Grandparents visitation? Please advise - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 02-28-2010, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mother and her fiance are threatening me with persuing grandparent visitation. I do not want them to have contact with my baby because they are both very unhealthy people and I do not trust them. They live in MN and I live in CA. Do they have rights to a child they have never met? This is an excerpt from an email they sent me:

Quote:
As far as you deciding who will be with your child and who will not, you have no control over that decision. The court can and will decide that for you, just as it did for your mother many years ago. Let's see how you do as a single Mom? It's always easy to say how you would have won the race when you are sitting on the bench.

Hi I'm Elle, a ing mama to my boy, Honeybun
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#2 of 16 Old 02-28-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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((()))
It would be chilling to read those words from a parent. From anyone, really, but extra ouch!

I would consult with a lawyer just to find out what the law has to say. May bring huge peace of mind.

I would also document everything. Do they send gifts? Call? What kind of contact have you had with them over the last few years? I would absolutely save anything as bullying and threatening as the email you've shared.

I'm really sorry that you're dealing with this and I wish that I had better and more informed information to offer you.
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#3 of 16 Old 02-28-2010, 05:02 PM
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It was nice of them to send you an email documenting their hostility and untrustworthiness. They also aren't terribly familiar with the law.

Generally, grandparents' rights are a matter of parental choice. Courts get involved in cases where grandparents have held custody of a child for a period of time, or where one parent is deceased and the surviving parent denies contact with grandparents.

Consulting a lawyer to be certain of the law in your state would be a good thing to do. You should keep any letters and emails to document the situation should they ever find a lawyer who will take the case to court. It probably wouldn't hurt to cut off all contact. Read their emails in case they contain anything you need to be aware of (threats of violence, for example), but don't write back. Change your phone number if you can, use caller ID and don't answer when they call. If they have access to your residence, change your locks.

ETA: This site has information in re. grandparents' rights in MN, where you say your child's grandparents are: http://www.nvo.com/beaulier/grandparentsandvisitation/

I'm not a lawyer, but from what I see here, there is no reason for your parents to believe that they have any right to visitation if you choose not to allow it. Unless they have had custody of your child, they have no legal standing.

It was a little harder to find online infor for CA from a source that looked trustworthy to me. However, I did find a blog on family law in CA (it's here: http://www.californiafamilylawblog.c...hr_1.html#more) that states

Quote:
California Family Code let’s grandparents file for visitation:
· If one of the child’s parents has died.
· If the grandchild’s parents are no married, separated, or divorced.
· During custody proceedings.
· If the child is not living with either parent.


However:
· There must be a pre-established grandparent-grandchild relationship.
· Visits cannot get in the way of a parent’s own visitations.
· Visits must be in the best interest of the grandchild.

Again, it won't hurt to consult a lawyer, but it looks to me like you're in the clear.
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#4 of 16 Old 02-28-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure if there has been no precedent of contact and involvement, that they have absolutely zero case. Definitely consult an attorney but in general, if there wasn't any relationship before, a judge would not rule in their favor.

How scary to read those kinds of words. They are abusive.
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#5 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post
It was nice of them to send you an email documenting their hostility and untrustworthiness. They also aren't terribly familiar with the law.

Generally, grandparents' rights are a matter of parental choice. Courts get involved in cases where grandparents have held custody of a child for a period of time, or where one parent is deceased and the surviving parent denies contact with grandparents.

Consulting a lawyer to be certain of the law in your state would be a good thing to do. .
This is my understanding as well. Parents rights are much stronger than grandparents rights. And if you choose to not let them have access to your kid then the court is not going to force you. I know here in Michigan there have been a few high profile court cases about this and the parents rights have held.

Definitely worth a call to a lawyer.
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#6 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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Wow, what loving grandparents. What a rotten thing for them to send to you - your own mother!? No wonder you want them to stay away.

But from everything I've come across, they're totally full of it; grandparents' rights don't hold much sway these days unless they've been the child's caregiver or something. I think consulting with a lawyer will make you feel better and like you have someone to call on in a pinch, but I wouldn't worry about it.

And I wouldn't respond to that e-mail, either. It would seem that any response would fan the flames.
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#7 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post
((()))
It would be chilling to read those words from a parent. From anyone, really, but extra ouch!

I would consult with a lawyer just to find out what the law has to say. May bring huge peace of mind.

I would also document everything. Do they send gifts? Call? What kind of contact have you had with them over the last few years? I would absolutely save anything as bullying and threatening as the email you've shared.

I'm really sorry that you're dealing with this and I wish that I had better and more informed information to offer you.




I'd move and not give them any contact info!! I'd also change my email address.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#8 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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It's definitely worth a call to a lawyer.

Here's my thing: I think that Stik is right, your mom and her fiance currently have no standing whatsoever to demand visitation or anything else regarding your children, whom they have never met and with whom they have no relationship. However, if you allow visits, they could theoretically (depending on state law) develop that standing, or claim to have done so.

Given the information you currently have, and the attitude your mom and her partner are displaying, I would not allow them any contact at all with your child.
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#9 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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SAVE THAT EMAIL!!! And any other documented form of abuse. Voicemails, texts, emails, ANYTHING.
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#10 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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Just wanted to chime in to emphasize how crucial it is that you save this email and all other hostile/ abusive emails from them. Print them out, etc..
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#11 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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For some reason my DH and I both follow those high profile court cases. We have fine relationships with both of our parents and they see our children as we can (all live in different states).

But we're both adamant that GRANDPARENTS have NO RIGHTS to their grand-children. Parents have rights to their OWN children. The grandparents rights ended.

We're not lawyers or anything and we're not involved in anything ugly but I just want to support you. Parents get one shot to raise children and it was their own. They do not get another shot at "raising" or even visiting their grandchildren. They earn that privilege through the relationship they developed while raising their own kids - not through court-enforced "rights." They have no rights to those kids any more than *I* have rights to see your kids (as far as I'm concerned.)

again - I'm not saying anything legal here, just climbing on my soap box to support you!

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#12 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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I don't think they can get access to your child. I have heard of a court giving the in-laws some visitation rights after the mom died, but I believe they had a lot of visitation before and the dad cut them off cold turkey. I think that you should cut off all contact and block their e-mails. Don't agrue with them further, just cut them off. Just because they had you doesn't mean that they get to see your kids. If you have to go to court because of this then make sure that you ask the court to make them pay all legal fees.
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#13 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A View Post



I'd move and not give them any contact info!! I'd also change my email address.

This!

and:

I'll suggest reading the book How To Be Invisible and then take whatever steps he suggests.
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#14 of 16 Old 03-01-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
For some reason my DH and I both follow those high profile court cases. We have fine relationships with both of our parents and they see our children as we can (all live in different states).

But we're both adamant that GRANDPARENTS have NO RIGHTS to their grand-children. Parents have rights to their OWN children. The grandparents rights ended.

We're not lawyers or anything and we're not involved in anything ugly but I just want to support you. Parents get one shot to raise children and it was their own. They do not get another shot at "raising" or even visiting their grandchildren. They earn that privilege through the relationship they developed while raising their own kids - not through court-enforced "rights." They have no rights to those kids any more than *I* have rights to see your kids (as far as I'm concerned.)

again - I'm not saying anything legal here, just climbing on my soap box to support you!

every single word. And in fact I've told that to my mother on occasion.
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#15 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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I couldnt read and not post mama. Sorry you are going through this, it must be stressful. I have not read all the other replies but I agree with the poster that said they may not be familiar with the law. I do believe it is your choice, although I have no knowledge of the law.

Take for example celebrities... angelina jolie who had not let her dad in her childs lives for the longest for whatever reason. They both have money and lawyers at their disposal and he could of fought for it if there were cause. Same thing with tori spelling and her mom. I do think its a good idea for you to consult with a lawyer though to ease your mind and become more informed of what your options and choices are.

Good luck!


BFPChart2.gif

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#16 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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It sounds like your mother went through something similar and now she's going to put you through it? That's terrible, and I'm so so sorry you have to even think about that. 2

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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