To cut off my ex's visitation

(20 Posts)
Lovedandexhausted Fri 22-Aug-14 22:40:53

Back story:
Ex was emotionally abusive, convicted of harrassment and given restraining order. Found out in court ex has 5 assault convictions, later revealed by solicitor that some where against women. There was DV once but mostly DA. DD was born and I wrote to organise to offer visitation through solicitor. Did not hear back for 6 weeks. Got my solicitor to chase up and finally organise contact. Ex meets DD when she is 3 months for first time. Is generally intimidating and talks to me through DD. 2nd visit ex delays by a week then changes times of arrival. Is very late due to trains. Third visit I waited for an hour before rining solicitor she chases up turns out Ex sent a letter than morning (when he could have rang or emailed) saying he couldn't attend. Solicitor says I should cut off visitation I disagree. 4th visit changes dates again. After a few months solicitors want to close case and organise a definite date and time. Because ex lives far away he comes monthly this is understandable as the travel is expensive but I did mention before be finalised the dates and times that he could ask for more and I would be agreeable. Solicitor says to me that if he doesn't turn up now to cancel, phone number is given to contact if he will be late etc. He uses this to cancel and reorganise contact, he has cancelled 4 times since the visitation was finalised and 5x in total he has only seen our daughter 14 times in 22 months. Excuses have been questionable one being his brothers wedding which i found out was the week after, one being money, no hotels etc i think he would book these in advance? One was not specified and one was a "seminar" for university. DD is now nearly 2 she understands so much more, she says dad and cries when he leaves, understands when we are going to see him. He did not show the time before last (although I got a text) this time I was very mindful to not tell daughter where we were going in the buggy lest she be dissapointed. Ex is generally good with DD she seems to like him although gets bored or tired sometimes, Ex is generally ok with me now - due to restraining he must not speak to me he has been intimidating in past and spoke to daughter when a baby about things that were not age appropriate and clearly for me to hear including saying he would take daughter away and they "wouldn't need trains then" and how daughter will meet his horses etc where he lives. He is not like this now however, generally sticks to the rules. This time I tried to tell him daughter is starting to be very aware and will start to become upset from lack of inconsistency he stormed off with attitude leaving me feeling shaken. I dont want to have to let daughter make the decision at just 2 yrs but I don't want to not give her the chance to decide for herself, I want to protect her from potential emotional anguish but I want to do the right thing. I am thinking of stopping visitation completely if there is any more inconsistency AIBU?

Floundering Fri 22-Aug-14 22:57:57

YANBU- & good for you for trying but honestly I would have given up years ago.

fifi669 Fri 22-Aug-14 23:23:57

So he's cancelled 5 times in almost 2 years? How far away is he? How much is it in travel/accommodation costs? Can he not afford the trips so makes excuses to save face? How far ahead does he cancel?

If it should go to court if you stop access his convictions won't count for anything and he could end up with more than he gets now so play safe.

If you don't feel comfortable speaking to him about it is there a third party you could go through? Things will occasionally come up which makes contact difficult for him to do, maybe agree a notice period for cancelling? If he can't stick to it, give him a warming you'll not facilitate contact if it continues. If he doesn't stick to the rules, follow through on the threat.

WooWooOwl Fri 22-Aug-14 23:31:09

In your position, I wouldn't cut of contact without trying really hard to make these once a month short visitations work somehow.

You'd have very good reason to cut of contact if you wanted to, but there is no way you will be able to protect your daughter from the emotions of her situation completely. Harsh, and sad for you I know, but true.

If you know you are able to keep the visits safe for your dd, assuming that they happen in a contact centre or similar, then I think your dd is likely to have a better outcome with her emotional health if she at least knows her Dad.

You did the right thing by not telling your dd last time you went, and you might be able to find a way to make the end of the visits easier for her. She only very little, and just because she cried at the end of one visit there's still plenty of potential that she could come to just enjoy Daddy visits as a day out if you play it right.

Lovedandexhausted Fri 22-Aug-14 23:40:41

He cancels usually the day or two days before, it has been 5/20 times so 1/4 of the time if that makes it clearer, it can cost up to £130 but if he booked in advance could be £60 this is what he used to do when we were together but doesn't now (I don't know why). He is 400 miles away. I dont think he pays much for accommodation maybe £12 at most.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 22-Aug-14 23:47:07

Why on earth are you chasing anything? Is her deciding for herself when she is older more important than you protecting her now?

Are you in the uk, is he likely to go to court? What happens when he cancels (how does the next contact get arranged)

Lovedandexhausted Sat 23-Aug-14 00:04:04

Just so hard to know what is the right thing to do hence posting here. He just turns up the next month at the allocated time and place :/

Lovedandexhausted Sat 23-Aug-14 00:05:24

We are in uk I have no clue if he would go to court he is quite unpredictable but from his harrassment I would be inclined to think he would he is very determined

ChasedByBees Sat 23-Aug-14 00:47:02

I don't think courts look kindly on intermittent contact as it's upsetting for the DC. It's a Shane you didn't take your solicitors advice earlier as now they have a relationship so it's more difficult.

I'd seek legal advice about the potential outcomes. I certainly wouldn't be going out of my way to facilitate contact.

however Sat 23-Aug-14 04:41:16

I have to say I'm not quite sure why you went to so much trouble to instigate contact in the first place.

I'd be going right out of my way to ensure she didn't have anything to do with him.

however Sat 23-Aug-14 04:42:25

I have to say I'm not sure why you went to so much trouble to instigate contact in the first place.

I'd be going out my way to make sure she never saw him again.

however Sat 23-Aug-14 04:42:40

whoops.

Lovedandexhausted Sat 23-Aug-14 05:52:47

I was afraid he would go to court straight away and get overnights etc he was saying while I was pregnant that I wasn't fit to look after a child and he was starting legal proceedings to get the child taken away from me :/ I wish I had taken my solicitors advice too sad

Castlemilk Sat 23-Aug-14 11:41:16

Yes I would stop it immediately.

I'm not sure he would carry court through - sure, he would threaten it, he would likely start it, but does he actually want to see her? No. He gives not a shit - he turns up in order to piss on his territory, as he sees it.

Stop contact at the next bail out. Detail all the excuses and missed contacts, detail the untrue excuses (eg the wedding). Make it clear that you still find him intimidating and at the first attempt to co-parent (you offering advice to him based on your intimate knowledge of DD - something a sensible loving parent would welcome) he became aggressive.

He will go to court, probably.
If he continues with it, he will be offered contact again, but it will be the same situation - contact centre. So you won't have lost anything.

He will think he's 'won' - but of course, he will start cancelling again.

So you then stop contact again. And probably at THIS point, he will realise that he either has to step up and be reliable, or he will have to let it go - he won't get the option of constantly taking you to court to reinstate contact which he then keeps cancelling. it will become obvious that he's doing it to control the situation NOT to be able to see your DD, and eventually contact will be refused, or dropped to letterbox.

At that point, he would probably storm off permanently, because he doesn't want contact, he wants to feel as if you are being forced to let him see DD- that the law is on his side and you're being brought into line. Once it becomes clear to him that it's the other way around, he'll disappear - because that will then be the way in which he shows you that 'you can't make me do anything.'

Win win.

Excellent advice from Castlemilk OP. Remember that this man is a prick and if he doesn't have a relationship with DD it's his own fault.

Lovedandexhausted Sat 23-Aug-14 14:56:27

Thank you for taking the time to reply, I have recently rang CSA to organise getting maintenance from him, I never bothered before but she recently grew out of 18-24months and I realised how much of an issue finding that money is now compared to when she was younger, he is on benefits so I will only get £6 a week if he isn't exempt for any reason. I think this will really make him angry (not why I did it but certainly why I delayed doing it) so it will be interesting to see if he comes next time. I keep thinking how things would be if they were the other way round and when I think like that I can justify cutting him off because he hasn't made enough effort in my opinion.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 24-Aug-14 20:40:23

Can he afford to take you to court?

He won't be able to get legal aid any more because they changed the rules April last year to exclude anyone for family law. (Unless proven domestic abuse or child protection stuff).

You may have nothing at all to worry about.

He can still get court fee exemptions as that's a different thing but legal advice and support in court won't happen unless he pays for it.

Lots and lots of them only bother if they get that handed on a plate for free

junkfoodaddict Sun 24-Aug-14 20:52:57

You are subjecting your daughter to a lifetime of let downs by a man with an abusive criminal past. You have a restraining order against him yet you WANT him to have access to his daughter???? Is it me or does this seem a bit, er, crazy? backward?
By al means, get maintenance no matter how small amount but absolutely no way would any child of mine be made to have contact with an abusive father.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 24-Aug-14 20:58:15

junk that's unfair.

Lovedandexhausted Sun 24-Aug-14 21:02:54

Its more he told me when I was considering abortion that he would hunt me down wherever I lived to ruin my life forever, he would contact the boss of any work I tried to do and ruin any relationship I was in to punish me for "killing his baby" and after that harrassed me to the point if arrest and conviction in court. During his harrassment he told me he would do whatever it took to keep the child away from me, I was so afraid of him I did my best to research about visitation etc and so I kept his name off the bc and organised visitation that I was in control of, I am afraid he will do whatever it takes if I anger him I was hoping itd be a few visits and he would give up or lie about me and say I'd stopped him to which I would not refute but he hasn't sad I have no clue if he would go to court but I have read that it costs about £3k? and that you can organise a payment plan, I am concerned his parents would fund this :/ thank you for your opinions it is good to hear strong opinions

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