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MIL threatening visitation filings

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

DH had a very rocky childhood and has always had a bad relationship with his mom. She is very abusive, manipulative, controlling, a drug addict and an alcoholic. Oh, and she has stolen countless things from us. He has always put up with it because she's his mom and he felt like he had too. She carried over all the control/manipulation crud into our marriage. Last Oct. after a particularly upsetting and eye-opening event DH has been working to put an end to it. He wouldn't communicate with her for a while but would eventually cave and talk to her or let her come over. Of course it would always end in some major fight/blowup. A couple months ago he said enough was enough and we've had no communication with her.


She showed up at our home on 9/4, at our back door and it took several minutes to get her to leave. She will send emails every 2-3 days trying to get a response out of DH and will occasionally call. The emails are ridiculous. Last night she sent DH an email saying she was going to be allowed to see 'her grandchildren' soon and asked him if he got the paperwork. We haven't gotten any paperwork, so I called our County's Juvenile Court and nothing has been filed. We went to the police station promptly and filed a report. They told us an officer would be calling her telling her to cease and desist and if she contacted us again she would be criminally charged.


I have researched Grandparents' Rights in my state extensively (legally called third-party visitation). She would not get any visitation. In my state there are three cases in which the court might consider granting visitation in. Divorce, death of a parent, and an unmarried mother refusing to let the Gparents to see the child/ren. So, I am not worried about that.


I am rambling I guess. Is there something DH and I should next? Talk to an attorney just in case she tries something? Wait it out? She's made comments insinuating that she was going to involve CPS if we don't let her come over, so I guess we have that hanging over us as well. DH and I are really tired of this. help.gif

post #2 of 17

Don't worry I don't think she will have a leg to stand on. I am sorry you are going thru this. Document document document.

post #3 of 17

If you guys really want to get rid of her you could check into a restraining order.  I'm not sure what sort of allegations one has to make to get a RO, but I'd think that making threats regarding your children might be sufficient.  

post #4 of 17

Document every contact or attempted contact and if you can afford it, consult with a good attorney and have all of your communication with her go through their office. The probable outcome here is a restraining order if she doesn't stop and if she violates the restraining order, she faces criminal charges.


I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's comforting to know that grandparents' "rights" are only ever applied under very specific circumstances, but that doesn't make the threat any less upsetting and scary. The more documentation you have, the more easily you can show the courts that this woman is mentally ill and abusive. Save emails, voice messages, letters, gifts, etc. as well as copies of any communication you and your attorney have with her. You can get inexpensive motion-activated webcams online; I would set up the front and back porch to be under constant surveillance until this all blows over. Nothing says "cray-cray stalker" to a judge like trespassing and repeated unwanted contact (harassment).

post #5 of 17
Yuck! What a terrible situation. I would record her rants. I would save all her emails. She is threatening you and yes you can get a restraining order. Make sure you have your documentation though. They'll want to know what she has done to support the need for the restraining order. However, sometimes the person who is served does do some terrible things to get around it. So you need to watch out.

In an email you should lay out why she is being removed from your lives, allow her to respond and keep that email. Sometimes people are not smart enough to see a trap. She will most likely say things that will incriminate her. Do have DH write the email, so that she will be more inclined to try and manipulate. He should state past issues and present issues and possibly in question form as to why she has done what she has done. She will either deny it, come up with excuses or blame him and you. If she calls in CPS she will certainly have to come up with something, abuse, neglect whatever she tries can be certainly be irritating but with the background you can give CPS about her they will definitely look at her accusations in a different light.

Good luck, my friend just went through this with her Aunt. Her Aunt got desperate over them constantly turning up better everytime she tried something and eventually left them alone... with the help of a court order of course. I don't think they had to get a lawyer though. I'll ask.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses! Fortunately DH has been recording all of her phone calls and voice messages for some time now. He saves every piece of communication from her. I'm thankful he's done that.


The officer at the police station told us if she violates the cease and desist she will be charged criminally. Would there be an actual RO at that point? I think she is going to have a difficult time not contacting us. We shall see what happens. smile.gif

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Imakcerka, we posted at the same time. DH has written many of those types of emails and they haven't really gone anywhere. At this point I'm not sure it would be wise to contact her since she's been told by law enforcement to leave us alone. We've been ignoring her communication for some time, and boy does it have her mad.

post #8 of 17
Well it does sound like you guys are already doing the right thing. Hopefully it doesn't have to go any further. Good luck.
post #9 of 17

I agree that it sounds like you are handling a horrible situation as well as possible.


I would also encourage you to get something into your wills about this situation.  Since your state *does* consider visitation rights if a parent is deceased, it would be horrible if your DH died and you were then forced to give access to your children.


Personally, I would at least consider changing email addys and phone numbers and NEVER giving them to her again.


Good luck

post #10 of 17

I agree w/ PPs to document everything (which it sounds like you are doing) and get a restraining order. And yeah, it can't hurt to put something in both your wills about who specifically will have guardianship of your kids on your deaths (each other, obviously, but then another family or two in case both of you die) AND who specifically is NOT allowed to have contact with your kids (MIL and anyone else helping her). I wouldn't wait for anything to escalate; it can't hurt to do it now. If there is already a restraining order against her, anything else that happens (court or whatever) will be helped by having it in place already b/c it means you mean business, not that it's just a little family spat.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice! My parents are the ones DH and I have designated to care for our children in the event of our death (should that happen) but have yet to make a will. I am going to take care of that soon. DH and I don't have money for an attorney right now, so we will just make it ourselves.

post #12 of 17

I hear this website http://www.legalzoom.com/ advertised a lot on the radio, maybe it can help with quickly making a will. (because you never know what can happen tomorrow, does this make me morbid??) 

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you! No, I don't think that makes you morbid, I've thought of it myself! 

post #14 of 17

As with everyone else, I think you're doing the best thing you can to continue to document and ignore her.  I would probably consult an attorney about a restraining order.


Originally Posted by josie423 View Post

Thank you! No, I don't think that makes you morbid, I've thought of it myself! 


This is free until Sept 20 if you use code a8b03-98a57-03a0b.  Though she isn't an attorney, it is a lot better than a holographic will.

post #15 of 17

I am having a rough time with my parents and have ben concerned they might do the same thing but I am in the UK so will have to check it out.


Its something I have worried about, but not too much but seeing your post makes me think that I should actually take it a little more seriously, just in case.


I don't think my mum will do anything, we haven't been in contact since 2005 and she hasn't even met my 2 younger children, just my eldest, so I am sure had she wanted to bother, she would have by now. My Dad though is a different matter, I cut contact with him over the Summer and I feel bad about it but the things he was saying about my husband just weren't acceptable, theres previous family issues as well. I really worry in particular because a)both DH and I suffer chronic health problems and b) I have been suffering severe mental health issues and I just don't know whether this could be used against me.....................


I just don't want to have to worry about it though, I want toime to heal etc and I want to be able to do that without worrying about grandparent contact issues, which, IMO is ridiculous. Even if the grandparents are blood relatives, surely the there must be serious issues in the relationship if you have cut contact with them?? I don't know.......... Am going to google it right now.

post #16 of 17

One caveat (as the wife and daughter of attorneys) about making a will without legal counsel. 


If you are doing anything remotely less than simple, it can really pay off in the long term to get that legal advice. Especially where minor children are involved, it's one more bit of protection, making sure things are done right. That said, if you go through all the process and paperwork of putting together a DIY will, it may significantly shorten your time in a lawyer's office, making the process significantly cheaper. Having an attorney review a will is likely to be much cheaper than having them draft it from scratch. 

post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by josie423 View Post

She's made comments insinuating that she was going to involve CPS if we don't let her come over, so I guess we have that hanging over us as well. DH and I are really tired of this. help.gif

I would call and make a police report about that.  She's threatening you.  Take legal action.

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