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contact issues with my 4 month old baby's father

(12 Posts)
yosemite78 Sat 11-May-13 18:07:53

Hi there!

Hoping someone out there can offer some advice as I'm at breaking point!

My ex and I finished a few months after I became pregnant last year. We have never lived together and he was not involved during my pregnancy. Since our sone Joshua was born in january, my ex has been extremely unreasonble regarding the contact he has with our son. At just 3 weeks old he told me he wanted to have Joshua from a friday til sunday, every other weekend! I am sure you can imagine the distress this caused me thinking I may have to do this so early on.

I have never wanted to deny my ex the right to form a relationship with his son and I think I was being very reasonable allowing him to visit my house 3-4 times a week when it suited him. However, my ex is a very controlling and jealous man which is the reason we are not together. He has always had a problem with my male friends which I made through rock climbing. During the last 4 months I've had to call the police twice after he became very abusive and threatening with his yelling in front of Joshua. The most recent incident was on Tuesday when he interrogated me over a male friend I had been out for a walk with on Bank Hol Monday. He told me I was "loose" and that I "drop my knickers for everyone" and told me I'd be having sex next week! He demanded I tell him who this climbing friend was, how I knew him, how long etc. I told him it was none of his business as we are not in a relationship. It ended quite badly after he left the house calling me a "f*!king bitch" and told me i had "f*!king done it now!".

Amazingly two days later he text me to ask if he was seeing Joshua, as planned. I told him I was not prepared to subject myself to his behaviour anymore and that he could not see him. Given that Joshua is still a baby I am not prepared to start dropping him off round at his father's house for contact as he has a crazy dog who he can't control and i do not trust his parenting skills.

My problem is that he is texting me telling me I am wrong for taking my son out and if I want to go out at weekends I should leave Joshua with him so he can have him. He's also said that I am being unfair as it not in Joshua's best interest to stop his dad seeing him. I told him it was not in his interest to witness his dad yelling at his mum but he's denying it ever happened. I am still waiting for the police outcome but at this moment in time it doesnt look like they can do anything - I am just hoping they will warn him. other problem is, he is an fired Detective Inspector from the same force I reported him to and I think he will loose it if they do pay him a visit.

Is it wrong of me to withhold contact until we have gone down a formal route of either mediation or court? His mum is supposed to be meeting joshua for the first time next weekend and she too is ow giving me grief and asking that I leave Joshua with her and Joshua's dad so thet can do days out!

Sorry to waffle on! Any advice would be much appreciated!

SummersComing1111 Sat 11-May-13 19:18:45

I have been threw this and going threw it again now !! All i can say for advice is do it formal , save every texts write everything and if u feel ur son will not be in safe hands do not let him go as if something happened u would be to blame as u no he has a temper i was told this the other day by a solicitor and woman aid!! He will try and twist it and make you think ur in the wrong and your not !! Call womans aid they will give u support and all the legal advice u need, they are even sending someone to my house next week to make it more safe !! Im so sorry your going threw this, but i started the legal route and stopped as my ex got in my head and now im back at square one, so do it the right way you wont get messed about again then, keeping ur little boy safe is all that matters

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-May-13 19:36:10

I'd suggest you contact a solicitor on Monday morning with a view to obtaining a non molestation order against him. This will give you some protection from him, and will make it a lot easier to get legal aid to deal with any court proceedings over contact. Legal Aid is available for getting non molestation orders regardless of your financial circumstances, although a legal aid solicitor will advise you if you will have to pay a contribution.

I don't think you should be supervising his contact, as if he can't control himself around you, that's potentially very harmful to your son. If he can't behave properly, then contact is going to end up in a contact centre, which will be bad news for him, as they are generally only open fortnightly, which will mean very sporadic contact.

It's completely inappropriate for him to seek more than short periods of contact with a child your son's age (and if you're breast feeding, that's going to be even more difficult to manage.) Little and often is the mantra with babies, and that's almost impossible with a man like this. If thre's another family member who he can behave properly around, then that might be an answer, but if not, then I'm afraid he's just bought himself a seat on the slow train to fatherhood.

Overnight contact, in cases where very young children have no history of being cared for by dad, isn't really expected to start for some time. Generally, my experience is that most children in this position who I see aren't having overnight contact by their second birthday, and most are by their third. Of course some agree overnight contact much sooner, but judges generally don't start to push for it until the child is heading towards the third birthday.

Leave it up to him to apply for contact. Given his behaviour, I think it's perfectly reasonable to call a halt to contact.

yosemite78 Sat 11-May-13 20:22:29

Thanks very much for the replies. Summerscoming1111, I am very sorry to hear you're going through a similar thing. It makes parenting very difficult when dealing with such emotional upset and stress, combined with lack of sleep!

mrsBertBibby, thanks for your advice. I am afraid that if it does goes to court (which is highly likely) a judge would take a dim view of me stopping Joshua from seeing his dad. I do have a lot of text messages I have managed to print off which show how he is constantly going on about my male friends and how he told me he would have to explain to our son that it is not normal. I also have a number of secret voice recordings where he looses him temper with me.

I feel so resentful that the man is doing this to me when i am trying to do the best for our son. I am the one who has the sleepless nights and all i do is spend my free time researching contact issues panicking about court when i should be relaxing and switching off!

thanks again

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-May-13 20:33:27

You are very welcome.

It's never possible to predict the attitude of every single judge, but I can't imagine any of the ones I deal with feeling you'd acted improperly.

Get yourself to see a legal aid solicitor, as soon as you can. Again, different solicitors take different views, and things may be a bit more complex than you can convey here, but if you pitched up in my office with this account, I'd be proposing to go for a non mol.

Good luck!

yosemite78 Thu 16-May-13 23:06:23

Hi again

Ive had a very stressful week regarding the police and solicitors etc and just wanted your opinion on the outcome.

I contacted my solicitor and informed her of what has been taking place and I've been told I am unable to apply for a non mol at this moment in time and that we need to monitor his behaviour. She's contacted my ex and told him he is only allowed to see our son at a contact centre as I do not feel safe around him. He has written her a 3 page letter in which he completely fabricates the incident which I reported to the police and made out he has not been seeing his son but I invited him to my mothers house to discuss the issue. He has said that when he arrived he was berated and abused by both me and my mum and he had to leave before he was attacked! Obviously I was fuming after reading this as it is so far from the truth and he portrays himself as a victim.

The police contacted my this morning, 8 days after I made the complaint about my ex and told me they issued him with a PIN- police information notice which is a warning about his behaviour and harassment. Apparently he was very emotional and has told the officers that he feels harassed by me and they also issued me with one! I told them how u fair I felt this was as I was the one who made the complaint but was told that they are treating us both equally! My problem is that my ex used to be a detective inspector for the same force until he was fired for misconduct 2 years ago! I can't help feeling I've been stabbed in the back by the police and that as a result of his abusive appalling behaviour I too have been issued with a PIN! I guess he has done it as he knows the law inside out, how far he can push things etc and because he's good at manipulation.

My fear now is that I feel so let down and that if it goes to court for contact a judge will decide in his favour and believe his lies about contact issues and he will win having walked all over me and put me through he'll for the last 4 months.

I can't understand why I had to give a statement and it took the police 8 days to act on it and my ex can say he felt harassed by me and they act in less than 24 hours!

His controlling manipulative behaviour is really wearing me down now and this outcome has not helped. The only good thing is he is not allowed to contact me directly which I guess is a good thing when he can't say anything nice!

Is this fair or normal practice?

kittycat68 Fri 17-May-13 09:07:17

I feel for you OP. However when you get a controlling and agressive ex like this one seems to be from your comments, pleased be advised that he is probably not going to stop any time soon! every time you come into contact with him voice record on your phone the converastions they are admissable in court.
You are never going to be able to stop contact. If he wishes to persue it a court will likely give unsupervised access at some point. It comes down to your word against him unless you have hard evidence. Get the bruises etc photograthed etc go to gp or hospital get them looked at for evidence reasons and documented.
he will most likely go on the fact that he is an upstanding citizen and ex police officer and you are an abusive vinindictive mother trying to get even with him for leaving you. He will make up whatever he needs too in order to get a contact order in which to control you.
In order to protect yourself you need Evidence ,Evidence, Evidence. Install a video camera at your house if you can.

RooneyMara Fri 17-May-13 09:13:58

First off I think you should be a bit careful posting thiswith your son's real name, in case someone recognises you and he ends up reading your posts.
You can ask MN to delete your OP once you have got the advice you need, or start a new thread and have this deleted anyway, if you prefer.

I am really, really sorry for what you are going through. are you breastfeeding at all, because that can help if you want to go for minimal contact when babies are little xx

yosemite78 Fri 17-May-13 12:12:55

kittycat68, my ex has never been physically abusive, just verbally and mentally. That does not mean I am not genuinely concerned that he may just go that step further one day, esp if I ever did meet someone else. The fact that he is a sacked police officer hopefully would go against him as it demonstrates he's untrustworthy as he lost his job for gross misconduct!

What i cant get my head round is how he can lie so convinsingly. I am sure he must believe them himself but how is this possibly in his son's best interest to cause me so much upset and distress.

Anyway, RooneyMara, yes it was a bit foolish of me to use my son's name and I will try and get it removed asap but I am struugling to think straight at the moment! It's not that I have never wanted my ex not to see our son or be involved but he just wants to dictate and control everything and thinks he has a right to do that, even though we are not in a relationship and have never lived together. The reason I got out before our son was born was because I realised how controlling he was becoming.

thanks x

kittycat68 Fri 17-May-13 16:02:10

each case will depend on th evidence concerned not what he previously did for a job. nor will be taken in to account for contact issues.

each case is dependant on the evidence before it.

Just watch your back by making sure you can back up any allegations you make with evidence either recorded or written, otherwise its your word against his. court will side on the side of probability of whos telling the truth, ie if you say hes verbally abusive to you in front of your child, unless you can prove this a court is likely to think that most fathes woudnt do this so it probably didnt happen its just the mother trying to stop contact.
Just be careful.

yosemite78 Fri 17-May-13 17:43:23

he is also accusing me of not letting him see our son but i have kept all the text messages where we have arranged contact etc and kept a diary. I do not have much evidence of him being aggressive in front of our son, only my mother as a witness who could be viewed as backing me up. However, i do have a midwife, health visitor and a counsellor who are prepared to write a statement as during my pregnancy I often talked to my midwife about his behaviour and abusive text messages. I saw a counsellor a few months ago and she described my ex as a controlling bully etc. Do you think this could all be used to back me up in court? Again, it's NOT that i want to stop him having a relationship if he ca be trusted. I just do not want to have to have the man in my house every again and as our son is only 4 months I think he is too young to spend a day in his care, given his behaviour. I think offering him access in the contact centre shows I am not trying to keep our son from him. His behaviour is irrational though and abusive when he doesnt get his way etc!

thanks

kittycat68 Sat 18-May-13 12:45:45

TBH contact through a contact centre is only given when theres proven abuse, so i think you are unlikely to get it. Your counsellors have only your side to go on so a court would not look at it as being impartial! so no.
Recodred conversations on your phone that happen in front of your child ie the sound of your child crying in the backgrouns etc are proof. Also you are right in the fact the your mother would not be seen as impartial.
Even though you have valid concerns and nobodys saying that they are not true its all about probability and proof at court. I dont dont think you have enough evidence to stop contact or get unsupervised eithr, its likely to be insupervised and the more yougo on about his behaviour without any hard proof the more likely a court would think you are being diffiucult. So either you need more proof or you change tact. Have you ever thought of offering so much contact that he will run fast.

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