How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Leon Your Own Question
Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 42630
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
12124641
Type Your Australia Law Question Here...
Leon is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My question was too to send this way, can I email it

Customer Question

my question was too long to send this way, can I email it instead?
12 year old desperate to change living arrangement - I have written lengthy description to email to you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

You can email it to***@******.***

I may take 24 hours to get tome as it goes through Justanswer. I will respond once I receive it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i'll try attaching it in a word doc then - I need to get this asap
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

You have now made it public to the world to see

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
theres no personal info
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning

Are their court orders in place?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
consent orders 2012. as I said
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning

Are their court orders in place?

When you say the childs opinion to carry weight, I am very surprised.

What does the child want?

This is going to be a messy matter as you will have to go to court over it. The fact that you consented last time is not going to assist you.

Is there evidence about the issues you mention and is the child having any counselling and can the counsellor confirm that the childs behaviour is due to problems with the mother and lt would be in the childs best interests to be moved?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Child has attended a psychologist for a year, has expressed all her issues to the psychologist verbally and in writing which she allowed us all to read. Psychologist has tried explaining to the mother how the child feels and what she needs. Mother promised to listen to what child ie not being left in grandparents care, being able to properly attend her learning support program, being allowed to choose how much time she lives with each family., last year the mother said she could choose for herself when she turned 12. She reminded her mother the week of her 12th bday and was told she better not mention it again or she would be hit (said with a raised hand) Grandparents frequently tell child not to tell us the truth about the nasty way they treat her, and have bribed her with cash to keep it secret. A few occasions this year where the child has just needed to leave her mother's home to stay here where she feels safe and secure - with mothers permission.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Psychologist has said theres nothing she can really do in terms of making the mother understand or make any particular decision - she says go to court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She can only assist the child by suggesting "coping strategies" for the times in her mothers care
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning

She cannot make the mother do anything but her reports can assist in changing the living arrangements etc.

The court is not interested in the parents or the grandparents it is interested in the best interests of the child.

The Psychologist is going to have to prepare a report and give her or his opinion on what the issues are and how they are affecting the child.

Further the child is almost old enough to make up her own mind and the court will listen to her.

You will have to go to court and you will need to make sure that the psychologist supports the orders you want

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The child specifically is regularly asking to spend 10 nights/fortnight here to enable us to provide all the help for her education needs, and to spend 4 nights with her mother, on the nights her mother is usually even home to see her (although I think she would make more effort for quality time if her time was more limited). No effort required from the mother to make it work, unless she wants to be more involved
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

You have to commence proceedings in court. It is not going to be dealt with quickly as the court has a backlog. You may get interim orders if there is evidence of urgency.

This is something that you will have to have a solicitor act for you.

I would also suggest that you go to mediation ASAP and when the mother refuses then take it to court.

If there is any abuse against the child then you also should report this to childrens services

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the psychologist has expressed that shes unable to make any suggestion to court; we would have to apply to court and wait until the family report is ordered by a court appointed psych. unless we could subpoena the current psychologist. we have been trying for ages to just resolve things ourselves to keep things polite-ish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I booked mediation yesterday at a place the psychologist recommends which also prepared our family report in 2009 and i advised the mother that I have done so. no response.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

She does not have to make suggestions but she should be able to give her opinion about the welfare of the child with the mother.

If she is not prepared to even do this you have an issue.

She cannot say the child has issues because of being with the mother and then refuse to give a report.

She cannot get you all fired up and then back out not wanting to be put on the stand and give a report.

A Family report will be ordered but the current psychologist can also give a report and she should.

Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

If the mother refuses then get the certificate and start proceedings

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is there any real point reporting the child abuse when they also are severely backlogged with cases? I don't believe they will act on it anyway - are you suggesting it for the purpose of court proceedings?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
okay I was already due to take the child to the psychologist this week so will ask her again.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

If you report it then you can show that there is a report.

Doing nothing will not assist because the court will want to know if it was serious why did you not report it, this will go against you.

Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

But have a solicitor assist you, this is not something that can be done on your own.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
other than proceeding to court application, is there any other action you would recommend trying now? Such as, if the child does not want to return back to her mothers this week, are there grounds to hold on to her until either a court has heard the matter or things resolve some other way?
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Just the reporting.

Taking the child away will result in the mother making an application for a recovery order and that will not assist you.

Also try talking to the mother to see if you can have the child more

If that fails court is the only way

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am already keeping her out of school Monday because the mother and grandmother have both often 'visited' in the classroom to take her outside and yell at her when they think she has told us about something wrong they've done, or when she has contacted her mum from our home asking to stay an extra night
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

You need it make a detailed history of events.

Also if the mother etc are taking her out of class you need to see if the school is keeping records about this and what the child is like when she goes back.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We've tried asking for more time. It took a year of mediation in 2009 (she kept cancelling and postponing) to get one more night. Then two years later, almost the same amount of time actually going to court, again for one more night. She just makes it difficult and gives nothing until she feels she absolutely has to
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

I suggest you get a court application in ASAP but put together a history of the relationship and the psychologist has to assist

Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

You need new orders

You have no choice but to go to court

Wait till after christmas because if you do it now I suspect the mother will make it hard over christmas for the child

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Teachers have told us child has returned to class crying. On one occasion we had dropped her to school, 15 minutes later the child called us herself crying and we had to collect her to deal with it. But the teachers haven't known what the upset was over, and the mother has given false information to mislead them into thinking the tears are due to a pet being accidentally hurt or things like that.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning

You have to take it to court.

You have no other choice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have everything basically prepared for court, have had since October 2014 when the child requested that we go back to court as her birthday present. I just update it as things happen
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

You have to do that.

But as I said be prepared for a long fight and you need to use a solicitor because this matter is complicated and you are asking the court to change the current situation in the childs best interests.

All the best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
okay thanks then
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome and thank you for using my services.

If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know

If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback.

Regards

Leon