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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35039
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My daughter (who lives in Surrey) set in motion in April

Customer Question

My daughter (who lives in Surrey) set in motion in April 2017 an app to vary a CAO imposed in Aug 2016 because she had welfare issues and her daughter (10) had admitted to her at Christmas 2016 that she had made a mistake asking to live with her father and his partner and their two children in Cornwall which the judge went along with when my daughter had hardly had any contact with her daughter. In June the judge allocated a guardian for her daughter and eventually the guardian has now written an assessment. She mentioned at a hearing in September when she met my daughter that she would like to meet with her after she had received my daughters medical history. My daughter offered to go down to Exeter when the guardian was in that office. She now denies having said that. My daughter has not been given a one to one meeting with her but the father has and also the girlfriend who is the main carer of my granddaughter have. My granddaughter does not get on with the partner very well and there is a lot of physical in the house together with a 90% attendance at her new secondary school this term. She is now being picked up to go to school by the safeguarding officer at school. Things are a lot worse in Cornwall than they ever were in Surrey. She has come back here in the holidays with bruises. The girlfriend is the problem as she seems to instill anxiety into my granddaughter. She has a masters in Psychology. The guardian is now recommending that my granddaughter should remain in Cornwall with her father and partner. She is also recommending that my daughter does not have as much to do with her own daughter. Is this not parental alienation which apparently CAFCASS now recognise. My daughter has had her for half the holidays and has not had any problems. i.e. bed wetting 3 times a week, nightmares or arguments. There was also apparently a meeting at school between father, partner, guardian and school members. Why was my daughter not invited as she has contact with the school. I feel there is an injustice here and in my opinion the guardian has made her assessment based on historical facts in the files without substantiating the evidence against my daughter and the fact that she also tried to blackmail my daughter by telling her that if the psychological report she applied to court for and asked my daughter for £1000 towards was not paid for by all 3 parties then she couldn't guarantee her daughter coming back to her. At this particular court hearing she also said that she wanted to attend the handover of granddaughter from father to my daughter but she is now denying that she said that. If she had she would have seen my granddaughter trying to put her shoes on and get out of the house as quickly as possible. Witnessed by my other daughter. There are other things that she also seems to have conveniently forgotten.
The other thing is that I think there is a conflict as her own children also attend the same school that my granddaughter now goes to and she apparently speaks to my granddaughter when she picks up her own children.I feel that my daughter has not had a fair assessment. The assessment relates mainly to historical mental history to which she was labelled rapid cycling bipolar. She has turned her life around and has not been on any medication for 2 1/2 years and exercises regularly together with eating a healthy diet for which she has lost over 4 stone and is noiw a size 6/8. She has attended parenting classes and others in order to turn her life round. She has passed her GCSE Biology in the last year. Even the guardian admitted when she did meet her at Court that she wasn't rapid cycling bipolar otherwise she would be probably hospitalised with everything that has been going on with her daughter and the alienation she has had and ourselves as well from the father. Even social services have admitted to my daughter that my granddaughter should not have had the say last year on where she wanted to live and that the original judge wanted to put the status quo back as my ex son in law having offered an extra weeks respite refused to return my granddaughter after Easter 2016 and slapped an application for a child arrangement order into court.
There are a few things that the guardian is now denying she said and this was witnessed by my other daughter who is an A&E nurse and having met the girlfriend believes she is not mentally right. We have a phone conversation that my granddaughter made to her father Easter 2017 in which it gets quite heated and the girlfriend is heard laughing at my granddaughter in a very manic way.
We seem to be being alienated because we don't live in the County of Cornwall and its all too much trouble to return her to Surrey. Even the guardian couldn't come up to see where my daughter lives. She had to see them together for a couple of hours in Cornwall while doing an activity.i.e. tenpin bowling. She apparently doesn't travel out of County.
Where is the justice here.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 4 months ago.

From reading what you have put it seems that it would be very sensible to make sure that you get a good barrister to represent your daughter at the final hearing. Barristers can be instructed by direct access. The key would be to challenge the evidence of the guardian particularly in light of what your granddaughter is saying. There is an excellent book on this topic which may help - on Amazon for about a tenner and explains this process very well. Happy to answer any additional questions and please rate positive.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 4 months ago.

I hope that helps. Can you please rate. Justanswer works on people giving ratings. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What was the nature of the meeting at the school?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Apologies for delay but have been away. My daughter has no idea as she is being kept out of the loop. She suspects it was to do with granddaughters lateness/non attendance and hence we have found out that the safeguarding officer at the school is now picking her up to take her. With joint parental responsibility should this meeting have included her even though she lives 250 miles away.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Please don't trouble yourself anymore. I haven't got the money and did not think I was going to be debited yet. First reply from Thomas was a cop out legally speaking. It was not legal advice. It was advice on how to do a DIY effort.
I would like a refund as well as I didn't think you would debit me if I didn't rate.