Originally Posted by hubris
My own two cents is that some grandparents confuse rights with privileges. It is a privilege for both the child and the grandparent to have a functional relationship with each other. I don't believe that grandparents should have the right to force a relationship.
Originally Posted by sewingmommy
My mother who is bipolar always told me how she should have rights to her grandkids and they should have to visit her for extended periods of time because it was good for them to bond with her ....and I so disagreed with this ...because of her bipolar my dh and I decided after we were married to severe all ties because I just could not and would not put my kids through the emotional hell that I went through as a child and I was a little worried about her suing for Grandparents rights but so far she has shown no interest in either of my two sons .....
No offense but I sincerely hope that you didn't sever all ties just because she's bipolar. Hopefully there is more to the story than what you've told us.
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer
This disappeared, so trying again, and I apologizes if it shows up twice...
I agree with grandparents having the legal ability to gain visitation access to their grandchildren under two very narrow circumstances:
1. The grandparents have had a very good relationship with their grandchildren. Then, their child dies, and the surviving parent (the grandparents' S- or DIL) decides to cut off all access to the grandparents (out of grief, spite, remarriage, whatever).
2. The grandparents have been raising their grandchildren as de facto parents. Perhaps their child has died or disappeared. The other parent has done similarly. Then, one day, years later, the absent, surviving parent shows up, claims custody, and decides that the grandparents should no longer be allowed to see their children who they have raised for years.
In both of these scenarios, it would be traumatic to the children to lose their grandparents. In Scenario 1, the children have lost their mother or father; it would be even worse to lose an entire side of the family. Some states, when considering stepparent adoption, still have provisions for biological grandparents to visit their grandchildren. In Scenario 2, the grandchildren lose their de facto parents. (My best childhood friend lived with her maternal grandparents from the time she was 2, after her mom died. Her father left while her mom was pregnant and was never in the picture. Can you imagine the trauma if her dad had resurfaced when she was, say, 12, got custody, and forbid her from even contacting the only parents she ever really knew? In that case, I think rights should be extended to all de facto parents, whether they're grandparents, stepparents, aunts, neighbors, etc.)
This does presume that the grandparents are decent people (which we know is true in not all cases), and that the courts will be fair (ditto).
Note that I do not support grandparents pursuing visitation (or custody, for that matter) if their children are alive, competent, and in the picture. Then, it's up to the adult children. I don't think grandparents should be able to get separate visitation when their grandchildren's parents get divorced...if non-custodial Mom or Dad wants her or his parents to see the grandkids, s/he can invite them over during his/her time (or arrange a trip with consent of the ex or otherwise per the custody agreement).
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon
Can anyone here honestly say that, if your children grew up and if, for whatever reason, they decided that they did not want your grandchildren in your life, you'd just say, okay, and walk away?
I wouldn't say "okay" and just walk away. I'd be hurt but it's my children's choice at that point.
I'm going to be cutting all ties with my mother VERY soon if she continues on the path she's on. She is a toxic person. She used to beat me from the age of about 12 until I moved out at 19. It stopped briefly after I started fighting back but then she got brave and started hitting me again. She is a freaking tramp and has been cheating on my father for quite some time now and will get into a screaming match with me when I tell her that if she leaves my father for this scum (which she fully intends on doing) HE is not welcome in my home. She however twists everything I say around and is telling my family that I said she can't be happy and that I'm going to take her grandchildren away from her if she leaves my father at all- no matter what the reason is and that I said she had to stay with him regardless of what she wanted if she wanted to see my kids when I NEVER said that. She is bipolar but SEVERELY and she has some severe behavioral issues. She has physically abused my father (he couldn't do anything about it because cops actually told him that it's impossible for a wife to abuse her spouse
: ) myself, and my brother. She knows never to touch my children in a harmful manner because of what would clearly be a UA violation. She neglected me as a baby, my dad said he'd come home from work and my mom was SOUND asleep while I was crying in my crib. She fights with everyone, seriously, all you have to do is look at her and she'll start screaming. She had my father arrested in 1999 FOR NO REASON. SHE LIED to have him arrested and then started spreading rumors throughout the family that she was afraid that he was going to sexually abuse me
: Yeah right. My father is HARMLESS. My dad had to send me to live with my Aunt because my mom would NOT stop hitting me. He was trying to find a place to live so he could leave her but he needed me in a safe place during that. It got to the point where my Aunt would not let me accept phone calls from my mother because all my mother was doing was SCREAMING at me for ruining her life. She kept telling me how *I* was the reason her husband was leaving her. He ended up taking her back because she *APPEARED* to have gotten better. She got worse again after about 6 months. The school also ended up not letting me take phone calls from her because she was calling me and SCREAMING so loudly that the office staff could hear her and I would be standing there in tears.
My mom is a toxic person and will outright lie to make the person she is angry with look like a horrible monstrous person. Her and my father are getting ready to be divorced and she felt the need to tell my oldest son (WHO IS ONLY 5) that she's leaving his "Poppa"(my dad says he's too young to be grandpa lol). She had no right to bring my son into this and she knows that. She did it to make him hate his Poppa (she eluded that poppa was mean to her).
If she keeps doing it, I'm either changing my phone #, pressing charges for harassment (she calls multiple times after being hung up on. Seriously within a 2 min span last night her number showed up like 4x on my caller ID), or getting a restraining order- possibly all 3.
Should this woman have any rights to her grandchildren? NO. She's abusive, vindictive, manipulative, cruel, cold hearted, the list goes on. Should I be forced to let her see my kids? I THINK EMPHATICALLY NOT! I am the parent and it is my responsibility to do what's in the best interest of my children. If I continued to let such a person in my children's lives, I would be failing miserably as a parent. FWIW, she would NEVER directly harm my children. The reason why I feel she should not see them (if she continues this) is because my children should not have to watch her treat people like this and see her hurt other people. If my mom were to some day get the psychiatric help that she really needs, there is no reason why I wouldn't let her see the kids. Right now though, she bounces back and forth. One day she's SUPER SUPER SWEET and I love her to death and the very next day (sometimes even later that night) she's screaming at me and the toxic woman comes out. We need for her to be the loving, super sweet woman all the time.
FTR, if my mom tried to sue me, she has child abuse charges against her and she'd get nowhere. The judge would not side with her.
Now, my IL's. MIL is fine. I would never deny her the chance to see the kids.
FIL and StepMIL are rude to all of us. For 5 years they have treated me like I wasn't good enough for DP. When watching older DS, they refuse to do things by our rules. They constantly undermine EVERY SINGLE THING we do. We cloth diaper- they hate it. They tell us how they don't approve. I'm still BFing younger DS and they have made it quite clear that they don't approve of extended BFing regardless of the fact that DS has little to no interest in food and he has food allergies. We homeschool and they berated us about that and let us know how stupid our reasoning was IN FRONT OF our homeschooled child. The rarely come to visit and they live about 20 minutes away. It's disgusting. They missed younger DS's birthday party and showed up nearly 2 weeks later...I want to cut ties with them but DP won't let me bc he claims that they just don't know any better. If DP died, I'd cut ties with them because of the way they treat me and my older son. If we moved out of state, I KNOW they wouldn't come and visit us and while I wouldn't necessarily cut ties, I wouldn't drive out here to see them. The way it is now, I don't go to their house unless it's a special occasion. DP is free to take Adam up there but Adam strongly dislikes them and won't go unless he's forced to. DP can't take the baby bc he still very much needs to BF'd SO DP has to go alone. I didn't cut ties but I won't go to their home bc it's like they feel they have free run. When they're here, if they're rude, I can make them leave. I'll be damned if someone is going to talk down to me in my own home. When younger DS cuts out some of his nursing sessions, he's free to go with his daddy to visit them but for right now, since he NEEDS to be with me and I won't go, he can't go.
Grandparents have PRIVILEGES and those privileges can be revoked and SHOULD BE revoked if they can not act in an acceptable manner.
In the cases where the parents are just being mean and refusing the gparents visitation, well I don't think the court should be able to mandate anything but I feel sad because I don't think the parents should be being so mean.