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To not agree to a set time to start unsupervised contact?

(15 Posts)
YoniGotOneChance Thu 11-Apr-13 20:54:24

My ex "tries" to see 10 m/o DD once a week. This has never happened for more than 2-3 weeks in a row. He has disappeared for a month 3 times, given no reason, and it is usually closer to 2 weeks between visits when he does see her.
He see's her for an hour and a half - 2 hours at a time, during which he will sometimes be fine with her, but other times be moody, laugh at and mock her if she is upset/crying, call her stupid, sit there literally looking the other way/on his phone and ignoring her the entire visit a few times, or say things like she's "not normal/has something wrong with her" as she doesn't smile at him much.

She goes very quiet and easily upset around him, and spends a large amount of contact crying even with me there, as she doesn't really know who he is yet and seems to get quite scared of him (she is the same with some other men too). As far as I'm concerned it is not going to benefit her at all being alone with him yet. It's not her fault she doesn't know him (or mine, he has been offered contact whenever/however long he wants since her birth).

He is now saying he wants to take her out alone, and I have said he needs to be consistent with contact, then once she is comfortable with him that can happen. He wants me to give him a set time, which I said isn't possible as I can't predict how quickly she will relax with him, or if he will stick to seeing her regularly. He said if at her first birthday (2 months away) I am not letting him take her alone for contact he will apply to court.

AIBU to stick to what I have said, and wait until she is happy around him, or should I just say at 1 year he can take her alone irrelevant of how upset she gets if he has visited each week until then, to give him a time frame?
I don't know anyone in the same situation so really don't know what is usual with contact.

issypiggle Thu 11-Apr-13 21:06:15

is there someone else that can go with them, maybe to the park etc as the weather is getting better.

but until he's a bit more consistent with his contact then no way. he keeps coming back and forth and she's never going to get used to him.

give a time frame of a month, then extend the visiting time, and then again in a month extend it more, and maybe letting him take her for an hour on his own then back for another hour etc.

but to be honest, if he's not been exactly forth coming, i don't quite see what the courts will do. chat to CAB and see what they say

BenjaminButton172 Thu 11-Apr-13 21:12:23

I can relate to your situation a bit although mine was a different.
I have had the ex moaning about unsupervised visits and introducing his new gf. i stood my ground and told him that he was not introducing the new gf until I thought dd was ready. Seeing as I was the one seeing her everyday allday.

Ex didnt like it but he had no say as he wasnt constant in her life. (he doesnt see her at all now through his choice)

I would tell your ex that when you feel dd is settled and comfortable with him is when he can take her out by himself. However if he carries on saying what he does I would be very reluctant to let him see her at all. How can you say that things about your own child.

Put your foot down and keep it down until your dd is ready.

BenjaminButton172 Thu 11-Apr-13 21:14:49

I agree with Issy

I dont think the courts are going to give him what he wants just because he asks. So i wouldnt worry about that.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 11-Apr-13 21:18:24

He may struggle to take you to court if he's on a low income as legal aid has now been stopped child contact unless the person claiming it is a proven domestic violence victim

HerrenaHarridan Thu 11-Apr-13 21:29:50

Don't stress. Let him take you to court.

Keep a record of when he says he'll turn up, when he actually turns up, any major incidents, when he goes.

This is your evidence that he can't be bothered to build a bond of trust with her.

As long as you are offering him some kind of contact you are within the law. If the court decides to award him specific access it will be with the best interests if the child (not mother or father)

Court awarded access is legally binding to both parties wink

issypiggle Thu 11-Apr-13 22:05:04

my x ignored my dd for 6 months and wandered back into her life, and saw her 4 3 weeks supervised by my family as they looked after dd while i worked.

threatened court, sought legal advice and was told don't even bother taking me to court as he wouldn't get anywhere, as he hadn't paid cm (still doesn't) and i had never stopped him from seeing dd. smile

issypiggle Thu 11-Apr-13 22:08:03

unfortunately he's still on the scene sees her once a week unsupervised, and thats about it, never bothers when she's ill, and totally ignored her first day at pre school.

YoniGotOneChance Fri 12-Apr-13 11:31:57

Issy theres not really anyone to go with him, his family all live too far away and never visit him. My parents could, but that would go down a lot worse than me going with him!
How long did you wait before dd went unsupervised with your ex, and did she cope ok? Did you find he improved with time in the way he is with her?

Im not so much worried about court making an unsuitable order, its more the time, stress and moneyd rather avoid. Can anyone apply or does it have to be a situation where court is actually needed?

issypiggle Fri 12-Apr-13 13:17:34

i gave him a month, he seemed to start growing up, and dd settled. she's never seemed overly bothered by seeing him, and i'm just waiting for the day she tells me e doesn't want to see him.

i would e-mail him or write to him (photocopying the letter and making it recorded delivery so he has to sign and then he can't deny not getting it) telling him that he can see her supervised for x number of weeks for x number of hours, until you feel she is settled. you will then review the contact and make a decision then.

word it so that this is his last chance and you have given him enough chance. and that you have never stopped him from seeing her, but you now need to put her first and she is priority and she needs a routine and he will not be allowed to keep messing you routine.

you make the times and days, he's had the chance you make the stand and set the rules. if he doesn't like it let him take you to court, and you just need to produce the letter.

i would also have a diary of all the times he makes contact with you. the more evidence the more he'll look like a pillock

MajaBiene Fri 12-Apr-13 13:22:14

I would tell him that if he consistently turns up for 2 hours of contact with her 3 times a week for the next 2 months, then maybe he could start taking her out alone for a couple of hours after her birthday.

During the contact he has to start showing that he is willing and able to comfort her when she is upset, feed her, change nappies - if he can't do all that then no way.

LouiseSmith Sun 14-Apr-13 23:39:33

The court will apply put you forward for supervised contact and the centre staff will have to update the courts on his progress. You are doing all the right things, if he wants to take it to court let him, they will only reinforce what you are already doing, and if he remains inconsistent that will be document by a 3rd party.

xx

trashcanjunkie Sun 14-Apr-13 23:48:54

So sorry for you. This could so easily be my brother you are talking about! The one time I agreed to meet him, he fetched his six week old dd to introduce her to me and spent the half hour calling her fat, trying to wake her from a deep sleep, and then saying she wasn't normal! An appalling man. I've not seen him since, and I pity the poor child. My harsh advice, is stop contact, and let him take you to court. That sounds like it would be in your dd's best interests I'm afraid. Bad luck!

sashh Mon 15-Apr-13 01:22:07

Keep a diary of when he is supposed to visit and when he actually does. Also not if she is upset, and what he calls her.

Then let him apply to the court.

ihearsounds Mon 15-Apr-13 02:02:02

Tell him you will review the situation in 3 months - sticking to contact, interaction, tending to her needs, able to soothe her, give her food and drink and all her other needs, and for her to be relaxed around him.

In 3 monts time you will review with a view to increasing contact and taking her out for set times.

Keep a diary for all the weeks. If he came or not and everything that happened. Dont put your thoughts into it, just factual what you saw. If you can video the contact as well even better. You need to let him know though you are taping, and just say its so she has loads of vids to watch when shes older. Do random ones of you with dd to show him, so he doesnt think he is getting singled out.. He will behave at first, but then he will forget about the filming and go back to his usual self.

It would be even better if you send him an email that you wil review etc. This way if he does take you to court, you can show document tht you have been reasonable.

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