time with me as they care for their daughter in their home, but they are talking of selling both their own house and the daughters to buy a larger house and take custody of the children, both before and after she passes.

Any advice please

It depends on your current legal status.

If you have PR and only your ex does, then the Children come to you even if she has a residance order.
Even if she had a will stating they go to them, it does not alter your legal status as a person having PR.

In most situations, Grandparents have no rights, and in this case, in my view, they would have to seek permission from Court, to make even an Application.

Where there is also another legal issue, is does a Will exist leaving the house to them, because it would normally go to the children.
When the ex does pass away, you need legal advice on this, as why should they get the money, when she leaves 2 depenent children.
Do you not have any claim on it also?

Its important that the children still see the grandparents, and my suggestion would be to offer them 1 weekend a month, and some time in school holidays, if the children want to visit them.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#10
(09-10-2018, 07:44 PM)MarkR Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 11:43 AM)RockAndAHardPlace Wrote: Hi all

What rights do grandparents actually have when it comes to custody.

I have a complicated situation with my ex having a terminal illness and her parents wanting to take custody of the children when she passes.  The children currently live full time with me as they care for their daughter in their home, but they are talking of selling both their own house and the daughters to buy a larger house and take custody of the children, both before and after she passes.

Any advice please

It depends on your current legal status.

If you have PR and only your ex does, then the Children come to you even if she has a residance order.
Even if she had a will stating they go to them, it does not alter your legal status as a person having PR.

In most situations, Grandparents have no rights, and in this case, in my view, they would have to seek permission from Court, to make even an Application.

Where there is also another legal issue, is does a Will exist leaving the house to them, because it would normally go to the children.
When the ex does pass away, you need legal advice on this, as why should they get the money, when she leaves 2 depenent children.
Do you not have any claim on it also?

Its important that the children still see the grandparents, and my suggestion would be to offer them 1 weekend a month, and some time in school holidays, if the children want to visit them.

Honestly this is what we foresee, the grandparents are in no way going to be shut out, we want them to be a part of their lives.  Fortunately we have both sets of grandparents and I have always felt it was good for them to see them, as I say, we all need a night off.  The school holidays they can gladly go for a week or so on holidays with them, it helps us with our working arrangements etc.  I'm annoyed though that I would never have even contemplated this happening, and how they think it would ever be a good idea, or that I would allow it is beyond me.  I have always been civil with them even throughout our separation and subsequent divorce, and when we found out the terrible news about my ex, I sat them both down and said not to worry about seeing the children in the future as I would never want to stop them seeing them.

I don't know about a will etc, but I am so frustrated at the fact that, although money could never compensate for the loss of their mother, she could give them both a massive start in life by making some good decisions now.  I don't know if I can have a say in anything, but for me, handing money over to her parents to buy a bigger house is a waste as the children WILL NOT BE LIVING WITH THEM!  My eldest child has already asked why the house will be going to the grandparents and not the children, how do you answer that, but clearly she is thinking about the future more than they are.

My biggest fear is that this ends up with court battles etc etc and ultimately the only people that win then will be solicitors.  There will be resentment from both sides, the children will be stuck in the middle and fear this will affect them more than is necessary.

I want to talk to my ex about it all, but I can never get to speak to her without her mother being present.

My thoughts swing daily on what to do, and this is really starting to affect work etc as I'm not sleeping with the worry.  Any suggestions on the way forward?
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