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Application for joint residency by grandparents

(9 Posts)
MyComplicatedLife Thu 29-Nov-12 10:11:27

Thank you Penelope and for the link. I supported a friend through a similar thing, so I do know a bit - that's probably why I feel so awful, after what she went through. We feel that the GPs will try to present DP as an unfit father (not that he's done ANYTHING wrong - he's amazing).

Just got to hang in there I guess.

PenelopePipPop Thu 29-Nov-12 09:13:54

I don't think you need to worry much about outcome. I doubt SS will just 'forget' about the children, and even if they do, CAFCASS will have to produce their report which will presumably find they are settled with their Dad which does not suggest a strong case for joint residency with GPs (although access might be appropriate but that is a wholly different issue and will prob need supervision). So put that fear on hold.

That leaves the process which is scary, because going to court is scary. Presumably your DP has already had to attend family court hearings but you have not? Family court hearings should not feel as intimidating to the participants as, say going to a civil hearing on rent arrears. The judges do know that everyone present feels very strong conflicting emotions about the case and they try and keep things very calm and ordered as a result. I can't find any good official resources on the Ministry of Justice or CAFCASS websites on what going to a family court hearing is like, but this blogpost from a family law firm is pretty accurate.

MyComplicatedLife Wed 28-Nov-12 20:38:33

Me neither Collaborate - have been googling all day.

It IS about control I think.

We are planning a lovely Christmas and of course the boys know nothing of what is going on. I just hope it all gets snuffed out and we can eventually come to an agreement.

Collaborate Wed 28-Nov-12 19:45:29

It seems all about control. TBH I've never heard of gpnts going for shared residence.

MyComplicatedLife Wed 28-Nov-12 19:39:01

The boys are settled in a new school they love. They have routines and boundaries - they never had that with their mum or grandparents. But I'm still terrified of the outcome. Court seems so scary to me and DP.

MyComplicatedLife Wed 28-Nov-12 19:35:33

Thank you both Penelope and Collaborate.

We have had a letter from Cafcass, that was the first communication. We have since heard from our solicitor a little more, that they have applied for joint residency on the grounds that they have been in the boys lives for some years and played a role in their upbringing. I am just so worried that SS will not put what they have said in their report for court. If they go back to their GP's house, there will be manipulation, swearing, emotional abuse and smacking. We HAVE to protect them.

PenelopePipPop Wed 28-Nov-12 13:57:31

Completely agree with Collaborate. Am a specialist mental health lawyer not family lawyer but see a lot of family law practice on the side. Honestly, the system is quite sensible and you should have some faith in it.

I take it the hearing in Jan is the first one and you haven't heard from CAFCASS - at that hearing the key thing will be whether the court decides to take things any further. They probably won't if there seems to be no justification for taking the case forward and the whole process will simply traumatise the children. If they do CAFCASS will need to work with the boys to work out what will be in their best interests. It really does not sound from what you are saying like they would ever find removing the boys from your care and placing them with the GPs will be in their best interests especially not if SS want contact supervised and the boys are settled with you. Obviously we don't know all the facts here but it seems monumentally unlikely.

So try not to feel sick. Focus on giving the boys a stable settled home and a lovely secure Christmas.

Collaborate Wed 28-Nov-12 13:29:04

On the basis of what you've posted they don't have a chance. Not only do SS say that contact should be supervised, but the slight shift towards more shared residence orders really only applies to parents, not grandparents.

MyComplicatedLife Wed 28-Nov-12 12:10:31

DP's parents have applied for joint residency of DS's (they are not my children).

The boys are classed as children in need due to a problem with their mother's ex-partner. DP has sole residency of them and we all live together. SS do not want the GPs to have unsupervised contact with the boys. They had a harmful effect on them when DP and DS's lived with them temporarily, then the GPs threw them out.

What are the implications if they are awarded joint residency? How can we fight this? We are trying to protect the children and have offered for the GPs to visit. Then they took it all to a solicitor and have now got Cafcas involved. Court hearing is set for January. We have a solicitor and really good SW who says not to worry, but I feel sick.

Can anyone help? Thanks

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