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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5421
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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I have full sole parental responsibility of my great niece

Customer Question

I have full sole parental responsibility of my great niece and have had since birth she being 9 years old next month. The biological mother has had little to no contact with her and what contact there was a few years ago was negative for the child. The mother is now wanting the child back can she do this
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 2 years ago.
If there are court orders in place that granted you sole responsibility then until such orders are set aside by the court your role and control should remain unaltered.If no orders are in place, but you have for all practical purposes had sole custody of the child, then you need to make an urgent application to the court to secure your role, as absent such orders there will be a legal presumption that the mother is entitled to custody.If you make a court application, then given the circumstances you describe it would seem likely that custody would be granted to you, although even if that occurs, unless the mother poses a real danger to the child, the court is likely to at least allow the mother some custody or access so that the child can develop a relationship with her mother.The paramount concern of the courts is for the well being of the child, and it is generally presumed that it is in the interests of a child to develop or maintain a relationship with their parents. This presumption will only be overcome if there are real issues with the parent that convince the court that the child would be better off if no access or custody were allowed, and this usually only happens if the parent has a history of violence, drug abuse, sexual abuse or serious mental health issues which warrant such a harsh outcome.If you need to make an application to the court, then you should seek the assistance of a family lawyer as they will greatly improve your chances of a good outcome. They can also help put in place interim orders so that the mother can't take the child until the court has heard the case.If you need help finding a family lawyer, contact the Queensland Law Society: trust the above assists.Please rate my answer.