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Topic: Son & DIL Seperating Slowly

30 posts, 0 answered
  1. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    21 November 2019
    My son has decided to seperate from his wife of a year. They have two small boys under 3 My son came to me with a heavy heart telling me he couldn't keep going to work coming home cleaning the house and taking care of both boys. I know being a stay at home is a big job but not even the basics are getting done. When I visited the kids are dirty and running around with very little supervision. I have always been scared for their safety.....I have never said a word about it to my DIL because I don't want to interfere. Anyway when my son said he was leaving her she tried to harm him and told him he would never see his children again. The Police became involved and put a Domestic Violence Order in place against my DIL. . It's a big long background story but what I'm trying to get too is my son is trying to seperate nicely by dropping in to see the boys every day after work, teaching her to cook, driving her to appointments etc. I understand his motivation ....he wants the boys not to be traumatised and wants to go through mediation rather than a big court case. All this would be fine except my DIL has mental health issues and is a self confessed every day pot user. When she is at her worst she lashes out at people and it makes it hard to reason with her. To be quite honest I am worried for the safety of my Grandchildren and my son. My son says leave it to him. He can handle everything. So I have tried to stay out of it but it's very stressful. Has anyone else been through a similar situation?
  2. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    2076 posts
    21 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hi welcome

    Yes, I’ve been in a very similar situation. I worked 3 jobs including shift work so she could be a stay at home mum, changednappies more often than her and I cooked the meals. It lasted 11 years then I had to leave.

    So my advice for you? Stay clear of the issues. Continue to be a doting grandma and semi friend to your DIL. Your son is an adult and things will get complicated for him if you interfere.

    You are a grandma, stick to that or you’ll lose them.

    My mother lost me,her daughter and 3 grandchildren over her persistence in getting involved in issues that didn’t need her involvement

    All the best.

    TonyWK

  3. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    21 November 2019 in reply to white knight
    Thanks for your advice. I have tried to stay out of it but I am so concerned for my Grandchildrens welfare that I am having major Anxiety attacks. I am not actually sure they are safe and well taken care of in this transition period.
  4. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    1339 posts
    21 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    Welcome, I'm tempted to go along with TonyWK who offers pretty good advice and says leave things to your son, that getting involved may make thngs worse, and being a haven of safty and calm for not only your son but you grandchildren too is immensely valuable.

    I would go further however and suggest you and contact professionals that are used to this sort of situation. For example Relationships Australia have a post-separation section that may well be able to offer useful advice from things you can do though to what might be done to improve your DIL's mental health.

    Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277

    I'd suggest you ring them and see if that can offer anything or alternately suggest a service in your area that can.

    Your own conditon is important, it is not a question of trying to put up with it. Having major anxiety attacks, as I personally know, are horrible, distort one's thinking and decision making, have worrying physical effects and make live very hard. May I suggest you see your GP in a long consultation and describe these attacks in detail, and also what is happening in your life.

    You need the strenght to provide that oasis of calm.

    I would hope you will return and keep saying how you are going

    Croix

  5. geoff
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    22 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hello FeathersnFluff, thank you for posting your comment and as Tony and Croix have said, it's much better that you as a grandparent not get too involved, probably not what you want to hear, but not at the moment, your son and DIL have to sort it out themselves for the moment.

    Being a daily pot user is not a good sight for the 2 young boys, as it's not legalised in most parts of Aus. and may encourage them unfavourably.

    There are many changes we'd like to make as a grandparent, but only in certain circumstances and depending on the situation, it's no different than when we were kids and our grandparents kept telling what to do, contrary to our parents, and it will keep going on.

    This won't stop you talking to your son, but I would stay clear of you DIL.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Juliet_84
    Juliet_84 avatar
    291 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff
    Hi FeathersnFluff,
    I’m so sorry to hear that your family is going through some turmoil right now, particularly as you have two small grandsons involved. As hard as it can be to stay on the sidelines, your son is right in this instance, it is best left to him to sort out. I remember when my ex-partners parents got involved in our relationship and it was incredibly hurtful because their son was actually a domestic violence perpetrator. They were always so blindly on his side and he had obviously told them a completely different story, and I just stood there thinking “if only you knew” but of course I kept that secret. I’m not suggesting that is occurring in this instance, rather that nobody outside a relationship can really know exactly what goes on inside a relationship. As a parent you can know your sons experience, but there is a lot that goes on behind closed doors. You may not agree with the person that your son has chosen to marry, but the reality is that he saw her fit to be the mother of his children and that is not going to change. I agree with the others on this one, no good can come from interfering, if anything you may just lose access to your grandchildren, which would be unimaginably terrible. You can be there as a support for your son and your grandsons, but I would leave it at that.
  7. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to Juliet_84

    Thank you everyone. I am definitely trying to stay out of the situation. Of course my son does talk to me and I try to guide him when he asked. Both my husband and myself have a very good family Doctor that we have had for years. He also has treated our son and his children and recently my DIL. He has now made a professional choice to no longer treat my DIL as he sees it as a conflict of interest. He is strongly recommending that we advise our son to remove the children from the house and that he seek full custody. We have explained that is not how our son wants to conduct his seperation and we are backing our son's decision. Our Doctor having this opinion that the children are at risk of harm due to inattentive parenting isn't helping my anxiety.

    Geoff you said stay clear of my DIL. I have actually had to go no contact because the last text she sent to me she called me an alcoholic pill popping Granny then went on to accuse me of "doing something" to my eldest Grandson when he was little. ....it made me physically sick.

    My DIL was sexually abused and neglected as a child. I have spent the last two years tryingto listen to her and help her. She set up a Mental Health Plan but has never followed through even with lots of encouragement from my son. I fear we will never be able to have a civil relationship because she lashes out at people when she is unhappy.

  8. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Our son has also been asking for financial help to pay for the home our DIL and Grandchildren live in. He works hard in a manual job and is not highly paid. In fact our DIL receives $1700 per ft in Government Benefits.

    My husband is a DVA Service Pensioner and we are on a fixed income.

    We want the children to have stability while they sort this mess out but giving our son $250 per week is starting to hurt a little. ....do we back off with the financial help to let them run their own race or keep helping?

  9. geoff
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    22 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hello FeathersnFluff, thank you for getting back to us, and a couple of comments you have made, I do feel so sad that this has happened, as I'm sure you tried your hardest in every way possible to listen and help your DIL through what she had to cope with, only to no avail.

    Your doctor understands what is happening, and if can agree with him, not that I'm qualified to say, but if I was your friend that's exactly what I'd say.

    I'm about your age and I would be horrified if this was happening and feel so sorry for you.

    If you can please get back to us at any time that suits you.

    Take Care.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  10. white knight
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    22 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hi again,

    I think it might be inappropriate for a GP to make judgements on a custodial situation where the law courts are the judiciary.

    You didn’t mention your DIL’s exchange of abusive names in your original post, such information would be important in terms of seeking advice on what relationship you can have with her.

    You said you are “backing your sons decision” well it has been suggested it’s best to stay out of conflicts and that will allow better chance of you maintaining contact with your grandkids which ,as it stands is on shaky ground.

    As for your DIL’s income that figure, is her financial entitlement and your son, as I did for 14 years has to pay child support. You are not bound to help out, if you do it’s your decision. He might have to seek a second job or even a third as many dads do.

    regards

    TonyWK

  11. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to white knight

    Thank you for your understanding Geoff....you recognize my vulnerability.

    Tony my son has been diagnosed with PTSD from an attempt on his life when he was younger. He is now only 24. I do support him in his choices regardless of what I think. ...I especially try not to put him under any undue stress. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep one job in these times where everyone is only put on casual and put off at leisure let alone have two or three jobs. And while he is doing these two or three jobs how does he pop in to check that his boys are safe and doing well. I am sorry but you have a very hard nosed attitude that is not helpful. I KNOW I have to stay out of the situation and that is what I am doing. I really don't need you to tell me time and time again. I am sorry but you come across as an ex member of the legal fraternity rather than someone who can help guide me kindly through this difficult time.

  12. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to white knight
    BTW Tony when I said I was backing my son's decision I meant I was backing his choice to sort things out on his own without interference from family or outside agencies. You may have misunderstood me. I'm sorry if I made that sound confusing.
  13. white knight
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    22 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hi

    Im sorry you took my post as harsh. But we try to guide people on the information provided and a lot has been left out including your sons PTSD and suicide attempt.

    There are authorities available like Human Services that can visit your DIL to check up on your grandchildren’s welfare, your son can apply. As it stands once the custodial issues are dealt with by the courts he would have to have documented details of how she was an unfit mother by such authorities before her custody rights were taken away. Anyone saying the kids were “dirty and poorly supervised “ will not be good enough. Based on the possibility she has sole custody by the courts he would not see his boys for up to 12 days a fortnight. Hence the need for him to ask authorities to do a check on his sons welfare.

    Im stating the facts here, not trying to upset you or mislead you by saying things that won’t help with the situation.

    I hope your son is ok

    TonyWK

  14. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to white knight

    Thank you for responding Tony.

    My son did not try to commit suicide someone attempted to harm him. He is a strong young man and sees a Psychiatrist regularly which helps. Human Services do not have facilities for drop ins unfortunately. I know because I worked for them for 16 years before my retirement. Child Services will not attend to check on children simply because they are dirty and poorly supervised which is why my son drops in every day. Child Services are struggling to keep up with many horrific cases of neglect and abuse due to lack of staffing. My husband's Psychiatrist he sees for his Service Related PTSD suggested we contact them but we are practical people and know that would only inflame matters.

    I am afraid we just have to sit back and let it all play out. Our son has chosen mediation rather than the judicial system to improve his chances of seeing the boys he loves so much regularly and we understand his choice. I came to this Forum just to voice my concerns and pain.

  15. Juliet_84
    Juliet_84 avatar
    291 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hi FeathersnFluff,

    I’m sorry that you didn’t get the support that you were looking for in this situation. We understand that you are under a great deal of stress at the moment but I know I speak for everyone on this forum when I say that we try and offer the advice that we think is wise for the situation and best for you and that is our way of caring. We could take the easy option and agree with you that she is terrible and the children be removed from their mother etc. But I can’t imagine how traumatic that must be for a child if successful. And if not successful, you and your son could kiss goodbye to ever seeing them again. I think that you are definitely doing the right thing by supporting your son and his decision. By supporting him, you can offer him a place to stay (I’m not sure if he’s currently living with you), invite him over for dinner of a weeknight etc. I don’t think you should be required to pay $250 a week to keep a roof over their head. Realistically, the house will need to be sold in most instances of divorce, and both parties will need to downsize.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    23 November 2019 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi Juliet

    I don't want my Grandchildren removed from their Mother either. I know she loves them as much as my son. The last thing I want is for them to be traumatised. My Son was living with us but ended up moving out to live with a mate which turned out to be a good decision. He still pops in to visit. When he moved out he said he realised he was being unfair by coming home and ranting about his wife's actions to us and then expecting us to say nothing. ....a very mature observation for a 24 year old. This Forum has helped. I am now determined to be the calm spot in his life and help where I can and when I am asked to. Thanks to everyone for their different perspectives. Each post had points of merit in it to take away.

  17. Juliet_84
    Juliet_84 avatar
    291 posts
    23 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hi FeathersnFluff,

    That sounds like a very sound approach. It can be extremely difficult to remain impartial when you are hearing all of these horrible things, and that was a mature observation from your son. Now is understandably a very tense time for everyone but things do have a way of calming down and reaching an equilibrium over time. Feel free to pick this thread back up as you need or start a new one, people are always here to provide objective advice, which can be sometimes hard to find when you are amidst the chaos. I wish you and your family peace and love this holiday season.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. white knight
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    2076 posts
    23 November 2019 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi again

    Juliet made relevant comments.

    I feel your pain, I really do. I'd like you to consider an alternative to your situation which, I have to admit is not the natural thing you want to do, understandably.

    Being friends to your DIL is not working against your son. You can support your sons decisions and interests AND be friendly even friends with your DIL. Some people find that method easier than others. My ex girlfriend had this nack of doing just that, keeping in touch with the father of her grandchildren even though the couple had split up. That father would sometimes drop off his son to her when he couldnt find a baby sitter when he had access to him on a weekend.

    Such a relationship doesnt come easy but if you were to be able to get her confidence and keep your distance with talking about topics about her relationship with your son, the benefits will come like free access to your grandchild and your son would benefit also with seeing his child more regularly when and if access is legally limited say every second weekend if that happens.

    But, the real benefit will be for your grandchildren because very subtlety you can drop in and while you are there you can help her with tasks like a general clean up or help with the washing, or a few years time pick the kids up from kindy etc.

    It is something to consider for you. As you know and we all know going down the path of remaining disenchanted with your DIL wont actually change her for the better.

    I hope you are ok. Please keep in touch, as you can see there are several people talking here and many more reading

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  19. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    23 November 2019 in reply to white knight
    Thanks Tony. I in fact used to do all those things to help. Three times in the past year my DIL has lashed out and verbally attacked me with absolutely no provocation and refused access to our Grandchildren. Our son brought the boys over for a visit anyway as they were not separated at that stage. The last text my DIL sent me said I was an alcoholic pill popping Granny (no basis to these comments ) Then accused me of indecently dealing with our oldest Grandson when he was a baby. Those are the last words she spoke to me. I am emotionally tired at the moment. My son wants me to go nowhere near her because he said it would not end well. At this stage I don't have any reserves left to try yet again to patch things up. Sad because I embraced her into our family as a daughter trying to make up for her lonely abusive childhood. Maybe one day things will change. ...I am ever hopeful.
    1 person found this helpful
  20. geoff
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    24 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hello FeathersnFluff, I know you must be sick and tired from all of this, but it's not your fault, you have been doing all you can and the DIL can not be trusted and I will only get back to you if that's what you want.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  21. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    24 November 2019 in reply to geoff
    Thank you Geoff. I appreciate your concern. I am sure the road ahead will be a long one but we are a strong family and we will get there in the end. At least I know there are people here who care. I am sure I will pop in again 😊
    1 person found this helpful
  22. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    25 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    I'm sorry everyone that I am back on the Radar so soon. I had a terrible experience this afternoon. I had gone with my husband for him to have some stitches removed and whilst we were in his Office he warned us iur DIL was in the waiting room with both our Grandchildren. He cautioned us not to interact in any way when we left so as not to cause drama.

    Unfortunately both my husband and I glanced across and both boys were holding their hands out to us. The elder Grandson smiled widely and tried to run to my Husband and I but he was quickly yanked back by his Mother. His little face crumpled in tears and we had to just keep on walking. My Husband had tears in his eyes when we got to the car. Our son came for a visit yesterday hoping to bring the boys for a quick visit but our DIL would not allow it.

    Today was the first day of my son and his wife's Mediation sessions which my son has insisted on to keep things smoother for the boys and stay out of court. He told me it was a total failure because his wife became very hostile and negative and nothing was gained from the meeting. They have two more meetings yet so I am ever hopeful they can get a Parenting Plan in place.

    Just needed to vent. Feeling very emotionally damaged at the moment.

  23. white knight
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    25 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    I’ll never understand cruelty especially to children.

    i hope your son gets his rightful visitations in place so he can have uninterrupted time with his children and share them with you.

    life is tough. Perhaps you need a holiday and leave it all to mediation, lawyers and your son to sort and be supportive on the phone.

    Hook up a caravan!

    Seriously her behaviour is childish to say the least.

    TonyWK

  24. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    25 November 2019 in reply to white knight
    Thanks Tony. I wish we had the financialresources to disappear for a little while. ...it would be nice. It's obvious this seperation is going to be nasty so we will help him weather out the storm. The last thing he wants is nasty legal action to traumatise the boys. I have started keeping a diary from today that both boys might have when they are older. Photos of what we have done with them up until now and funny little things they did and said. Presents we have sent them and cards. If we can't see them just yet I want them to know how much we love and care about them.
  25. geoff
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    26 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hello FeathersnFluff, I'm so sorry, it's not a pleasant situation for you to be trying to cope with, and even if you did have the 'financial resources' to go away, your mind would still be thinking about the boys.

    Going away doesn't necessarily mean you won't be thinking of them.

    In your diary put some photos of you and your husband so in the future so they relay to their kids how kind you were but unable to see them because of-------

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful
  26. white knight
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    26 November 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Good idea. I would also encourage your son to keep a detailed diary of all interactions between her and also your experiences for any future court judgements.

    Just an off topic mention- My mother was of similar personality as your DIL. When I was a toddler she caused the split up of my father to his 6 siblings. We didnt see most of them throughout my childhood. Then with the tool of Facebook about 60 years later a cousin from one of those aunties contacted me. Her mother, one that was estranged was 92yo with failing health. My sister and I made the trip to Newcastle to visit her and what a grand lady she was. The next year she passed away and I read out a poem about how "59 years was too long". The gap between her seeing me and then.

    I have been estranged from mum for 9 years. She ruined my first wedding in 1985 then before marrying again in 2011 she threatened to ruin my wedding again. I even had to get a court order stopping her from attending the park where it would take place. She is 88yo now

    These are the extents people have to go to in order to have a peaceful life- removing them from our lives if possible.

    The mother of my children and I seperated and divorced when our girls were 7 and 4yo. That meant constant communication had to continue between us until the youngest was 18yo at which point I cut all contact with her. 14 years of mistreatment, nasty unwarranted friction. I was discouraged to go to parent and teacher nights (I went anyway), no slight changes to visitations (half an hour early not accepted) and so on just to get under my skin.

    Anyway yes, your son is in for a long traumatic time but he can rise against the odds with support from you both and say to himself "I'm going to be the best part time dad my kids will ever have" which I said to myself in 1996 as I drove away from the family home. A week beforehand I'd tried taking my life. However she brainwashes her children against their father and you will come back as karma.

    When my eldest reached 30yo just 2 years ago she got married. I wondered, had I taken my life who would have given her away? Then my daughter turned and said "thanks for being a great dad". My tears outnumbered everyone elses. I made it. Her biological mother wasnt there, my daughter had rejected her 12 years earlier for the same reasons. My wife is now "mum".

    And you Feathers- you and your husband are great parents.

    All the best

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  27. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    27 November 2019 in reply to white knight

    Oh my Tony. ....you really have been through it all!

    Thank you for disclosing so much personal information to me.....it must be hard to bring it all up again.

    My husband and I are trying to stay positive. I just know we will all be OK in the end. I still don't understand how people use children as pawns....it's not a game. Everybody looses when separation is handled this way.

    I just have this feeling that when our Grandsons are a little older and more lively our DIL will hand over Custody to our son. She already finds them inconvenient and feels they stop her from doing what she wants. I think she loves them but is sometimes emotionally bankrupt from her awful childhood.

    Such a lovely story from your daughters Wedding. Our son wants to be the best Dad he can without going to Court but I am afraid that is where it is heading. I'll tell him about keeping a Diary of his experiences so far.

    I am so pleased you found happiness in the end. It gives me hope.

    1 person found this helpful
  28. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    2 December 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Well my son popped in on the weekend feeling very positive after his last Mediation session. His wife seems to be coming around to the idea of him having custody every weekend and two weeks holiday per year with the boys. We were naturally happy because we would also be able to see the boys.

    Then...wham....he gets a last minute phone call while he's working that he needs to be in Court this morning. His wife who is the Respondent of a DVO placed by the Police, wants the DVO lifted. The Police statement also on a previous occasion she had succeeded in harming my son and was violent and abusive to the Police in attendance.

    I don't know how it will turn out but she is a flight risk. It's amazing to think that families are being dragged through all this rubbish every day all over Australia. The only benefit in this case is my son is trying to make sure he stays civil so the boys aren't affected. I think this is only the beginning of a very long process.

  29. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    2 December 2019 in reply to FeathersnFluff
    Is anyone out there?
  30. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    18 posts
    9 January 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony

    Well I did all the right things and took all the good advice I was given. I made sure that I made no contact with my DIL and my husband and i even chose to voluntarily not see our Grandchildren since the end of October to let our son get things sorted. Then wham my DIL filed a private DVO on me two weeks before Christmas stating that I had made continual death threats against her and sexually abused my 3 year old Grandson plus a pile of other accusations (all unfounded and with no proof whatsoever). So I found myself in Court yesterday defended by an excellent lawyer because I will not have those awful accusations hanging over my head. Naturally as part of that order I cannot see my Grandchildren at all. My Lawyer has asked the Court to proceed to trial as it is a vixacous and malicouse application to get even with my son and stop me from seeing the children. The hearing date is 29 April which seems so far away. I find myself feeling extremely depressed and sad. My husband has been really good during this time. Do you have any suggestions how to pick myself up and dust myself off and get on with things. Money worriesare also an issue as the whole process is going to cost $6000.

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