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Family law and access for NRP help please(30 Posts)
EX has not seen DD, apart from on the day of birth and once a couple of days later. After much interior wrangling nearly 3 years on, I went to csa for maintenance. Ex insisted on DNA and got the result and demand for payment.
Ex now sending messages via FB which I will not respond to demanding access and threatening court action. Trying to spook me into response naming firm as Russell, JOnes and Walker. Googled it, seems they are no longer called that and his local office only does personal injury. Hmmm!
He is not on BC and does not have PR. If he sees a real solicitor, what should I expect to happen? What will it cost me to fight him?
I truly believe he has no interest in DD, only trying to reduce CSA costs. When I take my feelings out of the equation, I can not see any benefits of DD having contact. She has a stable and loving family life and does not deserve to be messed around.
Please please advise me, I am fairly sure he is trying to scare me but I would feel better if I can prepare myself just in case.
Why should a parent not have contact? If he decided you could not have any contact with her how would you feel? Does it matter if at fist he was not interested and now she is 3 he does want contact?
Surely if he can look after her more days a week you could work full time, get a rest and earn more money too so it would be win win all round.
I doubt very much anything will happen. He won't get Legal Aid, but he'd first need to go to Court to establish PR (which he'd get) and then ask for contact. Even representing himself, there are Court fees to be paid, reports to be commissioned... it can easily run into thousands of pounds. It's difficult enough for decent fathers if their ex becomes obstructive, wankers who threaten Court just to intimidate rarely have the committment to see it through.
I do work full time, I am studying to degree level on top of previous dipHE and I have just been promoted. This is not a money issue, it is a matter of principle that the CSA became involved.
Ex accepted/denied parentage as it suited him. it suited him to deny it so he stopped contact. I welcomed his contact initially but I think walking in because you have been forced to accept financial responsibility is taking the p*ss.
I have brought up DD, paid for everything, had no support from him whatsoever. She is now part of a family with my Dp who has been around as long as DD can remember, alongside his DC.
he should not have contact because he was emotionally abusive to me, has a gambling problem and stole from me, is aggressive (although not physically violent to me) and he has another DD from a prior relationship who is picked up and dropped as he sees fit, with no consistency to the relationship. this DC was forced to share a filthy bed with him in his home, with no food or toilet paper when I knew him. This behaviour caused our split and I found out I was pregnant a week later. I cannot hand DD over with this knowledge.
He may have changed, but from the sound of his messages he is manipulative, sly and self centered as always, which is why I object. In addition to his not being bothered for 3 years!
I don't think he is committed, he does have access to his other DD and can't be bothered. I am just trying to cover all bases and be prepared so I won't be quite as upset, frightened and intimidated by him.
Why the principle to get him to face up to his responsibilities financially but not extend this to actually having contact to his child? At the end of the day you chose to have a child with him knowing what he is like as a father! I suggest that you make some contact arrangements with him - if he is as awful as you say he won't stick to them but if he does your child has the benefit of knowing their father.
To be honest i agree with RedHelenB. However if it wasnt case of needing the money in the first place you would have been better to to have gone to the CSA in the first place, quite frankly you have now opened a can of worms. if you dont want him to have contact you could always get a written agreement with him that you will drop csa payments if he agrees to no contact. Although i must point out if he changes his mind later he does have a legel right to do so and so do you. But it may do the trick.
If you don't need the money and refuse him contact why did you go to the csa? You can't have everything.
I can totally understand why you wouldn't want him to have contact, but why contact the csa? You can't expect him to pay for a DD he has no contact with.
DD deserves the best in life I can provide for her. The money he pays can be used for the little extras like ballet classes or whatever she would like to do that my budget won't stretch to. I can afford the basics but why should she miss out? I am also hoping to save some money for her to go to uni and not come out with a ton of debt as I did.
As her father, he never wanted contact until he was forced to pay. I did not stop him, that s his choice, not mine and not hers.
Like I said, I am not convinced he means it. If he does then he can do things properly with legal advice and I will do what I have to. I am not saying I would refuse to cooperate.
I honestly believe he only wants access to reduce what he has to pay, or to scare me into dropping the maintenance claim. I do not believe he has any interest in the actual child.
Why not give him the chance to prove it? Your daughter does not deserve to be messed around but she does deserve a chance at a relationship with her dad. If you're going to be demanding money from him you have no right to withhold contact. As much as you obviously dislike him for good reason, your feelings don't come into his possible relationship with her.
it will finacially cost you a lot of money with solicitors OP!! mediate with him first see if you can come to an amicable arrange ment. courts and the legal system is a difficulate and stressful thing.
he may only want contact because he wants to reduce his csa payments as you say but he has a right to see the child and your child has a right to see thier dad. How you going to feel about him getting overnight contact every other weekend or 50% shared care? i hope you are okay with this beacuase this is what he is likely to get.
what does 50% shared care entail?
He won't be able to arrange regular contact because he works shifts. This was why his contact with his eldest DD was erratic.
If he is serious, I have to give him the opportunity to see her and see what transpires.
I can't mediate with him via FB, I have no address or contact details for him. He said (via FB) that he had asked the CSA to pass on contact details but I haven't recieved anything.
'When I take my feelings out of the equation, I can not see any benefits of DD having contact'
It appears you are not best placed to understand whats best for your child.
If you want the line of least grief and cost you want to offer him mediation and then both of you can hopefully find a way forward.
Beware, mediation can be a forum for a lot of venting of frustration.
After that it gets expensive and protracted and the outcome may not be to your choosing or convenience because at the end of the day its not about you(or the father).
Mediate! Avoid court!
He will not get shared care - not in a month of Sundays.
I must strenuously disagree when you say I am not best placed to understand what is best for my child.
I have been her solely responsible for her since he decided he "couldn't deal with it, You look after her" (his words).
I have fed and clothed her, educated her, cared for her when she was ill, read her bedtime stories, got up in the night with her, paid every penny I had towards her needs. He has done nothing, paid nothing and severed all contact.
She is settled, happy and loved. Where are the benefits of being forced to spend time with someone who didn't care if she existed until he had to pay? I can see her being confused, neglected, picked up and dropped as suits him. I can forsee her becoming unsettled and unhappy if this is what he does.
My priority is her care and safety and happiness.
I agree, your priority is her care, safety and happiness. You need to do everything in your power to ensure that. He was a twunt of the highest order to walk away from her and you like that. If he feels he can now manage you have to let him try. There are no "benefits of being forced to spend time with someone who didn't care" but there are huge benefits of having a father who wants you.
What would you rather? That she experiences a little unhappiness now and understands in the future that you tried but it didn't work, or that he tells her you refused to let him have contact and he had to take you to court? No good will come of refusing to allow any relationhip to have a chance. Yes she may be unhappy but only IF that's what he does. IF.
You say she is now part of a family with your dp and his dc.
Does your dd call your dp daddy, is that what is going on here?
Children do need both parents and a parent trying to stop that is not doing what is best for their child unless there is a valid reason why contact should not talk place.
The fact you have brought her up on your own so far is not a valid reason.
ladyjadey - please don't worry. Your ex will be lucky to get a small amount of supervised contact in court.
Well, what will happen will largely depend on him - if he turns the corner and becomes a fully involved parent, reduces the conflict etc then there is no reason why her father cannot build time to regain a relationship with his daughter...
You are aware your daughter has a right to a meaningful relationship with BOTH parents, right?
But if as you describe him he messes you/her around then this will come out in the wash and the outcome might be different, it might. Sounds like there will be conflict between you for a while yet - that again is not a bar to his daughter getting to know him again
The thing is - it is unlikely he will not get time with your daughter should you go to court.
You might want to separate the money aspect from the parenting - they are not connected.
Like I said - its up to you mediate or roll the dice of court
This happened to me OP.. well v.similar .... the CSA caught up with my ex when my DS was three, he ducked and dived and then when DS was 7 and he could run no-more bingo he suddenly wants to play daddy. I don't have much time to explain now as I have the school run but I will post later, just marking my place. Court will cost you a lot !! £5-10K is probably a good estimate depending on the issues but he would have to pay this amount too - do you think he would? or he can self rep?. I agree with mediation as a starting point. My best advice would be to think a lot through before you do anything, I will come back later and say where I went right/wrong. Slightly different situation as my DS is now 8 and never met him but if you can talk direct with each other first I would. I know lots say that money and contact are seperate and to a degree they are but when anyone is motivated by money things don't end well for the child.
I don't agree that he will get supervised contact - he will get small amoounts of contact to start with which will then be increased
The firm of Solicitors you mention assist public sector workers I think.. You also mentioned that your ex works shifts - is he a Police Officer? If this goes to Court, he will get contact and as Baby barrister said - it is unlikely to be supervised and will gradually increasea dn at DD's pace. I suggest that you take control of the situation and offer a level of contact that you are happy with. Keep a diary. Unfortunately you can't hit a button and get rid of your ex. You can let this drive you insane or you can grab the bull by the horns and make it work.
I very much doubt a court would order a three year old to spend time with a person they do not know without supervision/support to start with.
There is no way a court would order a three year old to be handed over to an adult he/she doesn't know - the fact that they share genes is immaterial here.
don't agree - depends if any welfare concerns have been raised or not. fwiw i have been doing the job for 20 years ....
You cannot leave a three year old in a nursery without a settling in period. You cannot adopt a child without a settling in period. Why would this case be any different?
In my experience there would be a very short period of supported contact in the first instance with an element of supervision given the child's age. If there are no welfare concerns there would be no lenghty period of supported/supervised contact. If the contact is safe then the Court will want to commence a natural father/child relationship as soon as possible as this is what is in the child's best interests. The fact that this father has not been around/messed about over the money side of things will hold very little weight as far as a barrier to contact is concerned. I am afraid that the fact that they share genes is the point. The issues that mothers' believe should be a bar to contact are often considered not to be by a Court. Stay away from the court, offer some supported contact to start with whilst your DD becomes familiar with her father and then get the contact ball rolling. Stay away from court proceedings and you may ultimately stay in control.
I have been horrified over the last few months to hear many lawyers make broad, general statements regarding the treatment of children. They scare monger and talk a lot of rhetoric for one main reason - to get people scared into agreeing to contact so that they can then represent people who want it. ....who tend to be men who in the main have more income and now legal aid has gone for most family cases will be the main people seeking/able to have representation.
Children's emotional state is protected by many, many organisations including the court and I agree more with mumandlawyer that it may be a short period but there would be supported contact at the very least. As with any case the individual details regarding your DD would be looked into. The reaction of the child would be taken into consideration. Children are not pieces of furniture that can just be handed about as and when, no matter what.
I still stand by what many have said previous and try and avoid court but please don't panic OP contact would be introducted slowly and monitored. Your ex would not just be able to walk into court and get a final order.. nothing when it comes to chidlren is ever final anyway.
The biggest issue for me right now is that I don't believe he actually wants contact. If I thought he genuinely did, I would be a little more forgiving - after all this is about DD, not me, not him.
I think he is trying to frighten me, not because he wants to see her, he never has before. He wants me to drop the CSA case against him to get him to leave us alone.
He is indeed in the police, yes. I think he is name dropping with the law firm and hasn't seen anyone.
I cannot believe for one second that anyone would make me hand over DD to a complete stranger initially without supervision.
I don't want to have to go through the courts, i don't really think it will come to that because I'm fairly certain he can't afford it, I don't think he is serious and I think he is scaremongering.
I intend to just wait for now and see if I have any official contact from him, something of substance and not just whiny, threratening facebook messages.
be prepared to offer supported contact - who could do this? friend/relative? where? local library /soft play? look up local contact centre for information if you want to propose that - ask what service they provide www.naccc.org.uk if he is serious he will happily go along with supported contact initially - this could be over period of several months . she wont be suddenly going overnights wih him.
at the end of the day you do need to explain to dd who her bio dad is = and if he asking for contact then support her thru that. if he is paying thru CSA then as much as money and contact is separate, it is to be expected that if you going to a lot of trouble to prove he is her father, you might expect the outcome of that quest to be some level of contact.
initially it may be akin to a distant relative, until sufificient regular contact has happened you all comfortable... obviously if he doesnt turn up etc you will monitor that .
Thanks for the link - that is really helpful
She does know my DP is not her real dad but her level of understanding is not great yet, I have always maintained I will be truthful on this matter.
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