child visitation and grandma wars

Jennifer - posted on 06/10/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )




Hi, I live in California and have a 16 month old girl. Her father has been in jail and drug rehab for over a year and a half. He recently took a paternity test and requested that his Mother be a rejoinder to rights and custody. His Mother has been an extremely negative addition to our broken relationship (we are not together) and also has tried to dictate matters regarding Emma. I was open to allowing his side of the family to see Emma, because she deserves all the love and supprt she could get- especially since her father has not been able to be in her life. Over the course of year Grandma has seen Emma a great deal. it has never been consistent and she has never given me a dime to help me. She is very closed off to me but claims to love Emma. I had questions about his mother's true intention the entire time. Along with the paternity test was a petition to get rights for Emma and grandma was claiming 12% of her life. She wanted 3 full days, even though I'm a stay at home Mom. I work part time from home and have been a more than fit Mother. in the end, she got nothing. The judge told her to stay out of the picture. Emma's dad was granted 2 Skype calls per week, no visitation. His rehab is over 2 hours away, he has 9 months until completion.

Since March I have held up my obligation to Skype, even though Emma seems to have no interest in talking to him. I have not allowed grandma to spend time with Emma. I allowed him to see her on Memorial day weekend because he gets a pass to leave do 48 hours once a Month. His Mother was his only resource for transportation and housing. I was uncomfortable with seeing her again, but put my personal feelings aside. I let him visit with his daughter in her home. Things seemed to run smoothly and Emma looked happy. Since then, he has been badgering me to let Emma go back to visit with grandma, alone. I am not comfortable with her being around my child, after she tried to steal her once. I don't want to give her any leverage. She has not apologised and was very snark in her home . he's been trying to guilt trip me and it's not easy to process. I'm fed up. I'm considering if a court order so grandma cannot contact me anymore, is the right move. I asked him if he would support my descion for peace of mind and he refused. is it just me or has he already proven to not be trusted? Would terminating his rights be out of line?

I am torn between protecting myself from dealing with another custody battle, or helping put back the pieces to a broken family. I want to do what's best for Emma and so far I have been all she has known. She trusts me and is thriving in her life as a Toddler. Is it too soon to cut out Dad?


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Paula - posted on 06/13/2016




Your daughter is blessed to have a Mom who loves her so much. I commend you on your obvious concern for her well-being and encourage you to keep moving in this same positive direction.

Only you can decide what's in the best interest of Emma, as far as seeing Grandma and/or Dad. The determining factor will be their attitudes. If he's truly repentant for the crimes he committed and his lack of involvement in your daughter's life, you may want to explore the possibility of restoring and rebuilding the relationship. If not, it's probably best to keep your distance. Meanwhile, you don't have to put up with Emma being alone with Grandma if that makes you uncomfortable.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss these ideas with a professional, I can honestly recommend calling Focus on the Family's Counseling Department. The counselors would be more than happy to serve you in any way they can. They can also provide you with referrals to qualified child and family therapists in your area who can help you work through your concerns in greater depth. You can contact them Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time at 855-771-HELP (4357). Good Luck!

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