What is the chance for this man to get his kids back?

This happens to a family member who confided in me. My cousin lost his wife in an accident when she was abroad. He felt terribly guilty, because he was supposed to go with her, but cancelled due to work. They had twin toddlers, but he was so depressed that he could not care for them, and let his parents-in-law take... show more This happens to a family member who confided in me. My cousin lost his wife in an accident when she was abroad. He felt terribly guilty, because he was supposed to go with her, but cancelled due to work. They had twin toddlers, but he was so depressed that he could not care for them, and let his parents-in-law take the kids in, although he had never got along well with the in-laws.

To make a long story short, what was originally supposed to be a temporary arrangement has developed into a permanent thing (2 years), and the parents-in-law are reluctant to let the kids live with him. He never feels welcomed while visiting. Last Christmas, the parents-in-law whisked the children away for an extended holiday without telling him.

The thoughts of taking this to court exhausts my cousin, and he thinks he will lose anyway because, although he's working, has a good income and his own place, he's still on anti-depressant and prone to mental breakdown. Sometimes he feels inadequate to care for the kids, and feels that they're better off with the grandparents. However, being deprived of his children is also not doing him any good. The only member of his wife's family who has warmed up to him is the wife's twin brother, but even he thinks to let things as they are for the moment.

I'm not sure what advise I should give him. Should he take this to court? Is there a big chance that he'd lose? I feel like he's missing his own kid's childhood, and that the in-laws are behaving very badly!
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