Family Forum: Wanting her kids back

A mother desperate to get custody of her children.

QUESTION:

My mother talked me into letting my kids stay with her while I went away to rectify my relationship with my youngest daughter‘s father, who had just come out of prison. I wanted to set up house, before ripping the children out of school.

While I was gone, she had support letters written up and told the Department of Child Protection deceitful lies for self-gain. I have not been offered help, counselling, parenting classes, nothing. I feel like I’m the only one who has my daughter’s best interests at heart and nobody wants to help me or knows how. They just judge.

For a while, Mum let me see my youngest daughter, despite the orders and behind the department’s back, but I have no evidence of the bond that we created.

What can I do? How can I get my kids back?

ANSWER:

It sounds like you have experienced a lot of upheavals recently and this has been hard on both you and your children. It can be difficult and exhausting to manage everyone’s expectations and the demands placed on you.

If you are located in South Australia and there are Child Protection Court proceedings underway or completed, it is important that you obtain advice from a lawyer specialising in this area as a matter of priority. There can be strict timeframes that apply to meet court requirements, so acting swiftly can help to maximise the chance of you achieving your goals relating to your children.

Your lawyer will be able to speak to you about what evidence and information you should gather, together with obtaining any relevant reports that you may require to support you position. It is important that you do not break any court orders without first speaking to your lawyer about the potential impact upon the overall outcomes that you can achieve.

Your lawyer may also be able to assist you in reaching out to psychologists and other professionals to ensure that you have the best support team around you as you navigate the challenges that you are experiencing.

As a first step, you should contact the Legal Services Commission on 8111 5555 or use the Law Society of South Australia Lawyer referral service (referral.lawsocietysa.asn.au) to find a specialist lawyer.

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