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13 yr old niece ran away and wont go back, Can I fight a recovery order?

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My 13 year old niece ran away from home after a violent domestic fight with her mother, the mother kicking her out on the street at 12 at night. We raced the 30min drive to collect her from a busy highway at night in a traumatised state.

My wife rang police to let them know she was safe and made a report to FACS as she is a government mandatory reporter.Policeplaced her with us at 2am after sighting heruntil FACS could interview her 2 days later. Police also told us the next dayNOT to hand her over to her mother as she was unstable.

FACS cameto our home and interviewed her with my wife and the child's stepmum present. Their has been a history of neglect, DV, Mental Health, Psych Wards, drug use and mistreatment (over 30 DOCS reports from school\other parents\agencies\policewith the child being removed previously). Child told them about all this and that she was regularly hit or even punched in the headthat she was NEVER going back there, she wanted to stay with her stepmum whom has her via consent orders every 2nd weekend, every Wednesday and half of holidays, (never been in trouble, No parenting issues, no FACS reports, no police, mother of 4, this being the parent although not by blood that provides all school uniforms and books, all medical expenses and appointments, all teacher interviews).

FACS then went and interviewed the mother after they rang and told her that they were coming. She has hidden her drug tools which normally sit out in the open in front of the kids, picked up food for the cupboard on the way home and ran around cleaning up. She denied all and they seem to have believed her despite the child's physical injuries.They then disclosed the location of the child to her. She called allsmug and said, I'm getting her back, I'm filing a recovery order!The child is petrified of her and doesn't want to return however there are family law orders in place.

What is the procedure for this, will my sister (child's stepmother) have a chance to respond?
Will the child get to have a say?
Will Police come with a recovery order out of the blue and drag her kicking and screaming back to her mothers even though she is petrified that she is going to belt her if not worse?

The mother has already stated that she doesn't want her at her house, but doesn't want the step mother to have her, she wants to ship herout to her grandmothers or other Aunts (also beenFACS involvement).

Long story short, FACS said, "we don't think she is in danger" it's now up to the adults andcourts. We are desperately trying to appeal their decision as they don't even have the police report yet. There were witnesses to her being abused that they haven't even spoken to.

Child is to make a statement to police tomorrow.


How long does a recovery order take if she does file one?

Technically it's still her stepmum's half of the holidays, but we can't really prove which half is which, it's just roughlyan agreed half.

My wife and I and the child's stepmotherare very concerned forthe child'ssafety, and need to know that at least the situation can be explained to thecourt before it makes a decision.

Last edit: by MikeT

I'm a bit confused. Where is her father? Presumably thats your sisters husband?

At 13, she could very well choose to live with her father, so I'm not clear why this isn't an option in your OP?
Keep the child for now as it is in the child's best interest. See what the police say. Re-post after the police have taken her statement.

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