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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2848
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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We currently have a child arrangement order that states that

Resolved Question:

We currently have a child arrangement order that states that our granddaughter lives with us at the weekends and her maternal grand parents at weekends. We promised to facilitate their young parents spending time with her. Essentially her mother during the week and father at the weekend. Over time we have given both parents time with their daughter together in our home. This annoys there maternal grandparents. Anyway long story short it has come to light that the maternal grandparents want our granddaughter solely for themselves and are trying to push us out, demanding weekend time with our granddaughter which has become evident overnight when, after cutting our weekend short to give them time with her on their sons birthday today, they now want her for her birthday tomorrow and have said that 'she needs more time with her permanent family' please can you tell us where we stand? Social services abandoned us the second the court order was granted and we are concerned that going back to court may mean our granddaughter gets taken in to care, something we really do not want. We need this resolved before they take their usual 3/4week trip to France in August because they'll take our granddaughter with them.
Any advice would be great fully received.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The maternal grandparents also have her every school holiday and don't always tell us when they are taking her out of the country. They have a place in France that they are doing up and they were there for May half term, they have 4 boys who live at home. All 6 of their children are adopted. This weekend would be the first in 3 weeks because they has our granddaughter for 2 weekends when they went away. This is regular. We had a one week holiday with her earlier in May and are due for 10 days with her in July. They also insist on havibg her on Christmas day, which we have agreed to. Hope this helps
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-How old is the child?

-When was the final order made?

-What are the exact terms of the order?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry info on us. We have 2 children, neither live at home. We both currently work full time which is why we have our granddaughter at the weekends. We love her very much and want what's best for her. Selfishly we have also adjusted to our weekend arrangements and love every second that she is with us. Her parents are not capable of raising her and when they are with her here they are more like siblings than parents but we feel it is important that our granddaughter knows who they are and has regular contact with them. Her parents have had a volatile relationship and put themselves and each other ahead of all else. We still hope that this will change as they grow and mature so encourage them to see their daughter as much as possible regardless of the trauma they have put everyone through over the last few years. We are by no means perfect and have/and will continue to make mistakes.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Scarlett is 2 years old tomorrow. The court order was granted in November 2014. And only states her address from Monday to Friday as being with her maternal grandparents and Friday evening to Sunday evening with us.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can scan a copy to you if that helps?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh I just checked it and it also states that all of us grandparents have parental responsibility. That she lives with maternal grandparents during the week and paternal grandparents at weekends. Any changes to this arrangement are to be agreed between us. It also states the parents will spend time with their daughter supervised by their respective parents as arranged between the parties.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the detailed confirmation. It appears that there is no provision in the order for them to be taking her on holiday.

As you all have parental responsibility you are all free to take her out of the country for up to a month without the consent of any other person with parental responsibility, however, as there is a court order as to what time she should be living with each person the holidays should not be impacting this - therefore based on the information about the order you have provided, the only holidays they are legally entitled to with her would be during the week and the only holidays you would be entitled to would be during the weekends.

If they do not agree to this and continue to want to take her on holidays which impact the time she is supposed to live with you as afforded in the court order then you will be well within your rights to apply to court to enforce the order under form C79 and a £155 court fee.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This doesn't really help. Our concern is mainly that the maternal grandparents want our granddaughter for themselves. Are you saying the ONLY thing we can do to stop them is to invoke the order, which would impact hugely on both sides? While we have no wish to stop holidays taking place we do feel the amount and length of those holidays is unreasonable and creates an unsettling result for our little granddaughter. On top of that they have our granddaughter calling them 'mum and dad' which is confusing her because we tell her that her parents are her mum and dad. Our concern is that our granddaughter grows up knowing who is who without any one party assuming they own her and have power over the others. If we involve social services, will they take her away altogether because we don't feel that is in her best interests at all.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Apologies that you did not find my information helpful. However, the fact is that you have a court order in place and the maternal grandparents have not been complying with this order. If no agreement can be reached directly or through mediation through an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: familymediationcouncil.org.uk), then your only option would be to return to court to enforce the order or have it varied.

In relation to social services, they can only pursue removal of her to foster care if she has or is at risk of suffering significant harm. Based only on your information I do not think they have grounds to do this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much, this does help us much more and we will attempt mediation in the first instance. I haven't been sleeping, worried that we could lose our granddaughter altogether if her maternal grandparents continue to undermine us and her parents.
Phew the relief you have just brought to me is huge.
Thank you
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris

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