What I don't understand is why a) the application wasn't listed urgently if you were asking for the child's return, b) why it isn't mentioned in the order at all, as to what you applied for and what the court is considering and c) why the only thing the court seems interested in is the kids seeing each other, despite the fact that the child was removed from her home and family, as well as her sibling, AND was removed from her school and plonked in a new one, all without her mother consenting.
I just cannot make sense of why the judge is choosing to see this as a simple case of 'oh the kids live one each with the parents'.
It's odd to say the least.
Your hopes are obviously hinging on what the cafcass officer recommends in their report. A child of 8 has a view, of course, but their view will not be determinative to the court. Her having been with her father for the last 8 months and transferred and presumably settled into a new school, will be factors the court has to consider.
I am sorry, but it sounds like a complete mess and I just cannot fathom what the judge is thinking - as I do not have information about what cafcass said in their safeguarding letter, or what the father said at the hearing in May...