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Custody - help.

(20 Posts)
Catticus Thu 07-Feb-13 00:00:55

Slightly long story, in September my ex partner and I split up as he cheated on me. There was a lot of bitterness and problems from there. It was agreed between us that I would have my daughter 4 nights a week and he 3 nights a week. This has been maintained since then. He moved in with his parents and I continue to rent the family home.

The beginning of January we decided to give things another go, he stayed living with his parents, it was all going well until the night before last I found he cheated on me again since we had got back together. We had a massive argument, he has quite a bad anger problem so he was hitting himself and the door before he eventually turned on me and threatened to 'smash my face in' pushed me around and slammed my head into the microwave. I've suffered with depression for years and I've been waiting for months now for my medication review as I had a bad reaction to my previous anti-depressents, I've kept calling because I know I'm not well and the CMHT keep promising to get back to me and they haven't.

I was left in a lot of debt from the previous split and Tax Credits have made a mistake that has left me with next to no money as it has in turn stopped some of my other benefits and the appeal will take 12-14 weeks to process. It doesn't excuse this, I know, but I began to take an overdose, the cheating just pushed me over the edge. I stopped because I realised it was stupid and didn't take enough to do any damage. My ex partner watched our daughter while I stayed in for observation and was discharged.

I text him saying I'd pick her up normal time tomorrow and explained that I was sorry, it was stupid, but after the cheating I don't want to be with him anymore. Then he text back saying he thinks it's best that he takes her for a while and I can only have access to her some days in his presence. This is ridiculous, he knows I'm a perfectly capable and good mum, I don't want to be around him as it makes me anxious because of the violence.

I've contacted a solicitor to get the ball rolling. I never even wanted this, I was quite happy with our joint custody arrangement and that's all I want. I'm just worried that because of what happened the night before last he will get sole custody.

I know that I can just take her and he can't do anything about it, my friend said she would go with me to the baby group that they will be attending at his workplace tomorrow, I know that if I want to have her in residence with me again I'll have to stop him seeing her until the court decision but I'd hate for her not to see her daddy. I'm not like him, I want him to be active in her life and I liked the joint custody we had going, but I feel like I don't have a choice?

Collaborate Thu 07-Feb-13 07:02:55

Don't do anything until you speak to your solicitor about it. If you just take the child[ren] he could get an emergency residence and prohibited steps order from the court, who would be worried about the recent overdose. Not saying you couldn't go back to what you had before, but the court will want to be reassured that it won't happen again.
Your solicitor will know more about the facts of your case though and will be best placed to advise you,

Catticus Thu 07-Feb-13 11:38:06

I have my solicitor appointment this afternoon who are applying for emergency residence on my part. It's just going to end up turning into a long drawn out process. He will accuse my mental health of making me incapable, I will accuse his anger problem and violence of being detrimental (he sought help back in November so it's all medically documented) but never followed it through. Complete mess.

Have you spoken to the police about the violence, having your head slammed into the microwave.

What's the score with your ADs at the moment, can you go to your GP if you need help?

Catticus Thu 07-Feb-13 12:19:10

No, I'm calling today as I have bruises, I've never been to the police about the DV but there are a backlog if incidents, not sure how I go about it. My sister has witnessed it on one occassion and a friend on another occassion. Also have facebook messages between my ex and I detailing and incident when he threw a brush at me in an outburst that barely missed our daughter.

I came off citalopram in November after I had a bad reaction. An appointment was made with my CPN a week later to discuss alternatives e.c.t. I was told I'd receive my medication review appointment with a psychiatrist (as they are the only ones that prescribe certain meds). Heard nothing, called 2 weeks later, they tell me my CPN is on annual leave and only she can make appointments for me and she'll call me when she's back. Another 2 weeks pass, I call again, assured a phone call back by Monday. Still nothing! When I spoke to a different CPN the morning of my discharge he told me that my CPN 'was struggling' and he would arrange a home visit upon my discharge to sort out new medication ASAP (waiting for a phonecall at the moment). I feel it's slightly unfair that I've been actively seeking help for months because I was aware I was having a bout of depression after the break up.

I think for the police you could either find the number of your local station, or call 101 (non-emergency switchboard) and someone should put you through to the domestic violence team.

I've thankfully never had direct dealings with them but know a few people who've found them very understanding, thorough and have never regretted calling them. It's good you've got witnesses and yes mention all of the other correspondence you've had - texts, FB etc.

Hope it goes well with your solicitor this afternoon.

Catticus Thu 07-Feb-13 13:51:06

Thank you, I called the 101 number and the police are coming to visit me today. I have made a report before for another incident when he assaulted me but he wasn't charged as it was my word against his. I have visible bruises this time and will be disclosing the back log of incidents, particularly where I have had witnesses and hopefully something will be done this time.

Oh well done you!!! So glad you've called them.

They might well give you the number later too but Woman's Aid provide great support in cases of domestic violence and might help give you alot of strength. I think their phone line can get very busy but they'll ring you back if you leave a message 0808 2000 247.

Have you got friends and family supporting you too?

Catticus Thu 07-Feb-13 15:13:43

It's amazing the strength you can find when it involves your child.

I'm staying with my mum right now, so I'm getting lots of support, just dying to see my little girl, I miss her like crazy.

Tubegirl Thu 07-Feb-13 18:28:52

You'll need to help your solicitor by providing as much evidence as you can, try and get a copy of your medical records as there may well be reference to discussions of domestic violence whenever your medication was reviewed/prescribed. It all helps. Good luck.x

Catticus Thu 07-Feb-13 19:30:33

My solicitor is confident I will get the residential order, have to go to court tomorrow, very nervous, I'll update.

WhereMyMilk Thu 07-Feb-13 22:48:36

Good luck Catt, will be thinking of you,x

Hope it goes well!

I'm guessing you'll probably hear from social services as well at some point, I think the police are duty bound to contact them when a child is somehow involved in a DV case. Just be honest and up front, they'll be interested in doing what's right for your daughter, and if that includes giving you help and support, they will.

Will look out for your update.

Catticus Fri 08-Feb-13 00:19:45

Thanks, I'll update tomorrow smile

Bit disappointed with the police to be honest. I gave a statement for Tuesday's incident but they told me they couldn't do anything about previous incidents even though I have messages to prove he'd done things :S that doesn't seem right? They also said if he denies it (and there's a good chance he will) there's nothing they can do about it and domestic violence is hard to prove because it's one persons word verses another. Seems very unfair sad

Tubegirl Fri 08-Feb-13 13:10:26

Unfortunately the police cannot make charging decisisons on their own now - the Crown Prosecution Service has to agree it - if they decide that they do not have a reasonable prospect of a conviction they will tend not to pursue it and divert funds elsewhere. However I did think there was a zero tolerance campaign on in relation to domestic violence - I would definitely suggest you contact women's aid to discuss this. But this goes back to my point earlier - you have to have evidence. One person's word against the other will only succeed where there is corroborative evidence such as injuries, or other proof. You will hear from SS by the way they have to do what is called a section 47 report which is just to satisfy themselves that the child is not at risk. Nothing to worry about as you have taken all appropriate action. I hope you obtain your residence order.

Catticus Fri 08-Feb-13 15:46:37

So, it's been summoned for a hearing on tuesday but the judge has expressed that it would be best to stick to the status quo, me 4 nights him 3, which was fine with me in the first place.

In regard to the domestic violence I know one word against another is hard to prove, hence he got away with it last time. But if I have messages from him specifically apologizing for throwing things at me, that nearly hit my child and scaring us all the time, surely I have grounds to have it crimed even though it was a year ago :S

MOSagain Fri 08-Feb-13 18:06:37

The problem is Catticus, you should have reported the incidents of DV at the time, not months or years later. I know sometimes victims are frightened to go to the police but reporting alleged crimes years later is not going to lead to a convinction most of the time. He will no doubt be able to turn it around and say you are only making these allegations now as you he is seeking residence of your DD.

Sad to say, its quite often felt that if a victim feels strongly about the DV they will report it at the time, if not, well............... I'm not saying thats how I or others perceive it, but sadly it is the view that a lot of people take.

You should document all incidents of DV and report them as soon as possible.

Catticus Mon 11-Feb-13 18:42:41

No, I understand the difficulty in convicting domestic violence. Court hearing is 10AM tomorrow, it cannot come quick enough. Every single day since he took her on Tuesday and said I could see her in the days he's said I can have access, then roll on when the time comes for access and he either ignores me or changes his mind at the last minute with no reason apart from it being 'unsuitable'. I have compromised until there were no more suggestions to make to just get a moment with my baby girl. I saw her for an hour on Saturday. That is it. He won't even let me call her. To say I'm disgusted would be an understatement. The one time I did see her she was crying asking to come home with me and I was powerless! My poor little baby must be so confused and sad without her mummy. She's not used to it. Her father worked 6 days a week until we split, I've looked after her for over 2 years, and even with the split she spends 4 days a week with me. She has never gone longer then 2 days without her mummy. I'm in bits, I can't imagine how confusing it must be for her sad I just hate to think that she's wondering why I'm not there for her sad

fubbsy Tue 12-Feb-13 10:09:31

GL with the court hearing Catticus. I hope you get the result you want.

Catticus Tue 12-Feb-13 13:27:20

Not exactly the result I wanted but a result none the less. He and his solicitor went for full custody with me having visitation rights at my dads house FIFTY miles away! Judge wasn't having any of it. He told them I'd been in a mental hospital 4 times and made 3 suicide attempts since having my daughter which is all lies. My solicitor thinks he did this to pro-long the case. Either way next months hearing will have my medical records to show that this is all lies (not sure why you'd lie about something that would be easily proven).

Anyway judge saw through it and said those conditions were unreasonable and not at all ample as I got social services and my mental health team to write letters both declaring me to be no risk. Awarded me 2 24 hour periods with overnight stays, until next month where I will have had my review and my medication will have taken effect and status quo will be restored to my 4 nights smile and ex's lies will be exposed.

I was unhappy but realised I was essentially getting what I wanted, the other party...well, unhappy would be an understatement.

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