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What rights do grandparents have?

After my son died, we gave his wife the benefit of the doubt when she said she was too overwhelmed for visitors and didn't want to let her children out of her sight. She has stopped answering calls or let us speak to our grandchildren let alone visit them. The kids are 5 and 7 so I'm sure they don't understand why we don't visit every week like we used to and why they are no longer allowed to spend weekends with us.
Status: Open    Jan 17, 2016 - 06:48 PM

Elder Law, Relationships

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Jan 27, 2016 - 10:18 AM

I am very sorry for your loss. These situations are so difficult and sad. You should explore whether your state has a grandparent visitation statute. We had one in Alabama, but it was recently invalidated in the courts (meaning there are no rights for grandparents in our state). From a practical perspective, forced visitation does not do a lot to help the future relationship. Perhaps there are ways to demonstrate to your daughter-in-law that a relationship with you can be useful and beneficial to her. For example, you could open the door by saying you want to provide for your grandchildren in your estate plan, leaving them any share that would have otherwise passed to your son. A continued relationship is in the best interest of your grandkids, but it sounds like their mother is not in a place where she can see that right now so another approach might be more fruitful.


Feb 06, 2016 - 10:55 AM

You can get grandparents rights. My mother did to see her grandchildren in the state of DE. Get a family lawyer and they can advise you. The judge is on your side. They want as many family members as possible to be involved with the children especially because they lost their father. Your daughter-in-law is being very selfish. You were involved in the children's life before and will be again. if they are old enough, a judge will let them choose, if not a judge will usually side with you since you had regular contact prior to the death. I am so sorry your daughter-in-law is making things difficult for you. Is there a neutral family member that can intervene? Sometimes that is helpful or even someone from the school, like the counselor. Don't give up. The children will not forget you and the law is on your side. Good luck.
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