Our expert says:
Sorry to hear that Family Law seems absent at present. Not every expert can respond every day.
Borderline Personality Disorder includes really bad behaviour and thoughtless about the needs of others. It does not include "episodes" such as we see in Bipolar Disorder. Substance abuse makes things worse, of course. She sounds, not surprisingly, like someone a court would probably consider to be an unfit mother.
Imagine if she had custody of the kids and decided to go out for days at a time, without having the stable husband to leave them with - what would happen ? The elder child should not automatically go with an irresponsible mother who wouldn't care p[roperly for the child, and a court would be required to decide the matter governed by the primary issue of what would be best for the children.
Soundslike the welfare people are being irresponsible, thoughtless and lazy, too. And if they are stupid enough to rely on impressions gained on pre-announced visits giving her loads of time to prepare to pretend everything is perfect, then they are being irresponsibly stupid and endangering children.
You and the father MUST get a legal opinion. As said, many lawyers will offer a free hour for a preliminary opinion, and law schools should have a free law clinic.
Your daughter won't benefit from having the children with her, and needs highly skilled personal psych treatment, which isn't easy to find. Congratulations to you for having the responsibility to place the welbeing of the children as the first priority
Her case about the dagga won't improve her chances. Do you even know if she WANTS to have the children with her and carry that responsibility ?
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