Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Actually Happened in Court

So, where was I?

Right. Went to court. There was no suggestion of changing the placement to Paternal Aunt.

But we were in there for about an hour and I learned some interesting things.

I learned that Dad's house that he's spent the last 6 months telling L is perfectly ready for them to come move in with him only has 2 bedrooms. For 2 adults, an 8 year old girl, and a 4 year old boy.

I learned that Mom's income is smaller than her monthly rent.

I learned that Dad really doesn't understand that he actually has to do something other than show up to court to prove that the state in which he lives is wrong to deny him as a potential placement.

I learned that Mom's child support from Baby Brother's father is not court ordered and therefore she has no legal recourse if he just decides to stop paying it.

I learned that Mom's attorney had no problem admitting that Mom was not ready to have these kids home right now.

Officially, Paternal Aunt's home study process still isn't complete because of Mom's opposition to the kids moving there.

The judge spoke very sternly to both parents about how the next hearing will be a permanency hearing and that they are "Very lucky" that there is a family member to be considered at that point. He laid out what they need to do in the next 2 months. He said they had to be "very very close" to having it all done before that hearing if they didn't want him changing the permanency goal from reunification at that hearing. He talked about how the kids were "thriving" in their foster home, but that being in limbo like this was not good for them; he really seemed to be insisting that 12 months was as long as he was going to let this linger. (We'll see about that.)

Mom's attorney asked for the kids to start having visits at Mom's home -- to be supervised by Mom's therapist. The judge agreed, but left the timing up to CW since community visits (in public) had only just started.

So, I left court believing that the kids aren't going anywhere until after the hearing in June no matter what, but that they might start having some visits at home with Mom to start transitioning them there.

And then the next day, we had a team meeting where I learned all the things that were NOT said in court.....and the picture got murkier again.

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