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welfare of unborn baby- can any solicitor/law MNers advise?(90 Posts)
its a long story but heres my situation...
im a mum of 3 kids, whos father died 4 years ago... he was a decent bloke and even when our relationship was on the rocks, access to the kids was easy and positive. they are all happy and settled with me at home, well provided for.
last year i started a relationship with my now ex. (hes divorced with his ex wife who wont allow access over verbal abuse)
it started great but over 6 months his behaviour got really erratic. he dumped me twice (excuse: he saw his dd in town, felt low and hid in his flat for a week on both occasions).
both times we got back together once he 'pulled himself together'. its been rocky since as i got sick of picking up the pieces for his mental health problems. but it was bearable and i stuck with him in the hope that hell change. i fell preg. since i got preg, he changed for the worse, he got controlling, started the mental abuse n mind games, telling me im not looking after the kids right etc. everytime i mentioned ending it, he threatened me with court, saying hell get custody of the baby.
about 6 weeks ago, we had a row cos i didnt ring him before i went to sleep. he turned up at my house wanting to row further. i told him no as im not rowing in front of my 4yo daughter ( who was in the car waiting to go to her aunts). i said no and turned on my engine to leave. he said 'so your driving away from me now then' i said 'well yeah i am actually'.
to which he said 'ok, see u in court and look forward to having social services on your back'
at that point i snapped and finally said its over, as im not having my bereaved kids used as weapons amongst other things.
since then, he :
- put in malicious allegations to social services about me and my family, after i refused to get back with him (i kept the texts in which he admits he was wrong for that n that he did it cos i drove away). social services accepted it was malicious and took no further action.
-spread hate about me and my family to others and online, and has been warned to stop harrassing me by my solicitor. police were called on 2 occasions.
-threatened to have my baby taken from me at birth, and bragged that when he goes to court to get pr, he can refuse to give me the child back after contact as long as he can provide for him, and theres nothing i can do to stop him.
-has said he planned to run abroad with his dd when he gets contact (he hasnt seen her for 2yrs).
-hasnt bothered to sort his issues out, just continued to slag me off. hes still trying to wind me up saying baby will support x team when he gets custody, his mate posting that hes going to help him get custody.
-his demands are unreasonable. no other males are to have contact with, or ever discipline his child, including family and even if they are naughty in their care. the child must go to a different school in a different area to my 3. he wants overnights with the baby from birth. the list goes on.
-i have worries about the babys welfare. hes not emotionally stable at once and cant think straight when hes upset. hes in alot of debt but spanks his wages up the wall then relies on others to bail him out. his personal hygiene has become poor and he smells awful. i strongly feel that he would not hand the child back after contact or even run off with him. i think his anger, possessiveness and depression will cause so many problems and worry itll ruin my baby emotionally.
hes already tried to have my kids lives disrupted by child protection for revenge already and its not fair on any of them to be brought up around that. i just want my baby to have a good start with
no bullshit a positive atmosphere. i dont intend to put him on the bc or be around cos i just think theres too much risk to my kids (all 4), in the way of welfare, mentally and by the threat of abduction.
ive been told by alot of ppl (mostly dads and pro-dads rights people) that he can 'easily' get pr and i should prepare for him to get contact too. so i feel im being trapped into handing my baby to him.
i honestly think he will fully abuse his 'rights' and use his pr to control me.
my main question is: if hes serious and applied to court for pr and contact:
- will i be given the chance to contest it, or will my reasons at least be taken into account before handing him pr?
- what will happen once he submits his court order forms?
-will cafcass definately get involved?
-if he still gets unsupervised contact, is there anything i can do to prevent him abducting, refusing to hand him back after contact or trying parental alienation? to protect myself and my baby from his games?
- if he applies for a residence order, how likely is it that he'll be granted it?
sorry for such a long post, but im so distracted by this and its stressing me out. i feel like i just cant relax and enjoy my pregnancy for the worry of what hell do, what he has up his sleeve when i give birth. im 22 weeks, social services, homestart, police and the midwives/hv are aware of it.
i need someone who knows the real facts and deals with it, to advise and not anyone whos just going to force more fathers rights biased stuff down my throat.
as much as id love to, id get really flamed by childrens services (my sons disabled and therefore classed as a child in need, and gets intense support from them to keep him developing. even minor routine changes make him regress). they gave me a right grilling when i considered moving away few years ago.
n hes already accused me of that lol we briefly split at 9 weeks preg and he accused me then of the baby not being his. and ive still got the text with it on x
Completely unhelpful but I'd have lied about your babies parentage before involving anyone. Something along the lines of 'oh silly me, I checked the dates and baby looks to be <insert random dudes name> so you're not the dad. Don't worry I don't expect you to play dad to a child that's not yours and I'll understand if you don't want to keep in touch'. If that didn't work I would have seriously considered a termination if it meant keeping him out of mine and my dcs lives.
Not what you want to hear and as I said completely unhelpful. I'd move (and change our names), it might be stressful and unsettling for your dc but will your ex constantly turning up and causing trouble not cause more stress to them in the long run
sw did her welfare check but said cos ex is the biological dad of this baby she has to talk to him.. i dont understand what this could possibly achieve other than give him to chance to spew more lies and stir things up ive been told by my my family worker that therell be a meeting in the next week, with just professions, that its just to get everyone together to share whatever info they have. she said she has no concerns with me or the kids. but why a meeting? feels like hes being given a place in mine n my kids life to sink his claws into- that bit of control over me he wants i just wana be free from his troublemaking
You apply for a prohibited steps order whenever you think you need one ie whenever you feel there's a realistic worry that he will remove DC from the country. It isn't related to his application for contact, if he makes one- they're two separate things. You don't need to wait until he does anything, and it won't cost you anything if you're on legal aid. And he hasn't done much homework if he's still in a position where he's not seeing his DD and is making up shit to social services. If I were you, I'd contact your old solicitor and ask for advice about a prohibited steps order to stop him removing DC from the country.
Honey, please listen to SGB and Chub. The baby isn't here yet so his actions are against you not the baby.
ive got a solicitor who sent him a letter warning him of injunction... thats whats kept him quiet so far i think, cos he knows that an injunction will go against him... hes an arse** yes but he's also (or acts should i say) clever... hes clearly done his homework on the family law subject so he'll definately try to avoid the injunction. most likely he'd use that in court against me to say its proof im 'maliciously' cutting him out his babys life.
my solicitor did suggest a residency order but said i wouldnt get la for it... little confused about that.
would i need to apply for an order right after birth or should i wait n see if he files anything? cos applying for one first wouldnt i effectively be paying for him to try n get residence?
Ok, so the only baby you have together is the one on the way, got it.
SGB is correct, he can't insist on much and isn't holding a lot of cards. Yes, if he goes to court then in the end he's more likely than not to get PR- though not necessarily, and he sounds dodgy enough that he might be in the minority who don't. However, it's quite difficult to get your shit together enough to go to court all by yourself. Which is why he's previously failed to do so with his DD- do you really think he's suddenly going to acquire competence now? It requires filling in forms, and paying a fee. Additionally, there's a very long wait even to get a hearing in a lot of family courts right now. Months and months, and it will only get worse as more litigants in person clog up the system. And even if he does get PR, that doesn't mean he'll get unsupervised contact. He has already made a quite considerable arse of himself. Courts look dimly on people who piss around with SS.
Save copies of all the screenshots, particularly anything vaguely threatening and alluding to hurting DC. And see a solicitor for advice on a prohibited steps order and possibly even an injunction. You do qualify for legal aid and there'll be a legal aid solicitor near you. Do you need help finding one? Don't delay. You want a paper trail in place.
well i havent seen him since 16 weeks but hes been plastering around social networking sites about his intentions ive seen screenshots. hes so hellbent on getting his way i know he wont let this lie im sure when ds is born he'll be causing more trouble. hes already made it clear hes willing to use my kids and hurt them if it means he 'wins'
he claims im 'unstable' which is funny cos my social worker is going to get info on my mental health. my gp happily told me the other day hes pleased with my progress and thinks my mental health is very much controlled and stable as does homestart and my autism psychologist x
his dd is by his ex-wife.. hes on her birth certificate but his ex has withheld contact for about 2 years so far so luckily he hasnt had the chance to be alone with her.
im 25weeks preg with our ds (his 2nd baby, my 4th) so hes not on the birth certificate (obvs) and i dont intend to put him on it. but hes saying hes taking it to court to get pr and unsupervised contact... this has me worried cos of his threats... ppl have told me he'll easily get it and i cant prevent it... but i need that protection to prevent abduction etc.
a friend has already messaged his ex to make her aware of his threats as we're not sure if she knew that... no-ones heard back from her yet x
Never mind what he insists. He is not in control here. Honestly, you can cut him off completely at present. He has no right to speak to you or interact with you in any way and he certainly has no right to any documentation at present. Use the law and the professional support that is available to cut this man right out of your life. You will have total freedom from him until the baby is born and even then it will take some time before he can force any kind of contact: he might have found another woman to abuse by then, or he might be in prison, or have dropped dead.
Right, in that case you need prohibited steps orders for both of them. This will prevent him from leaving the country with either of them. Is he on the birth certificate for the other DD you have together? If so, he has PR and could in theory apply for a passport for her and take her out of the UK, so you need to do this.
As you're on income support and are a victim of domestic violence, you will qualify for legal aid. If the solicitor wants evidence, as they may well, the fact that social services are aware of his threats and mental abuse should be sufficient.
No, don't give him the baby's documents. He won't have PR at birth as you're not married, he won't have PR by being on the BC as you're not going to let him on it. He may get it through the courts, if he can get his shit together, but it will take ages and until that time he has no right to any documents. Although I've a feeling anyone can get a copy of any page in the register of births and deaths, meaning he could get a copy of her BC if he particularly wanted it. makes no difference though.
hes also insisted he keeps babys documents (birth cert etc) at his even though baby will live with me. he kicked up a stink because he wanted to apply for the babys passport and keep it at his and i refused (for obvs reasons)
i do think hes capable of it (having bragged out his plans). he even told me the area of spain he was planning of going to with his first dd.
i also believe he wouldnt hand my child back after contact( he smugly told me of his right to do that, and said hed definately do it if his contact was stopped for any reason). i honestly dont trust him as far as i can throw him, hes coming across as in that state of mind wherehes hellbent on revenge. he doesnt think straight at all when thinks are difficult and acts on impulse.
im on is at the mo and dla (my sons disabled) x
OP are you genuinely in fear that he would remove the DC from the country? If so, you can apply to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order, so nobody can take her out of the UK without the court's permission. If your income is low enough to qualify, you could still get legal aid as you're a victim of domestic violence. You don't mention your income, but if you're on an income based benefit like JSA or IS you automatically qualify. If not, feel free to PM me and we can work out whether your income qualifies you.
(I'm a solicitor, I don't specialise in family but do have some experience).
i kindof know her but we never talk... tbh i dont think she cares about ex shes moved on wiv her new fella atm x
Are you in contact with his ex? Ie the mother of his daughter? I think it would be useful if you two could share information.
Honey, honestly, the law and the social workers are on your side. There is plenty of evidence that this man is a prick; they are not going to take any notice of his accusations because there is evidence that he is malicious and not to be trusted. Remember, you are completely entitled to cut off contact with him at the moment. He has no rights at all until the baby is born, and even when the baby arrives you can keep him at a distance. It might even be possible to get him registered as a 'vexatious litigant', which is a person who keeps trying to take other people to court purely out of malice - once a judge has ruled that someone is a vexatious litigant, that person is banned from bringing court cases.
any ideas of what the social worker would be talking to him about? from what ive been told, he has no rights, at least until he goes to court.. so why do they need to involve him right now?
cant help but worry its going to give him the opportunity to lie even more and get to me mentally. thats how he works. i know i prob sound pathetic but thats how anxious he makes me.. cos i just never know what hes got up his sleeve.. what tactics he'll use next to try and ruin my life. hes made it clear already that he'll be happy to use my innocent kids as a weapon.
thats all i expect though tbh for her to see him for how he is n help safeguard my baby from being used as a control/abuse tactic n to prevent his dads issues messing him up. stability and happiness for my kids. all he does is cause disruption and hurt, even his own family dontlike him being around. i didnt think before the possible reasons why his ex cut contact with his dd i know now
tbf this particular social worker has worked with me before (after dcs dad passed away) so she knows all about me x
She is working with her though, supporting and safeguarding the children, and the OP is working with her too as they want the same outcome - the children safe and well.
I mean, the social worker will not assume you are lying about his abusive behaviour, she will be disposed to believe you unless you tell her something that causes her to think you are lying or being malicious. Not suggesting that you are, by the way.
disclose something to undermine that? what do you mean? such as what?
This social worker is working with you, not him. She's there to support you
Sorry but that's wrong. The social worker is there to support and safeguard the children and will listen to both parents equally. However I can assure you that most social workers are quite able to spot and identify abusers and they are likely to start from a position of assuming belief towards you unless you disclose anything that undermines that.
This social worker is working with you, not him. She's there to support you and will easily help you refute any allegations he makes. Give the baby your name, because it is yours just as much as it was your husband's. You can give the baby whatever name you choose. This man actually has now power over you, and now he knows this, he makes the empty threats to try and regain it. Stay strong and work with the agencies who are there to help you.
Honey, talk to Women's Aid. They will help and advise you. At the moment, you are so scared of this man that you are seeing him as some superpowered monster, when he's just a loser who can be forcibly kept away. The social worker and other people have been advising you to take out court orders against him - do it. There's nothing to be torn or conflicted about, just use all the support in place to keep him away, because he's a bad person you don't need.
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