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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 23955
Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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My name is ***** *****. I have petitioned of my niece and

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** *****. I have petitioned for visitation of my niece and nephew. They are in the custody of their paternal grandmother. Father is deceased. Grandmother was given custody. I have always been allowed unrestricted visitation with notice to the Paternal Grandmother. I now have a sisterly relationship with the mother of the children, as she is no longer on drugs, and the paternal grandmother refuses visitation.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I worked with the grandmother to obtain custody with the hope of my sister getting clean, and resume a relationship with the children. The paternal grandmother despises my twin sister. I have never went against the paternal grandmother's wishes i.e. - no contact with the kids and my sister.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Family Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Sure. If you don't get to me in time, then I have gone to bed, and will resume tomorrow.
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Good morning. Just to be clear, the visitation agreement with the grandmother was previously informal but not that she has refused it, you filed a petition to get it ordered?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
You are correct.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. You will need to show that it is in the best interest of the children, that you have visitation with them. Absent a court order, the grandmother would have no legal obligation to allow you to see the children. I know there were no issues in the past but if she changed her mind and has custody of them, she does have the final say. Now, as the moving party, you will want to show that it is in their best interest and that you have been seeing them and visiting with them, over the years and for that to be taken away, would hurt them and ruin the relationship that you have with them. Moreover, if the mother is no clean and sober and off drugs, she may want to consider trying to get the children back. If she does that, then it would be at her discretion to allow you to see them.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Their mother filed as a party to my petition in suppor of mine, as well as petitioning for visitation herself. Can you suggest discovery questions, that reveal the best interest? There is an established relationship, and attachment. How do I prove that? Specifics, please.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

The questions would be used to attack the grandmother and flush out her reasoning for not allowing the visitation and to try and show there is no basis for it. Now, your testimony is evidence for the Judge to consider, so you want to show exactly what you have done over the years with the children, show the bond and share with the Judge what you will continue to do with them.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What aspect of the grandmother do I attack? Specifics. Would it be appropriate to show pictures, provide a timeline, etc as my testimony? Am I able to present exhibits? What do you suggest?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm also sending interrogatories to the GAL, asking, what she did or did not do, what conclusions she has made, and to what extent she based her position on her conclusions. Because the GALs recommendation can be an indirect way of influencing the Court with heresay. What do you think of this?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I should add, Granmother continues to allow visitation with MY grandmother and MY Aunt and Uncle because they agree to her literal ultimatum, no contact with the mother or you can't see the kids. Should I, and how do I address this? Would it benefit my case?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

The grandmother will get to speak and share why you should not have visitation. As such, you want to attack the grandmother if she makes claims which are not supported. She will need to have a reason for this and if she says something that is not true, you want to attack it. You can show photos and a timeline and present any evidence you have to support your position and claim. As far as the GAL, these are questions which you may be able to ask in court but I am not inclined to believe they would have to answer the interrogatories.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This has caused additional alienation within my family, as MY grandmother and aunt and uncle won't speak with me because of the ultimatum. I have 2 children myself who are now estranged from my side of the family and no contact with their cousins.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Yes, those are all things to present to the Judge and show. You also should explain that you have tried to work with the grandmother but her requests are so unreasonable, they cant be complied with

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I was planning on calling the GAL as an "expert witness". What do you think of this? Also, I do not want supervised, only unsupervised and I am not supportive of her dictating my relationships. The facts about my sister are apparent. That's why she has custody. I should mention, I've had emergency custody previously. I had no contact with my sister and put my time into my niece and nephew, as it was a turbulent 4 years. Now, my sister is truly clean, and I have slowly welcomed her back into my life, home and children's lives. She does not live with me. She visits. We are twins, and the grandmother and GAL continually believe because we are twins have formed an unsupported bias in regards ***** ***** making.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I also want to add that my parents are deceased, so, no maternal grandparents, their father is dead, and they are not allowed to see mom, yet.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I got the idea of asking GAL questions from
The Civil Practice Act. Also, I've got old planners with dates and times of phone calls, contacts, court dates, time off, etc. should I use that as relationship evidence?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Yes. Use everything you have to show the relationship over the years. If you think the GAL will help your case then try and elicite testimony from then also. They represent the children so they may favor your visitation with them

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can I provide the items themselves at court? Or is it expected to presented in a format that can be seen by all parties at once? How do I introduce this evidence in the courtroom?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

You need to turn them over and provide copies prior to the hearing so the other party is on notice. You can not just surprise them with them the day of

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
How far in advance do I need to provide them?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

At least 10-14 days prior you should send it, so they have reasonable time to review everything

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can you provide me with a question for discovery to support alienation of mother and myself?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

You can establish this yourself, through your own testimony, advising the Judge she refuses to allow you to see the child. After all, that is the basis for you asking for visitation, since she does not allow you to see the children.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Understood
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. Thank you.

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!