My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Virginia
I got physical custody of my daughter last November. Her mother appealed and we go back in about a month. I had a lawyer last time, and she didn't. I just learned yesterday that she hired a lawyer for the appeal, but he is mostly a criminal defense lawyer so I am not sure how good he will be.
Her mother (my kid's grandmother) also filed her own petition for custody and she got most of the summer the first time around (I get two weeks, plus every other weekend in the summer). Basically we didn't even really try the case the first time. Our guardian ad litem told the judge what she thought should happen (kid live with dad and grandma get summer), and the judge asked mom to tell why she thought that shouldn't be the case. Mom did not have very much to say. A few things came out, like how many times mom had moved in the last year, but that's about it. The whole thing only took about 20 minutes.
Now that mom's appealed and has a lawyer, I am anxious about what her chances are. My daughter has done much better in school since she's been with me, both in grades and behavior. I don't think she would be able to get my daughter back completely, but I am worried that she might get a lot more time than the every other weekend she's getting now. I'm also wondering what my chances are of getting grandma less time. I really didn't try to fight against grandma the first time, and like I said, we really didn't even get into any details with the judge. If I am showing that I am a capable parent, does grandma really need to have anything more than about 2 or 3 weeks of visitation in the summer? It's not like grandma never gets to see her other times anyway - mom lives with grandma (although she says its temporary, she's been there about 9 months), and weekend visitation with mom is in effect visitation with grandma.
I have a pretty good lawyer, but I am trying to keep my costs with him down - it cost me quite a bit the first time! and I want to do everything I can from my end. And I really want some honest opinions about what the chances of her winning an appeal are, and what the chances that I get more of what I want this time concerning grandma. Thanks for anyone willing to share.