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Grandparents needing advice

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this is my first time on anything like a forum/chat room so if I get it wrong, please excuse.
I am one of four grandparents of a three year old. Both of the child's parents are drug addicts and while things have been torrid at times, until now they have coped reasonably. The child has never been hurt or abused physically but we have grave concerns currently that he is being neglected. the parents have closed down all access to both families because we have refused to provide them with any more money until they get themselves sorted out (ie rehab etc). They seem to by using a lot of drugs at the moment and are going through a lot of money. They appear to have both lost their jobs and are threatening to "go bush". Our concerns of neglect are genuine and well founded. Both families have at times provided food as there has been no money, they have been evicted on a couple of occasions and have lived with or in the homes of both sets of grandparents. They are cronic liars, verbal violence is common and the child is used as a barganing tool. We have notified the Department of Child Protection and we have done intake interviews with Relationships Australia for Family Dispute Resolution. The couple are intelligent and are bluffing quite well at the momnet to slow everything down. They are taunting us by saying that they can drag out the mediation for months by agreeing to go and then sending in medical certificates etc. We understand that we cannot proceed to Family Court until we have been to mediation or been issued with the certificate to say we have attempted mediation. Child Protection has been in to see them but of course, the day they went in things looked OK. The couple are known to the Department but have not done anything to warrant removing the child. there have been "suicide attempts" and the situation is always volitile
Yesterday we spoke with a lawyer and presented the facts as we have them. The lawyer (specialist in Family Law) told us she felt that we had a very good case but that it would cost us around Thirty thousand dollars and could take a year or longer. Does anyone have some advice for us, we don't really have that sort of money. Can people represent themselves? What sort of rights do grandpatrents have..or rather what rights does the child have to his grandparents? Any advice would be most welcome.

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quinndog said
this is my first time on anything like a forum/chat room so if I get it wrong, please excuse.
I am one of four grandparents of a three year old. Both of the child's parents are drug addicts and while things have been torrid at times, until now they have coped reasonably. The child has never been hurt or abused physically but we have grave concerns currently that he is being neglected. the parents have closed down all access to both families because we have refused to provide them with any more money until they get themselves sorted out (ie rehab etc). They seem to by using a lot of drugs at the moment and are going through a lot of money. They appear to have both lost their jobs and are threatening to "go bush". Our concerns of neglect are genuine and well founded. Both families have at times provided food as there has been no money, they have been evicted on a couple of occasions and have lived with or in the homes of both sets of grandparents. They are cronic liars, verbal violence is common and the child is used as a barganing tool. We have notified the Department of Child Protection and we have done intake interviews with Relationships Australia for Family Dispute Resolution. The couple are intelligent and are bluffing quite well at the momnet to slow everything down. They are taunting us by saying that they can drag out the mediation for months by agreeing to go and then sending in medical certificates etc. We understand that we cannot proceed to Family Court until we have been to mediation or been issued with the certificate to say we have attempted mediation. Child Protection has been in to see them but of course, the day they went in things looked OK. The couple are known to the Department but have not done anything to warrant removing the child. there have been "suicide attempts" and the situation is always volitile
Yesterday we spoke with a lawyer and presented the facts as we have them. The lawyer (specialist in Family Law) told us she felt that we had a very good case but that it would cost us around Thirty thousand dollars and could take a year or longer. Does anyone have some advice for us, we don't really have that sort of money. Can people represent themselves? What sort of rights do grandpatrents have..or rather what rights does the child have to his grandparents? Any advice would be most welcome.
 

I would suggest applying to join Self Represented Litigants - Resourses (SRL-R). It would give you the chance to explore what is involved in running you own case in court.

There is also a forum for grandparent's issues on ths site - under "family Law in Australia"

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