Nearly over

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Nearly over

Post by lilyjo777 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:27 pm

After over 3 years wew are near the end of a custody case. I have a ro for my gd but dad wants gd to live with him. In 2 weeks we have the final hearing. Even though the guardian agrees that gd should stay with us i know that gd will go to live with dad( our age my past illnesses and fathers rights } i know i have no chance. I am so nervous in court. I have been loads of times but i have never been cross examined. I am so frightened. I know i will let everyone down. We have a 2 day hearing .Please can anyone let me know what to expevct. If i do have to hand my gd over will i have to do nit straight away. I know dad will make it difficult for me to see gd again even if it is court ordered

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Re: Nearly over

Post by nanaJ » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:48 am

I agree with Irene, it is not as cut and dried as you think. You sound very low. I understand all about preparing yourself.

There was a case last year where a grandmother lost her residence order relating to her grandson, went to appeal and lost. It then went to the Supreme Court and won. The basis for this, as I understand it, was that the childs' rights take precedence over the father's and the lower courts erred in this regard. The child remained with the grandmother.

This set an important precedent. It is on the Family Law Week site under the judgements section UKSC reB. You will have to have a look through.

The guardian's support carries a lot of weight. You don't say how old your granddaughter is and whether she is old enough to be asked her views. Also, as Irene says, why did you get an RO in the first place. All cases are different, but you sound battle weary.

I wish you the best.

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Re: Nearly over

Post by babylove » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:22 am

hi lillyjo, what you have to remember is this, just because dad wants does not mean dad will get. i too was absolutely petrified my g/c was going to go back to mum just because she wanted them back, but i boxed very dirty and dragged up every bit of dirt i could find (facebook) and gave it to the guardian and mentioned that i thought their money played a big part in her wanting them back. also you have had ro for 3 yrs and unless he has PROVED he has turned his life around considerably then i really think you are in with a good chance of keeping gd.

also i do know where your coming from in that he will make life difficult for you to see her, and i also said that to the sw saying if i cant see them how will i know they are being looked after.

good luck xxxx

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Robin D
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Re: Nearly over

Post by Robin D » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:42 am

in addition to the sound advice given so far, could I specifically try to answer your two questions.
quote:If I do have to hand my gd over will I have to do it straight away. This is extremely unlikely and should only happen if the child was deemed to be at immediate risk. If the court does agree that the your GD should return to Dad, it would expect the parties to come up with a transition plan and this would have to gain the blessing of the guardian as well as the judge. It's recognised that moving home is a traumatic experience for any child and the welfare of the child at the centre of this should be paramount. The court will be mindful of the the recent Supreme Court ruling as indicated by NanaJ so I suspect you are worrying unnecessarily.
quote:We have a 2 day hearing. Please can anyone let me know what to expect.Lots of waiting about and talking between parties and professionals before the case even gets in the court room. Ridiculous proposals from Dad's side that have to be put to you. Don't be afraid to say no.More waiting about. Once in court, I'm assuming you are a party so you will sit through the whole proceedings with your legal team if you have one. The order in witnesses are to be called should already have been agreed. When its your turn, you will be ask to take the oath. Your legal representative will than ask you questions that are designed to help the judge form an opinion about you but also to highlight the key points of your case and anything that has been queried from your statement(s). The representatives of all teh other parties have the right to cross examine you, but this is not like the American TV shows. They should be very polite and judges in family cases will step in and stop any harassment. Quite often, the judge might ask a question or two as well. Just try to relax (easier said than done I know) and always tell the truth as you see it. You can ask for a break if you need it, and while technically its down to the judge, I've never known one refuse. It will seem like a lifetime but you are unlikely to be giving evidence for more than a few minutes. Listen very carefully to the evidence given by others and write down anything quickly that is wrong or you disagree with and that your representative does not know. Pass this to them before they cross examine.Be prepared for possible adjournments with more waiting about. The judge may ask the parties to discuss a particular aspect out of court. If the judge can get the parties to agree, then its much better than forcing a decision on the family. More waiting about. (Do you get the picture? )Final decision. I hope this helps. Make sure you spend plenty of quality time with your granddaughter between now and then. Not because you expect to lose her, but because she will have picked up the stress of all this and will need your love and comfort. Also if you are "doing thing's" it will take your mind off worrying. Remember to only worry about the things you can affect or change. Worrying about things where you have no influence whatsoever is just a total waste of valuable energy. If you have faith, this may help.

Don't forget to post back and tell us how it went.

Best wishes and good luck. Robin

Grandparent carer in Suffolk [:)]
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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Help 1870
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Re: Nearly over

Post by Help 1870 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:07 pm

Lillyjo, this is the case that nanaj was talking about, Have a look at it and pass the details on to your legal adviser.

The crux of the case was, residence was transferred from the grandmother to the biological father. Grandmother apealed and the court decided the original decision was wrong in that the childs welfare was of paramount consideration.

Mitigating factors in this case were that the childs current stability could be threatened if the bond with the grandmother were broken and that the fathers curcumstances were new and therefore untested.

old bear
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Re: Nearly over

Post by old bear » Tue May 03, 2011 6:24 pm

hi lilyjo,
may i add a small word to the very good advice everyone has offered? = i'm not sure why you're so fearful that you have no chance and that gd will go to live with dad, but you could make a short list of all the things you know are on your side, eg "the guardian agrees ... shoul stay with us" ~ and whenever you get a panicky moment look at the list and read it over to yourself ~ also before you go to bed each night.
= i completely understand the nerves about court. you need a strategy. taking a deep breath before opening your mouth (even to your own "side") increases the oxygen going to your brain, which helps your brain to work better ~ helps keep you calm ~ and gives you a moment to think before answering. you could start practising now ~ eg: granddaughter asks for a cup of milk ~ you take a deep breath before answering.
= it's probably worth making a visit to the court in advance (even if you have been "loads of times"). when you get there ask to speak to the clerk of the court, tell her/him you're very nervous and would like to sit in a courtroom and watch. that gives you one stress-free visit to court, so when you go for real it'll all be that little bit more familiar.
= and finally, makea quick calculation of how many people read this site ~ we are ALL right behind you. so on the day, please imagine us all literally sitting behind you, giving you thumbs up and sending you our strength.
all my best wishes ~ and strength on the day, from old bear

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Re: Nearly over

Post by lilyjo777 » Tue May 03, 2011 10:57 pm

Hi Everyone Sorry i have not replied earlier been a bit down the last few days. GD been with me along with her brother for 3 and half years since their mum died.She was 3 weeks old at the tima nd her brother was 14.I was given a residence order for GD because dad had drimk and drug problems ( children have different dads) Dad does have regular contact. He still drinks and smokes cannabis .He admits to drinking 20 t0 30 pints a week. The guardians made 2 reports for the final hearing stating that it is in gd best interest to stay with us with staying contact with dad. I have a few problems in the past health wise and a violent ex husband. I am well now ( except for the odd twinge) i have been remarried for 18 years to a good man. Dad is saying that at 59 i am too old to look after a toddler.He himself is in his late forties and as hep c because of his drug taking/ My solicitor told my husband that we had nothing to worry about we had nothing to prove but dad had to convince the court that he was better placed to look after gd. Still i am convinced that she will go to live with dad and that we will never see her again .He will make it so hard for us.I have read the case you mentioned and i have downloaded it for my solicitor and also for the barrister. I am trying to stay positive but it is so hard. We have done so much over the bank holiday with the children just in case. Thank you for caring and for your advice. i am in court for the final hearing 11th and 12th of may. I will let you know the outcome.

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Re: Nearly over

Post by Kate » Wed May 04, 2011 2:28 am

lilyjo, I'm so sorry you're feeling so worn down and convinced your g/d will go to live with her dad. Reading your latest post it really doesn't sound as if this is going to happen. The dad has his own serious health issues with Hep C, and he still smokes cannabis and drinks a lot (admittely I've learned to be cynical but I'd say he's almost certainly giving an underestimate of the amount he drinks each week and any professional should know this is likely)

You, on the other hand, have been married to a good man for 18 years, you have had some health problems, but so do many of us, and you are no older than many of us here when we took on care of our young grandchildren. Our g/d came to us aged 1, when we were 57. She's now a very lively six-yr old, happy, healthy and thriving despite our age and my own health problems. I'm sure your little g/d is also happy and thriving with you, and I truly can't imagine a court removing her from you, when she has only ever known life in your loving care, to place her with a father who has never had care of her and who is far from being drug-free and sober from the sound of it.

You naturally fear the worst because you love your g/d so dearly, but from the outside it seems to me it is your fear which is making you feel so hopeless.

I like old bear's advice to imagine all of us here behind you in court, supporting you and giving you strength. Hang in there.

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David Roth
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Re: Nearly over

Post by David Roth » Wed May 04, 2011 9:55 am

lilyjo, the court's decision will be based on what is best for the welfare of the child. This is a child who has been living with you for three and a half years, since she was three weeks old. Living with you is all she knows. Judges are well aware of the importance of bonding and attachments to children. There would have to be a very good reason for disrupting this little girl's life and removing her from your care.

Going to court is a difficult experience. I can understand anybody feeling nervous before a court case. But the experience of most of the family and friends carers here is that the courts do reach sensible decisions which are in the best interests of the child.

David R
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David Roth
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Re: Nearly over

Post by fatcat » Wed May 04, 2011 7:25 pm


the No Order principle means that not only has father got to prove that he can can for this child, he has to prove that he can do a better job than you, and i doubt that he can, from what you say.

No order can be made unless the court blieves that it would improve the child's current situation.

the guardian is the strongest voice in the courtroom, and is on your side, so please don't be despondent, stay strong, and i think that i speak for the forum when i say that our thoughts and prayers are with you.


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