Our son and daughter-in-law have lived appart in different states several years, but are not divorced. She is in Florida; he is in Colorado. She continues to dangle the possibility of reconciliation at him, but won't allow him to talk with or see his children. She says this is because her mother, who supports her and the children financially -- according to her beliefs -- won't allow it. No contact for him 'til he can support them in the same manner she does -- which is not possible, but I'm not sure he sees that part of "the deal" clearly.
Our relationship with our daughter-in-law and grandchildren, however, had been good, with lots of trips and visits (always paid for by us) and frequent communication. She and the children were also close with our other daughters and their families here in Colorado.
Then suddenly, last May, she stopped answering/returning phone calls and emails, nor have there been responses to gifts and letters sent. Checks sent as gifts have not been cashed. She took her myspace page "private" after we tried contacting her there. Attempts to contact her father, with whom she lives, have also been ignored -- or screened. Our son refuses to get involved because nothing is different as far as he is concerned -- and he believes her mother has just extended the "no contact" rule to us.
We believe this whole "my mom" thing is a sham, but the only clue we have to why she is doing this is a suggestion by our attorney here that Florida law may allow her to petition for divorce and termination of parental rights via public notice if she doesn't know where her husband and the children's father is. Which is absolutely not true, but perhaps a "logical" reason she has broken off all contact with our family.
Another strange possibility is that she has gone off the deep end, and God has told her to do this -- although I have no clue why She would. The last email from her in April told me she had "turned her life over to God." She has never shown particularly strong conservative convictions, but her mother is a fundamentalist. And our Grandson is enrolled in a Christian school -- very expensive, but also pretty fundamentalist, I believe. He told his cousin she was going to hell because she had not been baptized.
I have contacted an attorney in Florida who was referred by a frien, and another answer-your-question legal site. The attorney did not return my 2 emails or a phone calls. I was notified my question to the service "expired" before anyone answered it.
This doesn't seem to be a situation of interest -- possibly because there is no divorce, and our daughter-in-law does have the right to control our family's access to the children. I would appreciate knowing this for a fact, however -- or advice on how to tackle the situation in a manner that won't tolally alienate our daughter-in-law who truly is in charge; or our son who chooses to believe things will all be "ok" once she gets out from under her mother's control.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.