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anyone with experience of occupation orders?(29 Posts)
Have been seperated from stbxh since Feb 2011, divorce un progress. He has agreed ti be the one to leave family home but won't actually go!
He has been emotionally and financially abusive, and is an alcoholic. He does no household chores at all and almost no childcare (nothing regular, an hour or 2 every 3 weeks or si if I have an appointment or something)
We have 2 dds, 7yo and 18mo. Baby not a good sleeper and I work 3 days a week.
Stbxh has been drinking out of the house for the last 5 days, returning each morning at 2am-6am to go to bed. Waking me up in the process with crashing and banging about and then keeping me awake with drunken snoring. He doesn't lick front door or close stair gate at top if stairs so I have to get up to di that. And get up again to check stair gate if he goes to the toilet. He had been sleeping in his clothes and hadn't changed for 5 days, he smells of alcohol and faeces
One of the mornings I woke up to find he had shit all over the toilet seat and bathroom floor. Now he is asleep on the stairs coveted in vomit. He has vomited all over the hallway and up the walls, the rug is probably ruined. He has knocked over my bike and damaged it. I use my bike to transport kids to school and nursery and to vomited to work
I feel at my wits end. I am derranged with tiredness, constantly dizzy and nauseous. I wish he would die in his sleep
I have a solicitor who is dealing with the divorce. But she seems to downplay all this stuff. She seems only interested in organising finances . On these grounds do you think I would get an occupation order to get him out of the house? I don't want the kids to see this, particularly dd1
Sorry for epic post
God almighty, what you are having to live with is terrible. I've no idea I'm afraid, but bumping for you so someone else will see it.
Most of the time I manage to normalize it, in order to put up with it; knowing that eventually he will have to move out
But he'd had me awake since 2am and I have to get up in half an hour to get ready for work.
I feel insane. I am a bit worried for his sake also-i feel Luke I could really do him wimen damage, if this doesn't stop. Soon.
I am a family lawyer. Albeit one on maternity leave, and one who has not regularly practiced injunction law for quite a few years.
Generally the courts see injunctions, and particularly occupation orders as a draconian measure that they will not grant simply as a precautionary measure 'just in case' there is a problem. As such they are usually granted in urgent circumstances in response to a recent incident. Occupation orders are only granted without notice to the other party in the most exceptional cases. They are usually but not always granted following violence or threats of violence.
Your circumstances are not perhaps then of the 'classic' pattern which would strongly support the making of an Order (ie. actual violence or real threat of really serious harm). Having said that they do sound utterly horrendous, and there is certainly an argument to be made that his behaviour is a real risk to the children.
I would make an urgent appointment to see your solicitor. Gather evidence - can you take some photos of the damage? Of him aslleep on stairs covered in vomit? Sometimes a pucture can paint a tjousand words IYKWIM. Does he have anywhere else to go? Do you and the children? Is he ever violent when drunk? Has he threatened you or the children? These are the questions your solicitor will be asking.
It is impossible to give meaningful advice over the Internet but my gut instinct is you may have grounds to make an application, but will need to give him an opportunity to respond before the court will grant any order which could take some time. If you are publicly funded you are likely to be required to send a warning letter to try and resolve matters before court action is commenced.
I would say that you need to act quickly. If you leave it a few days before you do anything, it weakens your argument that the children's well being requires that he be removed from his home.
I am up feeding a baby and am going back to sleep now, so won't be logging back in until later today. Good luck.
Oh honey that's awful. I had a similar experience - my ex was abusive & filed for divorce when DD was 6 weeks old. He also wouldn't leave the house. My solicitor advised me if he so much as put a finger on me again to dial 999. He pushed me over while I was holding the baby & I called the police. They carted him off into the cells overnight. In the morning the magistrate told him to leave of his own accord because next time he would grant an order. Next time he held me down & tried to force his penis into my mouth while the baby slept in a Moses basket next to me & DSs were in the next room. Again I called the police & they carted him off. He was finally made to leave but it took 7 months in total. Act now because it seems to take alot for the courts to act.
Thankyou distemper unfortunately I have cleaned everything up. But ill definitely take pictured next time. I'm going to email my solicitor- I find it easier to write the details. But then ill phone her, to get her response
Jesus midwife that is hideous.
The thought of another seven months makes me despair. Divorce process should be finished mid Jyly. So as long as he agrees consent order- that should be my worse case scenario, in terms of time taken. I hope . But right now, that is far far too long to wait
Will let you know what solicitor says. I wish I'd done this months ago-i didn't because I wanted to keep him ad amicable as possible
distemper I'm sure he could stay with friends. It's harder for me to find someone to accomodare me and the kids- and what to do with the pets? We could go and stay with kids godfathers, but it is 4 hours away so I would have to be off work and dd1 out of school-not ideal
He has been violent twice in the past, but I thumped him first I know there is no excuse for violence but it took all my self control last night, not to batter him.
Bike unrideable this morning. Dd1 found more sick in the sitting room, on the floor and sofa which I had missed. What am I supposed to say to her??? Rightly or wrongly I told her the truth
And I said because he won't stop drinking and clean up after himself, he needs to live in a different house, and because he won't do team work with us like a family should. She is full of sympathy for him because he has been sick and must feel too poorly to clean it up himself. I don't want her exposed to this! To think it is normal or ok
distemper or anyone else with advice to give, I have C&Pd the email I sent to my solicitor this morning; what do you think? He did get a warning letter- which my solicitor sent when I first went to her last yesr in march! I didnt proceed at that time because i didnt realise the divorce would take this long/ she thought as there is no violence it wouldnt be successful and because he is not always this awful-he can go months where he is bearable and not drinking. Bearable, never helpful and engaged, but nice for the kids to have around
I have had a pretty horrendous bank holiday weekend and last night I was sure that I was going to ask you to apply for an Occupation Order, to have XXX removed from the house. On reflection this morning, I am thinking that the process will probably take as long as getting the Consent Order sorted out?
XXX has been drinking for 6 days returning to the house to sleep between 2am and 6am. As you know, this disturbs my sleep with his crashing and banging around in a drunken stupor. He preceeds to keep me awake with drunken snoring. One morning over the weekend I woke, to find he had shit all over the toilet seat and the bathroom floor. Last night he came home at 2am and knocked over my bike, he slept on the stairs covered in vomit. There was vomit all over the hallway floor and walls, the rug is sodden and will need to be thrown away. He had also vomited in the sitting room, on the sofa and the floor. I use my bike for transporting my children to school and nursery and for commuting to work; This morning it was unrideable because it had been damaged where XXX has knocked it over. My cycling jacket is also covered in vomit. He hasnt washed or changed in 6 days and has been sleeping in his clothes. Him and his room smell of alcohol and faeces.
My concerns are;
He is still sometimes, leaving the front door unlocked when he arrives home in the night drunk.
He doesnt shut the baby gate at the top of the stairs which is a danger to my 18 month old daughter who regularly gets up in the night.
XXX was supposed to be minding XXX (the youngest) on Monday afternoon so that I could take XXX to an activity at 5pm. He arrived to do this drunk. I obviously didnt leave the baby with him and she came with us. His attitude was that I was being unreasonable in that he had interrupted his day/plans to look after the youngest because I had said I wanted to go out without her; I was then being awkward and wasting his time, because I didnt need his assistance after all.
Effect on the Children
It is not Ok for either child to be witnessing any of this. Particularly the eldest, at 7 years old she is very aware of what is going on. I dont want her to think that his behaviour is in any way normal or acceptable and whilst he is living with us, this is the message that she is receiving. It is important for her to know that this kind of behaviour is intolerable within a marriage, family or any kind of relationship at all. It is also very difficult in terms of having her friends round to play, in that XXX may arrive at the house or surface from his room at any time, drunk, hung over or stinking and covered in vomit. I cannot expose other peoples children to this. And XXXs social development should not be allowed to be stunted by her alcoholic fathers behaviour.
Also, the effect that XXXs behaviour is having on me, is having a knock on effect on the children;
Effect on Me
XXX does NO household chores, and in fact creates more for me in cleaning up his bodily fluids and mending broken stuff/ buying replacements. He does nearly no childcare at all, certainly not on a regular or frequent basis.
XXX has not slept through the night for the last 6 months. It is quite usual that doesnt go to sleep until 930-10pm. She often wakes numerous times in the night and can be awake for 2-3 hours at one time.
After she has gone to bed in the evening, I need to clean and tidy, do laundry and prepare for the next day e.g. packed lunches/nursery and school bags and equipment/ work paraphernalia, on line grocery shopping, bill paying etc etc. I cannot usually get to bed before midnight.
In order to be washed and presentable and get eldest to school, youngest to nursery and me to work by 9am, I get up at 630am.
This in itself is a very tiring schedule and I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the added night-time disturbance and stress, that XXX creates. I am constantly exhausted, dizzy and nauseous with a headache. I have been on anti-depressants which have not helped. My GP has done numerous blood tests and deemed that I am healthy apart from a Vitamin D deficiency.
Clearly being in a constant state of exhaustion, stress and anxiety, I am not being the mother to my children that I could and should be. I really need to divert my energies away from the negative demand that XXX is, and channel them into positive input for the children
well the efect on you bit will be the same when he leaves - you going to be doing everything.
apart from the very specific drink vomit bit so just focus on that bit.
focus on the horror of your Dc waking to find their dad covered in vomit and shit on the stairs etc .
frannkly he aint gonna leave til he is forced to.
if he goes out to get drunk can you double lock door from inside?
then when he comes back, you have to get up yes but you only let him in the house if sober?
so if drunk he has to go elsewhere?
if he gets volent starts smashing you call police -that gives you evidence.
ok so you setting him up - but tell him in advance it will be his choice to turn up drunk and smash thing or not .
while he living there still he has to respect the family house.
you let him know this is the plan - that way he will plan in advance to stay with a friend or face the consequences.
is there somewhere you could go with DC then go thru with divorce and get court order for you to re-occupy the house with dc and him to leave?
will take time but if there is any way ?
thing is you dont have to live with a drunk and you needto take action to ensure he isnt in the house drunk. he wakes you anyway - so lock door when he goes out telling him you will open if he sober. or he can arange to stay with his mates. he might then realise and move in with them - right now he gets no consequences - you clean him and house up he gets presumably fed and watered at home - what reason to move out?
I have told him that I will leave the key in the back of the door when I go to bed- so that he cannot get in once I am asleep. I have not done this because I figure that him coming in drunk is less disturbing than him banging on the door endlessly to get in - i dont want him to wake the kids. But actually, youre right-he isnt going to get the message until I prevent him coming in drunk. That is what I will do from now on. do you think I can call the police just if he is knocking and knocking? or does he have to be violent? It might be worse to start with, if it wakes the kids; but he will surely stop trying to come home after a few attempts
I dont clean him up or try and get him into bed any more. I leave him where he falls. And I stopped cooking and washing for him over a year ago. He mostly buys his own food, but will help himself to my stuff- butter, bread, coffee, veg, washing powder, soap, toothpaste etc-doesnt take meat anymore
He does have a history of coming in pissed and attempting to cook, then passing out- I have been woken a number of times by the house filling with smoke! which is also a worry
I think I might change the locks
I know this is illegal. But what is he going to do about it? Then the onus is on him to seek access to the house, if he feels strongly about it. i imagine he wouldnt win that legal scuffle? and it would take time? he cant get an immediate court order to get back in even though both names on mortgage and deeds?
what do i say to dd1 if i change the locks?????
you dealing with a drunk take advice from al anon.
you can call police if he knocking on door drunk and you are scared of the consequences of him being drunk around you and the dc. (tell them you are scared of him )
you can also call 999 if he collapses unconscious in garden you can say you worried -they will decide if is police matter night in cell or A and E. you can quite honestly say you are scared of him for you and DC and cant have him in house.
the more times you let him in to vomit etc the more he will do it .
set your boundaries. decide plan of action.
given he has agreed to leave the family home perhaps you can give him a deadline to leave?
then change locks on that day . so it is with a warning.
has he agreed in writing eg email or in front of solicitor to leave?
you could write yourself or pay solciitor letter giving him warning to leave "as has been agreed" . that the recent drunken episope is a health and safety hazard for your dC and intolerable therefore he must leave. ?
tell dd1 that dad has a problem with drinking and it is better he solves it away from family home . that it is not good for her or baby to see and hear him drunk. that he can get help with this. but only he can get this help himself.
anyway does she know or not you separated?
i have given him many deadlines- which he has agreed too- they come and go, he stays!
she knows he is leaving. felt i had to tell her as he was having estate agents round to value house, whilst she was there. And I thought it was imminent, that was 8 months ago or so. I would never have told her, if I thought he was going to still be here-not fair to have that hanging over her.
She knows he drinks too much, and I have told her it is not ok, but being 7yo and it being her dad-she feels sorry for him and wants us to help him!
So-what i am trying to say- is, she knows he is going- but its a different thing leaving- and being forced to leave with no access to the house. I was hoping that he would be able to come round and spend time with them, to make it an easier transition. But, this will be painful for her I imagine, if daddy isnt allowed in the house/ doesnt have a key
you have to make it a clear split so they see him elsewhere eg supervised by relative or fiend or in public place like soft play centre . til you can trust him to take them alone.
if you let him visit in house he will hav moved back in again.
and you can tell dd this is to help daddy get help with his drinking problem.
it is his "naughty step" .
and if you gave deadlines which he ignored he clealry oesnt hink you mean them -ie you have not done anything concrete like move out his stuff for him or change locks.
i had to move ou with DC - as exp would not budge. #on day i was moving (with friend for suppro) he was crying sayin "thais makes no sense! i will leave!" yeh righ.
anyway few years later and i have court order to sell out from under him and he still hasnt got it...
it is hard.
but you cannot simply cannot live like this any more.
(well you could chose to but your dc have no choice)
time for hard action.
call al anon for support
tell yourself it is ok to keep this man out of your house when he is drunk or otherwise disorderly because it is scary for the DC and may be risky eg the fires/smoke and call 999 on him to cart him off if violent or incoherent (so his behaviour is recorded oficially).
speak to solicitor again for a legal route and file the divorce papers .
and take lots o vitamins, get RL support etc.
cestlavie thank you so much for talking to me! its really helping
I have spoken to my solicitor. She says I have good grounds for an Occupation Order. Because I am on legal aid, she said the funding assessment might take some time. So, to speed it up abit Im going to submit the application myself. She is going to phone his solicitors, and tell them that I have raised serious concerns about him remaining inthe home and let themknow Iam applyingfor an Occupation Order.
SHe said it was illegal for me to change the locks and so she couldnt advise me to dothat. If I did it, he could break the door down. It would depend on the attitude of the police who attended as to whether they would take his 'side' or mine.
I phoned his mobile and left a message to say that I am changing the locks and he should remove his stuff. But I dont suspect he will get the message as he is out again, so Idoubt he has charged his phone (or he might of lost it, he often does). Tonight, I will leave the keysin thelock and phone the police if he bangs and bangs.
Solicitor also said that I need tocarefully consider his child contact arrangements as I have a duty to protect them, and social services will get involved if I fail to do that. But Ill take advice fromher on that when the time comes. Iam thinking no over night contact, and i can assess whether he is drunk when he picks themup? I dont know if that is sufficient? Although, my gut feeling is that he wouldnt get drunk whilst he had them, if he was on his own with them and didnt have me available to pick up the slack. I dont suppose that is good enough though?
That's good news hun, at least you move forward to get him out ASAP now. Yes protect kids. Do not let him take them while drunk. A friend of mine's alcoholic ex used to have young kids overnight & leave them alone in bed while he went out boozing until all hours!
He has gone
he packed all his stuff up this afternoon and left this evening
Ive wanted him to go for sooo long. And now I feel really really sad
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