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Old Apr 21st 2016, 7:48 am   #1
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Default Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Has anyone had to apply to family court for custody of their grandchildren?
Any advice on any aspect would be welcome i.e legal aid, cost, can I pay later or by installments, specialist solicitors etc. Approx time frame being most important at the moment.
I've spent hours on the phone to DoCS in qld & facs in NSW and am making no/very slow progress. Both parents drug addicts: pot, crystal meth, crack, father with DVO's against him granted March 30th yet still living together in breach of the dvo. Father abusing children smacking so hard welts are left and child misses school to avoid "unwanted questions" Children only attended school for 59 days last school year yet school failed to escalate the matter. Children 10 & 6 caught smoking pot via a bong they stole from dad. They are currently homeless after being evicted from their house & living on a bedroom floor at their local drug dealers house. Neither will submit to a voluntary drug test and apparently can't be made to [NSW]
Sadly all this is not enough for police or docs to act upon in NSW which is where they have run away to after breaking into our home and ransacking it at the weekend. They [DoCS] advise us to employ a solicitor and apply to the family court for custody.
If we remove the children ourselves we face prosecution if police decide the parents are "not off their faces on drugs" i.e the children are not in immediate danger.
All this despite the parents being known to Tenterfield Police and that drug dealing is suspected at the property. They won't even do a welfare check because they did one 5 weeks ago and the kids were fed and clothed.

If they were in QLD the kids would be safe as I type as police/docs already have enough evidence for an emergency protection order.
Going out of my mind with worry and willing to go to jail to protect them but can't do so from a cell. No hit men please I need to do this legally and through correct channels to make it count
I haven't slept since Monday night when all this came to light.

PM if you don't want to tell the forum. I'm way past that stage

P.S Because they are homeless child safety services can't act unless they have a fixed address, Tenterfield police won't act because there's only our word against theirs, I think they think we're crying wolf. They have done a drive by and know where they are but won't inform facs.
We've had them living with us and enrolled in school since the week before Easter [with the mothers consent] until some sh1t stirring arsehole told the father we were going to claim his child benefit payments[a bare faced lie]. A parenting plan won't work as he can't even comply with the terms of a DVO
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 7:50 am   #2
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Phone Relationships Australia and see whether they can offer you any advice and services. Their fees are much cheaper than going to a solicitor too.
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 8:22 am   #3
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Don't have any practical advice but just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear of your situation and really hope you can get it sorted soon.
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 8:23 am   #4
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Yep sounds very frustrating. Best of luck, stay out of jail.
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 8:37 am   #5
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

No useful information other than has been given unfortunately - you might try the school (at which they have been enrolled) to see if they would make a notification of non attendance to FS. Itinerancy should not trump their legal requirements to have a child attend school - they may home school as long as they are approved. Adding another notifier might make them move a little bit more but they may be hamstrung.

It sounds like a nightmare for you and I wish you the very best of luck!
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 10:51 am   #6
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

I dont know if you have already tried these?

National child abuse hotline. Free advice for concerned relatives etc.

Also wondering about Kids helpline. Do the children involved know this number? its for kids age 5 and up! Can you get this number to the kids involved? I have no idea if these calls are monitored or acted upon in extreme cases. But one has to wonder.... I would not be surprised.

Also do the kids know to call 000 if mum and dad are really out of it. I bet kids found in that situation will get helped pretty quickly. Do they understand they could also call the police if mum and dad going off violently etc or if they are left alone. I know its a bit of a burden on them having to seek help but its one fast track to getting them the protection they deserve.

Life is shite sometimes isnt it XX

You would think if the kids know how to call for help when needed, authorities may then have to act, and possibly relatives are the first port of call for safe accommodation?
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 1:31 pm   #7
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

I am sorry to hear of your situation. My oldest friend, of 35 years, is a grandparent in Perth, we are only in our mid 40s but she was a young mother! Anyway her daughter and the child's father split up and the child was abused by the new step father.

My friend has h d temporary custody of the child for most of his life, he is eight or nine now. She does not appear to have had too much difficulty in winning and maintaining temporary custody, but she has not been able to secure permanent custody so far. This has made money very hard for her, she is a single grandparent and has had trouble holding down a job and there are no benefits available whatsoever whilst court cases are pending. She has been in and out of court for seven or eight years now.

If you would like, I could try to put you in touch with her privately.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 8:27 am   #8
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jad n rich View Post
I dont know if you have already tried these?

National child abuse hotline. Free advice for concerned relatives etc.

Also wondering about Kids helpline. Do the children involved know this number? its for kids age 5 and up! Can you get this number to the kids involved? I have no idea if these calls are monitored or acted upon in extreme cases. But one has to wonder.... I would not be surprised.

Also do the kids know to call 000 if mum and dad are really out of it. I bet kids found in that situation will get helped pretty quickly. Do they understand they could also call the police if mum and dad going off violently etc or if they are left alone. I know its a bit of a burden on them having to seek help but its one fast track to getting them the protection they deserve.

Life is shite sometimes isnt it XX

You would think if the kids know how to call for help when needed, authorities may then have to act, and possibly relatives are the first port of call for safe accommodation?
I bought the 10 yr old a phone and was putting credit on it if she needed it. My number was the ICE number stored because it's switched on 24/7. When the father bashed the mother last time the 10yr old called police but he smashed the phone to pieces and smacked her thigh so hard she [in her own words] had to stay off school or daddy would be taken away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bermudashorts View Post
I am sorry to hear of your situation. My oldest friend, of 35 years, is a grandparent in Perth, we are only in our mid 40s but she was a young mother! Anyway her daughter and the child's father split up and the child was abused by the new step father.

My friend has h� d temporary custody of the child for most of his life, he is eight or nine now. She does not appear to have had too much difficulty in winning and maintaining temporary custody, but she has not been able to secure permanent custody so far. This has made money very hard for her, she is a single grandparent and has had trouble holding down a job and there are no benefits available whatsoever whilst court cases are pending. She has been in and out of court for seven or eight years now.

If you would like, I could try to put you in touch with her privately.
At the moment everyone we talk to are recounting horror stories about kids already registered with DoCS that are left in appalling conditions with unfit parents. Apparently nothing so far warrants emergency intervention so we really must proceed ASAP with a court hearing. The problem being if DoCS don't think it's serious we won't have them on our side
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 9:50 am   #9
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

I don't know if this helps at all, but NSW Health has a document which has lots of information about child abuse. http://www0.health.nsw.gov.au/policy...procedures.pdf Give it a read and see if there's anything in there that might be of use.

Best of luck with this. I can't imagine what you're going through.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 10:29 am   #10
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Quote:
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I bought the 10 yr old a phone and was putting credit on it if she needed it. My number was the ICE number stored because it's switched on 24/7. When the father bashed the mother last time the 10yr old called police but he smashed the phone to pieces and smacked her thigh so hard she [in her own words] had to stay off school or daddy would be taken away.

Sorry the phone thing has been tried and did not work out.

The school? like hospitals, Most states have duty of care type guidelines now where Teachers, school, principal or the like HAVE to report sexual or neglect or abuse cases. So NSW would too I assume. I had a quick google and loads of stuff started coming up on it.

I know this does not get you custody, but if the school reports it, are authorities going to start to act? Its bloody amazing they are missing so much school and school has not reported it, maybe they need a little nudge to realize you know they could be doing a bit more. Or is it going to be a case of the old privacy laws, cant speak to you not the kids parents....
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Old Apr 25th 2016, 8:12 am   #11
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jad n rich View Post
Sorry the phone thing has been tried and did not work out.

The school? like hospitals, Most states have duty of care type guidelines now where Teachers, school, principal or the like HAVE to report sexual or neglect or abuse cases. So NSW would too I assume. I had a quick google and loads of stuff started coming up on it.

I know this does not get you custody, but if the school reports it, are authorities going to start to act? Its bloody amazing they are missing so much school and school has not reported it, maybe they need a little nudge to realize you know they could be doing a bit more. Or is it going to be a case of the old privacy laws, cant speak to you not the kids parents....
I spent a frustrated 10 mins trying to get an explanation from the school principle as to why the school failed to escalate the issue when the kids attended school for just 59 days of the school year. The school in QLD we enrolled them into said after 3 days they automatically escalate the issue.
Falling through the cracks I fear.
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Old Apr 25th 2016, 7:17 pm   #12
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

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I spent a frustrated 10 mins trying to get an explanation from the school principle as to why the school failed to escalate the issue when the kids attended school for just 59 days of the school year. The school in QLD we enrolled them into said after 3 days they automatically escalate the issue.
Falling through the cracks I fear.
Sorry I can't help. Just want to say I'm sorry you and the kids are going through this. What a bloody nightmare!! I hope you are able to get the authorities sit up and take notice soon.
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 4:30 am   #13
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Flamin' heck Cresta . That more than stinks all round.

Obviously I'm no use at all . Just sorry you and your grandkids are going through this really dreadful thing.

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Old Apr 27th 2016, 6:10 am   #14
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

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Flamin' heck Cresta . That more than stinks all round.

Obviously I'm no use at all . Just sorry you and your grandkids are going through this really dreadful thing.

Mate.
Well still no contact from them, they have disappeared into the wilderness of Northern NSW. Until police can find the nothing can progress. Our granddaughter's spectacles have arrived yet we have no address to send them to. We contacted their old school to see if they had been re-registered there. The principle was as helpful as he could be without breaching whatever code they have to abide by. The upshot of that is that they were never notified that the kids were even moving to QLD.
When questioned as to if we could post the specs there to be left at school he said it would be a good idea as they may be damaged at home. Asked if he were aware of the problems he said he wasn't allowed to say but did ask for our telephone number in case of emergencies. If they try & contact parents to no avail we as grandparents can be contacted.
We have an appointment with a solicitor on Friday.
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 8:19 am   #15
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Default Re: Grandparents Family Court Custody Order?

Can the police locate and if so, are they able to let you know?
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