A court's first inclination is to reunify mother and child where possible e.g. until such time as the mother is declared an unfit parent. In many cases where custody is contested the result is the mother is entitled to visitation and residential or primary custody remains with the relative. A judge will not place a child knowingly into a bad situation. You and your attorney must present the facts and information in a manner which convinces the judge that placing the child with the mother is wrong.
There is no conflict of interest as long as the judge was not practicing in the same firm as daughter's attorney when the case was initially filed. A judge can decide to excuse himself if he cannot render an unbiased opinion in the case.
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