Don't know what do do(62 Posts)
I've been a SAHD for two years, my partner left without warning at the weekend, claiming she needed some space. Basically she took my DD for a walk and didn't come back. I haven't really been able to speak to her as she's had the phone switched off most of the time they've been away. She informed me this morning that she spent the night with her new man (presumably with my daughter there) and they plan to be together.
I'm in a state of complete shock/panic. I live in rented accomadation, have no money at all and after taking care of my daughter every day since she was born, apart from this time apart and I can't even get to speak to her. Things weren't great, I lost my job just before DD was born and money has been issue. This new man is much older than and quite wealthy and lives almost 200 miles away.
I feel bereaved, have no idea what to do, what rights I have regarding my daughter or how I can possibly cope without her.
Well done op although I'm sure it's all still difficult. Glad your DD is back with you. Shocked at some of the responses you got when you first posted.
Good for you that you were able to get your daughter back. I'm sure it wasn't easy as you can see from some of the responses on this thread and probably more in real life.
Read through most of that not realising it was an oldish thread, until the update. I have to say I was totally and utterly shocked at the level of abuse thrown at you, if it had been the other way round it would have been a different story and everyone would have fought your corner. I have friends in every state of relationship, single-mums, married couples with kids, married without, couples with, couples without, single dads etc etc etc. Glad your daughter is with you now. I would consider that at this age every weekend with her NR is ok, but once she gets to school you may want to reconsider - all the slog and no quality time is not as much fun. That's my tuppance!!!!
Yes, she's with me in the week and with her mother most weekends.
So is your daughter living with you now? Glad to hear you're in a better place now either way
Thank you for your update. I saw this in active convos & was shocked by the responses. I'm glad it's going ok & you kept your head.
Things have moved on somewhat and I'm no longer in a state of panic. For anyone else going through something similar, the CAB were fantastic initially and were afterwards too. The free consultation was also a great help and I think simply being armed with the knowledge of what could be done and what was likely helped greatly.
I found that focussing on practcal things, making sure we didn't didn't need to move, that our routine changed as little as possible - regarding childcare, nursery, play-dates and organising what benefits we could get, what our legal position was, and organising mediation to set everything out helped me get past the hurt.
My ex didn't move from her job, although she has moved about 30 miles away from here. I got a p/t job at the weekends and a day in the week, but it is flexible enough for me to work from home for some of it which means I get my DD all week, apart from the time she is at playgroup/childminder and the weekends when my ex is away with her NM.
Just wanted to say, even though you might feel completely at sea, get the practical help you need and just busy yourself through it.
(The reason people are reacting like this is because the majority of people who are abusive are men and the majority of people who need to escape from an abusive relationship are female. So it would have been different if op was a woman posting the same thing. Also deluded people do come on here and post nonesense, sometimes even in the hope their ex will see it.)
You need to get a formal contact agreement together. See it as a businesslike negotiation. What is she proposing? What are you proposing? And hopefully you can meet somewhere in the middle. Focus on what is in dd's best interest, taking into account her normal bedtime, playgroups, contact with extended family etc. Keep calm and don't rake over what she has done, just focus on the future.
OP, if you try to prevent your XP leaving with your daughter on Monday, you will be making a great deal of trouble for both yourself and the child. Your XP will call the police immediately, and there is a good chance that they will take her side, which will lead to an official record of abusive behaviour from you (even if you are the child's main carer, with no court order in place awarding you residence, the police will see a man attempting to physically prevent a woman from leaving and a frightened, crying child...) Don't start trying to arrange an amicable level of shared custody by having a dust-up.
As I said earlier, the fact that your XP has moved 200 miles away might make shared residence difficult but why not look into moving closer to where she and your DD are now living? I wouldn't be suggesting this to everyone in your situation but you have mentioned that you don't much like your current location, have no job and no friends there and you are in rented accommodation rather than stuck with a mortgage. Your ultimate aim is to see plenty of your DD and you need to focus on the best way to do that.
Well said OP, I also believe if you had written as a woman, you would not have received these posts accusing you of being something you are not.
I however see why your here, looking for advice, possibly a bit support and I hope you have found that in-between the rude comments. Good luck, please let us know how it goes!
FWIW, I would refuse to let my daughter go back with her mother on Monday if she does bring her... If a woman were to go to court as a primary carer, she would get residency, i have no doubt, just because you are a man doesn't mean you won't be treated the same! Go for it.
mumtobeallover - I did discuss this at the CAB and they suggested that it was indeed the case that the police would be unlikely to actually do anything as no crime would be committed. But, I can't see how I could practically stop her removing her, apart from physically holding onto her and as much as I want to hold her and not let go, I can't see it ending up in anything other than a horrible mess. I can't say for sure how I'll react, my emotions are swinging about all over the place and until we talk properly I don't know what she's truly planning.
I'm simply lost and can't process this at all rationally.
I hope you're enjoying yourself SGB. I was informed that she wasn't returning that day, she said she needed time apart to think things through as she had "feelings" for somebody else. That was at the weekend, a brief conversation on the phone on Tuesday suggested she might be coming back at the weekend, when we were to discuss moving forward. This morning she told me that she wasn't coming back, had been at his place and they planned to be together. Despite what you appear to think, not every man is abusive, violent or controlling sometimes decent people get shat on by selfish people.
I asked for practical advice, much of which was very useful. What I didn't want to do was rake over something I still can't process properly. What I don't think I deserved was the suspicion and accusations levelled my way simply because of my gender. My role as primary carer has been essentially that of a traditional, outdated even, mother. I do all the child care, housework, shopping, etc and I had hoped for a bit more understanding. My focus has been entirely on my daughter, for her whole life and the most rewarding part of mine. If you could comprehend the devestation of what I'm going through, you'd have a long look at yourself before making snap-judgements about people in frighteningly vulnerable positions. I might be anonymous, but I can assure you I'm a real person, with real feelings and I've told you te absolute truth.
The OP absolutely would have received more support had he posted exactly the same, but as a woman.
OP - If you have been a SAHD and have been the main carer for your daughter and she has never been in sole care of her mother then you'd have a very good case for residency at Court.
However, you need your daughter back, if you let time go by and the "norm" for her is to be with your ex partner then a Court may see it as more disruptive to move her back to primarily living with you.
With no Court orders in place and you on her Birth Cert you both have equal rights. She can take her and move 200 miles and no let you see her until a Court forces her to do so, but you can do the same too, if you wanted.
What I would do...
Can you convince your ex to bring your daughter to your home when she comes for her stuff on Monday? Be nice to her, agree to have her stuff packed etc and tell her you miss your daughter and would like to see her so could she bring her with her? Then once she is there refuse to let your daughter leave with her. YOU are her main carer and that is her home. Your ex would have no justification for removing her from your care / her home and in the absence of a Court order the Police are most likely (I believe) to say that the child is best at home with her main carer and her mother should take legal advice/action.
The OP is being a bit cagey about what point he actually discovered that his XP had left him rather than just going out for a walk. So it sounds as though he was informed fairly quickly as he makes no mention of having called the police to report XP and DD missing. Most people whose partner and child do not return after a walk, with no contact, start worrying fairly quickly (within a few hours) and start ringing the police/the hospitals etc to try and find out what has happened.
Also, women leaving men who are emotionally abusive, or physically abusive but have not yet been charged, are often advised to have a word with the local police station once they have left, so that if the abuser calls the police and does the 'waa, waa, what's happened to my wife and kids?' the police will react differently if they have a record of the woman reporting that she has left her partner because of abuse, that she is in a safe place but wants no contact at present.
Nobody has said anything of the sort Late. What would YOU suggest the OP do ? Show up at Exs door, beat it down, shout and yell whilst a 2 year old cowers inside ? And the Ex rings the police and has OP arrested for being threatening and abusive ? Yeah - that'll really help this little girl
if a mother was on here saying her partner had taken their child for a walk and disappeared 200 miles with child. i don't imagine the responces would be see him on monday to see how often he will let you see the child. this father is the stay at home prent and the childs primary career. surely the child should reside with him and have contact with mother as the starting point. as the child must be missing father and not understanding what has happend
OP, this must be frightening and shocking for you.. Had my ExH done that I would have felt that he had stolen my child.
I second Biblio's recommendation to check out the Families Need Fathers website. They have a Talk Forum where you may be able to find more support than you have here.
at the moment I don't know how calm or civil I can be, so I've asked my sister to be there when she arrives.My xp doesn't drive so I'm guessing her new man will be bringing her, not something I feel I can cope with alone. In fact at the moment I reall can't cope at all.
I don't think prohibited steps order would be issued on the grounds of a 200mile journey, if the mother is willing to meet the father halfway WRT contact.
Actually, OP, given that you say you have no job and no real network where you are living now, you might like to think about moving somewhere nearer where your DD will be living.
Thanks for your responses. I went to CAB and they were really helpful, getting me an appointment with a solicitor next week. Family mediation don't have anything in my area until over a months time, so not very helpful to me at the moment.
FFs SGB, what part of she'll be leaving her job to move in with him? She met him at work, but he doesn't work there.
Forget families need fathers for now - you don't need that lot antagonising and making a difficult situation worse.
Difficult as it is, for now, I would take a few deep breaths and see what happens on Monday. IF she brings your daughter home and you get to see her for a decent period of time, then use that as the starting point for moving towards sorting out suitable arrangements for your child. I have been and still am in the middle of a horrendous split and can honestly tell you that acting impulsively will only make the situation worse.
Get some recommendations for a good family law solicitor. Book an appointment as soon as possible to discuss the options. 'Custody' is an outdated term and is no longer used. The terms are residency and contact. What you and your Ex need to do is agree on what is best for your DAUGHTER. You may be able to do that through family mediation, with or without the input of solicitors, or you may end up going down the court route, and that is best avoided for the sake of your own well being.
You can take out something called a Prohibited steps order to stop your Ex from moving your daughter so far away, but you would need legal advice about that.
I cannot stress enough how important it is, and no matter how much you are hurting to try and keep things as civil as you possibly can for your little girls sake.
Catwoman u r mistaken. I gave him good advice. U maynot realise it but it will benefit him not to repeat his opinion that she is a fantasist and i commended his decision not to be drawn into criticising her. I am not bitter. I have been through this. I have a good relationship with my x now and that has been earnwd through careful handling / clear boundaries/ not criticising/ not discussing relationship. There is more to good advice than (metaphoric) passing tissues.
So she's recently started a new job, yet she's moving 200 miles away? Is the job a long way away or something? And she left, saying she was 'going for a walk' and went to her parents' house with no luggage? At what point were you informed that she had left you?
This is still sounding a bit... gappy, to say the least. You may not be guilty of anything more than simply not having noticed how unhappy your partner was with the relationship and that she was planning to leave you, of course.
However, the best advice I can offer is that you try to remain calm and civil. Your DD has a right to a relationship with you, so when your XP arrives on Monday, be calm and polite, and say that you would like to sort out the contact arrangements and you hope it can be done amicably. If your XP is hostile or refuses to discuss the issue stay calm and consult a solicitor once she has left. Any angry or aggressive behaviour will count against you.
Zoe why don't you stop digging the OP out and just give him the advice he has asked for, your feelings seem bitter somewhat and it's not helping him in the slightest!! he has lost his daughter and would like advice... So no advice? Then don't comment. God.
OP, I'm so sorry to hear your in this situation, understandably your head will be all over the place, best thing you could do is call around local solicitors and get a free 30 min consultation, good luck
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