(Closed) What rights do estranged parents have as grandparents?

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
3580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Well, I wouldn’t have reacted with a terse letter.  I would have called and asked him WHY he sent them.  Maybe he thought that you would want them?  I think you don’t know enough but his actions sound nothing like a man who wants to begin his relationship again with you.  In fact, it’s the opposite, so I think (hope) it’s actually just a misunderstanding of his intentions.

And to answer your subject title: none.

Post # 4
6221 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

He has no rights as a grandparent if you don’t want him to be involved. However, I think you are making too many assumptions and should just call him

Post # 5
4272 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I pretty much have the same arrangement with my father, so I understand where you are coming from. Returning all those memories is seriously hurtful. You dislike your ex-spouse…fine, but to take it out on your kids as well? My dad hasn’t stooped that low, but he has done some pretty disrespectful things and hasn’t been apart of my life much either. He has his other family that he seems to care more about. Although he has shown an interest when I told him I was pregnant, he has not really made any arrangements to come see her when she is born or has offered any sort of help.

I would let him see the grandchildren when he wishes though. The children should have a bond with their grandfather, but he needs to make the effort. You are not obligated to tell him anything if you do not want to, but it would probably be the right thing to do. I mean…he is your father even though he is being quite frankly an ass.  

Post # 6
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

When my parents got divorced, my dad sent me a few of the cards I made him for Father’s Day, but I interpreted this to be, “Hey, remember when we all got along?” and “I really value the gift of being your father.”  I never took it to mean, “I want to no longer be your father.”

I think you should ask him why he sent the stuff to you.  If he responded positively to the news re: your pregnancy, it could be that he was just excited about being a grandparent and wanted to remind you of good feelings you had w/him as your father.

As for a grandparent’s moral rights — my ex-in-laws were cut off from their first grandchild for the first year of her life.  They didn’t see her until she was 13 months old.  They were good people and got into a miscommunication w/their daughter (whom I believe is mentally ill) and she completely shut them out.  It almost destroyed them.  They aged so much in that first year.  Now look, I don’t want to say you HAVE to let your dad be part of your child’s life — it sounds like he has been really awful and that YOU are in the right by not having him as a major part of your life.  However, if you think you can handle it, small and supervised visits would probably be good for your child, your dad, and you.  I’ve also known of people who were terrrrrrrible parents and then very doting and loving grandparents. 

But I think we’re assuming a lot here.  Your dad has to prove himself.  Take it slow and see where you get. 

Good luck to you and congrats on your pregnancy!

Post # 7
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Zero rights. 

My husband has a half sister (same dad) who is estranged from her dad as of age 18 (she’s late 40s). We do separate Christmases because she doesn’t want her daughters to know their grandpa. We respect it and know it is a mother’s job to protect her kids. His actions led to this, not hers.

Post # 8
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

It sounds to me like your dad has a war with your mother.  I have been dealing with that since I was 6.  I think as an adult it is important to separate yourself from the way person A (in a family) treats person B.  You are person C, and I think in a complicated family you need to give person A and person B a chance to be their own person in your life.  You dad DOES want to be a grandparent from what I can tell and it sounds like a war between your mom and dad that I would stay out of. 

ETA: at first I thought your dad sending that stuff meant that he was showing that he still had that stuff- so he DID care.  (My parents don’t have any of that stuff and I would be touched if they did!)  Is it possible you do not know his intentions behind that package to your mom?  Again, either way- it was to her, not you.

Post # 9
979 posts
Busy bee

Grandparents have absolutely no rights.  They need to earn it, BUT YOU ALSO need to be the bigger person

I’m divorced. My dad is livid about the choices I’ve made. He chose sides, not mine. But that didn’t stop me from dropping my kids off to visit him for a few hours a few times a week.  Sometims you just need to suck it up and be the bigger person.  

Post # 11
2226 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@Soonsoon:  I would say NO rights.  I haven’t spoken to my dad in over 3 years and haven’t even felt the need to let him know I’m pregnant.  I’ve even gone as far as to swear my siblings to secrecy about my pregnancy.  He had a falling out with me and my brother at the same time and only wanted something to do with my brother after my brother’s son was born.  I don’t want the same thing to happen to me.  My son will have grandparents who love me and love him and want to be active, positive participants in his life.  Anyone else is just drama that a child doesn’t need. 

I can’t say that I blame you for the letter.  But, as PP have suggested, maybe he meant well?  But, I tend to thing the most negative with my crap dad, so I totally understand your reaction.

Post # 12
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Depends on the State but generally parents have the right to decide whether their children will have a relationship with their grandparents (except when the parent is abusing or neglecting the child and the grandparents are seeking custody.)

Post # 13
1626 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Absolutely none.

I really think it is your right, and responsibility, to only expose your child to people who you think will be positive influences in life, you do not owe your father a relationship with your child. 

Post # 14
920 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@bearlove:  Agreed!  If he wants to be a part of you and your families lives then he needs to earn it!  You are not going to go out of your way to fix a relationship that he ruined.   When he really starts trying to be a dad and grandpa (aknowledging he was wrong, sending cards and gifts for holidays, etc etc) , he can have dad and grandpa rights!

Post # 15
2652 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Catholic Church

My grandfather cheated on my grandmother several years before I was born. My father cut him out of his life completely for a long time and though we did meet him once or twice when we were younger (6 or 7ish) he ended up being cut out again. In recent years he’s been trying to make ammends and Dad sees him about once a month and often takes some of my sibs with him. He buys us presents every year for Christmas. He is NEVER invited around when Grandma will be there though and he is never mentioned in her presence. She has always been there for us and she gets rights when he does not. EX. She was invited to the wedding and he was not. She is invited over for holidays and he is not.

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