AIBU to want to minimise Ex's contact with DS?(11 Posts)
I'm really confused about what to do re my ex's (DS's dad) and how to ensure his relationship with DS (17 months old) is not detrimental to the child. To give u some background, DS was unplanned and Ex asked me to abort. I said no and suggested he does not get involved in the child's life if he doesn't want to. However, he hung around and we continued our on-off relationship until DS was 4/5 months old. Ex is long term unemployed and when I went back to work he offered to care for DS. I went back for half days and left DS with him - he landed up feeding the baby doughnuts and fries and couldnt even be bothered to mix baby cereal for him. In panic I took time off work and flew my mom down (i'm not native to UK) until I organised a good childminder. Anyway, DS is now full time with CM while I work and his 'busy' dad visits him for 2 hrs at the CMs place and dropped him off to my place after I finished work. Normally, there is an attempt to rekindle the relationship. If we disagree on stuff, visits to see DS stop. Feels almost like he doesn't really care about DS and only see's him as leverage.
Ex is also very manipulative, has an entitled attitude and has issues with Drugs and Alcohol (has old criminal record for drug dealing). He appeared drunk many times at my place in the night and I once called the police as he wouldn't leave. He doesn't contribute financially.
DS has no bond with his dad so far and I'm keen on a way to deal with this issue while this is still the case. Ex often calls me derogatory names in front of DS and along with his on/off parenting I'm worried DS is only going to be distressed within this relationship. I have horrible nightmares about DS turning to drugs/ dropping out and generally following the terrible pattern his dad has set. Ex is eligible for legal aid (i'm not), so he can easily take me to court for access or to just make my life stressful.
Has anyone been in similar situation? What should I do, how should I do it? Am I being paranoid? Thanks for reading superlong rambling post!
Lay ground rules and stick to them.
Is your ex still using drink/drugs, if so he doesn't get unsupervised access to your DS. He hasn't shown that he is capable of caring for him, yet. Unsupervised access needs to be gained over time. If the CM is willing to facilitate this, stick with that, but you have to back her, she shouldn't allow it if he is in anyway intoxicated.
You don't have to accept any bad behaviour/name calling towards you. You have to question why you allow that.
You don't have to have engage other than over your DS with your ex.
Start to keep a diary. Don't go out of your way to force the relationshp between them, it won't work.
If you log your concerns re drugs/drink, the court will not award him unsupervised access, especially as you were willing for him to care for your DS and he proved incapable. He will have to show the court that there has been a change.
It does seem as if your DS is just an excuse for your ex to keep in contact with you. Do you think if you made it clear that you will never EVER get back with him, that he would just walk away? As you say, far better while your DS is too young to know what's going on.
Could you cut out any contact with your ex for the time being? eg have handovers to your mum/friend - or at least have someone with you so that it all stays business-like and your ex has no opportunity to try to rekindle things. He may then get bored and give up. I suppose there is also always the possibility that he might step up and start having a relationship with your DS which would be worrying for you as he sounds very unreliable, but worry about that and the circumstances if/when it happened.
Reread your post. There are problems, so stop pretending they don't happen. Pick your DS up yourself, start to completely seperate yourself out of the equation of your ex and your DS relationship.
He has little imput on your DS, financial, care etc, there isn't anything for you to disagree over.
If he is still in love with you, it is unfair to him for you to continue contact between you and your ex, it will give him false hope.
Thanks for your comments. I am starting a diary recently, but I don't have anyone here to help facilitate access (my mom has gone back, and I don't trust him family to supervise properly). Should I suggest a centre? But that means I work all week and spend one day of the weekend taking my DS to him and back which feels very unfair on top of doing everything else! (but maybe life is unfair and I need to get over it).
He has never gone drunk to pick up DS, so I have been happy for him to see him for 2 hrs unsupervised, but these need to be hours when the child doesn't need to eat/sleep/nappy change as he isn't competent to do any of these reliably. Should I consider supervised access only now? He does feed DS juice and chocolate which I don't allow, but it is a minor think and I'm happy to overlook it.
I suppose I can arrange for him to drop DS back at childminder's instead of my place on the days that he see's him so there is no contact with me (i will have to pay her full hours to keep the slot open though, while he doesn't need to do anything extra<shakes head>!).
I do pick up DS myself everyday, only the one day every week that he see's him (when he isn't pissed off with me) he collects him from CM and drops him at my place. Not otherwise.
Sorry, just reviewed my post, it is 2 hours every week that he visits DS (not each day)!
I would let the juice and chocolate thing go.
Decide what you to do, but set the rules, eg he doesn't insult you infront of your DS.
Paying for the extra care from the CM, may well prove worth it as he may be keeping contact to try to get back with you. As time moves on, this will get harder, especially if you want a new relationship.
This won't go on forever, children grow up fast, although it doesn't seem like it.
If he pushes to go to court they will provide a conntact center.
There isn't an easy answer, just realise that it is up to you because he is incapable, he may not change, giving up one day a week to atend the contact center may make life alot easier in the long run.
I reckon if you moved to any place he had to make an effort to get too, that is more than a short bus ride away, he would probably be a lot less of a problem to you. Could you do that?
If he is lazy and fond of the drink and other substances would he be able to get it together enough to pursue court proceedings? In the first instance mediation would be suggested as far as I understand it.
The problem seems to be his contact with you, I get that, it's so stressful. A couple of hours contact a week might not be so bad if he cut out all of the other crap directed at you.
Get some advice, initial consultations with solicitors are often free or flat rate. It's good to know where you stand legally, it sets the tone for your decision making. Myself, I jumped in first so I could set the tone.
I recently stopped my ex from having contact. I went to see a solicitor, i told her the reasons, she wrote a letter to my ex, stating it was not in my ds's best interests to continue contact and any further contact with me would be considered harassment and he should go through the correct procedures to make arrangements to see ds ie Court. Cost me £50.
From your responses I'm thinking I should do below -
* Arrange for him to pick up and drop off DS at CM - continue with 2/3 hr slot once a week (suck up cost!);
* Completely stop direct contact and just have a book to communicate about child;
@birds, I'm thinking may not need contact centre for just 2 hours, especially if it is day time? Agree re putting distance so I can move on;
@Chubb, he does travel quite a distance to see DS, hence does it only once a week;
@Claw3 the police were suggesting I file a harassment complaint about his actions but I didn't want to do it at that stage without knowing what it involved. Do you know what happens if the police charge him with Harassment? Will he no longer see DS? How do I get permission from him if I want to fly overseas on holiday? Or do I not need it anymore?
If he is found guilty of harassing you, he will get a restraining order. (the letter from solicitor was enough to get my ex to stop, i didnt have to go to the police)
This will not affect any contact he has with ds, just means he cannot contact you. A Court can order access, with a restraining order in place or not as the case may be.
You dont need his permission.
Since my solicitors sent my ex the letter about 6 months i have not seen or heard from him, which just goes to show that my ex really didnt care about ds and only used him as leverage and a means to continue to contact me and harass me.
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