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Block grandparents rights in case of death

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Gwinnett

Member
What is the name of your state? Atlanta, Georgia

My husband and I have 2 children, and we have been married 13 years. I was parented mostly by my grandma (who recently died), and can’t stand my natural mother, and she has threatened to take my child in past, and made plays to try to take my older child by falsely reporting abuse resulting in me leaving the state of Illinois (10 years ago). The state of Illinois decision was that it was unfounded (non indicated).

I have not spoken to her in 4 years. After the beginning of totally ignoring her, she filed a missing person report to find me, which was ridiculous. And I told the police, who came to my house that I never wanted to speak to her again.

It’s a long story, but we have barely been in contact since I was an adult, and her actions have resulted in me not wanting any contact, and I wouldn’t want my husband or children (or husband’s sister if we were to both die; like a car crash etc) to be forced to deal with someone who is volatile (and untrustworthy) in my opinion.

I am 35 (and in good health), but still in the case of my death is their a way that I can ensure that my birth mother does not have visitation of my children (who are 4 and 11). I have saved some texts that she has sent me that are pretty horrible. Does that help?
 
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Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
I am 35 (and in good health), but still in the case of my death is there a way that I can ensure that my birth mother does not have visitation of my children (who are 4 and 11). I have saved some texts that she has sent me that are pretty horrible. Does that help?
In Georgia, should you die before your husband does your husband will automatically get custody of the children. As for grandparent visitation in that situation Georgia Code § 19-7-3(d) states:

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section, if one of the parents of a minor child dies, is incapacitated, or is incarcerated, the court may award the parent of the deceased, incapacitated, or incarcerated parent of such minor child reasonable visitation to such child during his or her minority if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation would be in the best interests of the child. The custodial parent's judgment as to the best interests of the child regarding visitation shall be given deference by the court but shall not be conclusive.
So the court would generally defer to your husbands decisions regarding visitation but the court could still grant it anyway if the judge somehow determined it would be in the child's best interests. That's especially unlikely when there isn't any significant history of contact between your kids and their grandmother. But you might arm your husband with something in writing from you stating your clear preference, too, that your mother not get any visitation. If you give reasons for it, focus on the effect on the children as that is what the court will focus on. Your own feelings about your mother aren't all that relevant. You might also seek advice from a Georgia family law attorney for other ideas on what might be done to ensure the door is closed on any visitation by your mother.
 

Gwinnett

Member
In Georgia, should you die before your husband does your husband will automatically get custody of the children. As for grandparent visitation in that situation Georgia Code § 19-7-3(d) states:

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section, if one of the parents of a minor child dies, is incapacitated, or is incarcerated, the court may award the parent of the deceased, incapacitated, or incarcerated parent of such minor child reasonable visitation to such child during his or her minority if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation would be in the best interests of the child. The custodial parent's judgment as to the best interests of the child regarding visitation shall be given deference by the court but shall not be conclusive.
So the court would generally defer to your husbands decisions regarding visitation but the court could still grant it anyway if the judge somehow determined it would be in the child's best interests. That's especially unlikely when there isn't any significant history of contact between your kids and their grandmother. But you might arm your husband with something in writing from you stating your clear preference, too, that your mother not get any visitation. If you give reasons for it, focus on the effect on the children as that is what the court will focus on. Your own feelings about your mother aren't all that relevant. You might also seek advice from a Georgia family law attorney for other ideas on what might be done to ensure the door is closed on any visitation by your mother.
Thanks for your input.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Atlanta, Georgia

My husband and I have 2 children, and we have been married 13 years. I was parented mostly by my grandma (who recently died), and can’t stand my natural mother, and she has threatened to take my child in past, and made plays to try to take my older child by falsely reporting abuse resulting in me leaving the state of Illinois (10 years ago). The state of Illinois decision was that it was unfounded (non indicated).

I have not spoken to her in 4 years. After the beginning of totally ignoring her, she filed a missing person report to find me, which was ridiculous. And I told the police, who came to my house that I never wanted to speak to her again.

It’s a long story, but we have barely been in contact since I was an adult, and her actions have resulted in me not wanting any contact, and I wouldn’t want my husband or children (or husband’s sister if we were to both die; like a car crash etc) to be forced to deal with someone who is volatile (and untrustworthy) in my opinion.

I am 35 (and in good health), but still in the case of my death is their a way that I can ensure that my birth mother does not have visitation of my children (who are 4 and 11). I have saved some texts that she has sent me that are pretty horrible. Does that help?
I pretty much agree with the other response that you received. Your mother would have standing to bring a suit forward, but she won't be able to prove that she has a pre-existing relationship with the children that needs to be protected, so it would be difficult for a judge to grant her visitation over the wishes of your husband.

I do agree however, that something clear cut, in writing from you (and it wouldn't hurt to have it notarized) outlining the reasons why you don't want your mother to have any contact with the children, would be a very good idea. I disagree a little bit with the previous poster however about your feelings about your mother. The things that she has done to you are relevant as to why you don't want her to have contact with your children. Therefore your history with her is relevant. You simply have to express that history in terms of what you think is bad for your children.
 

Gwinnett

Member
In Georgia, should you die before your husband does your husband will automatically get custody of the children. As for grandparent visitation in that situation Georgia Code § 19-7-3(d) states:

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section, if one of the parents of a minor child dies, is incapacitated, or is incarcerated, the court may award the parent of the deceased, incapacitated, or incarcerated parent of such minor child reasonable visitation to such child during his or her minority if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation would be in the best interests of the child. The custodial parent's judgment as to the best interests of the child regarding visitation shall be given deference by the court but shall not be conclusive.
So the court would generally defer to your husbands decisions regarding visitation but the court could still grant it anyway if the judge somehow determined it would be in the child's best interests. That's especially unlikely when there isn't any significant history of contact between your kids and their grandmother. But you might arm your husband with something in writing from you stating your clear preference, too, that your mother not get any visitation. If you give reasons for it, focus on the effect on the children as that is what the court will focus on. Your own feelings about your mother aren't all that relevant. You might also seek advice from a Georgia family law attorney for other ideas on what might be done to ensure the door is closed on any visitation by your mother.

I’ve just given up. I tried, and tried, and
I pretty much agree with the other response that you received. Your mother would have standing to bring a suit forward, but she won't be able to prove that she has a pre-existing relationship with the children that needs to be protected, so it would be difficult for a judge to grant her visitation over the wishes of your husband.

I do agree however, that something clear cut, in writing from you (and it wouldn't hurt to have it notarized) outlining the reasons why you don't want your mother to have any contact with the children, would be a very good idea. I disagree a little bit with the previous poster however about your feelings about your mother. The things that she has done to you are relevant as to why you don't want her to have contact with your children. Therefore your history with her is relevant. You simply have to express that history in terms of what you think is bad for your children.
Thanks for your clarification. The main reason that I don’t want her in my children’s lives or my life is I think that she has a destructive effect on people in their lives. She does not listen or respect boundaries and acts a destructive force for anyone who lets her, like a vampire.

She also does not take responsibility for anything. She steals and denies it, and then tries to blame someone else, she goes to jail and blames everyone else, she drinks and drives, she is the biggest victim of everything.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
I disagree a little bit with the previous poster however about your feelings about your mother. The things that she has done to you are relevant as to why you don't want her to have contact with your children. Therefore your history with her is relevant. You simply have to express that history in terms of what you think is bad for your children.
I did not say that her experience with her mother is not relevant; to the extent it reflects how the grandmother might treat her grandchildren that is of course relevant. What is not relevant is the OP's feelings about her mother. That is, a statement like "I hate my mother and never want her to see my kids" isn't helpful and should be avoided since that may make it easier for the judge to dismiss the concerns in the statement as simply bias or ill will against the mother. You want to focus on the problems that the grandmother would cause the grandchildren.
 

Gwinnett

Member
I did not say that her experience with her mother is not relevant; to the extent it reflects how the grandmother might treat her grandchildren that is of course relevant. What is not relevant is the OP's feelings about her mother. That is, a statement like "I hate my mother and never want her to see my kids" isn't helpful and should be avoided since that may make it easier for the judge to dismiss the concerns in the statement as simply bias or ill will against the mother. You want to focus on the problems that the grandmother would cause the grandchildren.
Thank you. I’ll try to write it in outlining points and facts instead of feelings.
 

Gwinnett

Member
On the off chance that both of you pass at once, you should have a list of people, in order of preference, that you would like to have guardianship of the children.
We filled out a will template that we got from a Financial Peace class in 2010 and just amended it to add our daughter when she was born.
 

bcr229

Active Member
We filled out a will template that we got from a Financial Peace class in 2010 and just amended it to add our daughter when she was born.
My mother filled out one of those before she passed away, but her signature wasn't witnessed properly so the state declared it invalid and she died intestate as a result. Ensuring that your child(ren) have the specific guardian that you designate is important enough to have an attorney draft the your Wills for you and your husband, especially if you think your mother will make trouble.
 

Gwinnett

Member
My mother filled out one of those before she passed away, but her signature wasn't witnessed properly so the state declared it invalid and she died intestate as a result. Ensuring that your child(ren) have the specific guardian that you designate is important enough to have an attorney draft the your Wills for you and your husband, especially if you think your mother will make trouble.
I am so sorry to hear that. It sounds so stressful and frustrating!

That’s my husband’s point. We can afford a proper will, and should. My point is that it’s unlikely that we will die when they are minors, and if we do we have the template filled out at least.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
I am so sorry to hear that. It sounds so stressful and frustrating!

That’s my husband’s point. We can afford a proper will, and should. My point is that it’s unlikely that we will die when they are minors, and if we do we have the template filled out at least.
When my daughter was a toddler, a Mom in a local playground and her husband died in a plane crash. Ironically, they were on the way to routine follow up visit after the husband's successful cancer treatments.

A judge decided where the 4 year old twins would live.

The template is not enough, not when you KNOW that your mother will try and put her name forward as someone appropriate.
 

286CSO

Member
I am so sorry to hear that. It sounds so stressful and frustrating!

That’s my husband’s point. We can afford a proper will, and should. My point is that it’s unlikely that we will die when they are minors, and if we do we have the template filled out at least.
You can keep saying how unlikely it is that you both will die before you children reach their majority, and the rest of us can tell you over an over about cases we have Actually Witnessed where just that happened.

This is the why for obtaining an actual legal document vs having some sort of template.

Grandparents could simple argue that your template was merely a classroom exercise that carries no legal weight. (And at least half of that claim is correct. A good attorney could make the other half quite convincing. )

I wouldn’t—and didn’t—hinge my children’s future on an “it’s unlikely”.
 

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