to back up my DD in no longer wishing to see her father?(47 Posts)
DD is 8. I'll openly admit I dislike her father immensely - he was abusive to me and IMHO is to DD, too. However, I have done my utmost to encourage a relationship for DDs sake. When she was a toddler he'd ignore routine, put her back in nappies once trained, tell her off for being upset at going with him etc.
Now she's older he'll make and break promises continuously. He won't let her talk about her home life and says things to purposely try and upset her; like: Mummy sends you to me because she doesn't want you/loves your siblings more etc. He won't let her do hobbies or any social activities on 'his' weekends but then does his hobby/goes out leaving her doing nothing but watching tv all weekend.
He hasn't seen her for a month now because he missed contact for a holiday and didn't bother to rearrange it. He hasn't called or even sent a text message to ask how she is.
She knows about the court and cafcass process because DH has been through it recently with her step siblings and she's asked that we go down that route so she can express her wishes about contact. She wants to see her father and his family occasionally she says, but mostly she feels every other weekend contact is a 'waste of her life' and she wants to stay at home.
I've tried everything to involve him in her life and encourage him to do better by her but he continues to treat her like a possession he has a right to, rather than his child whom he loves. AIBU if I follow DDs wishes here and let it go to court?
Legally I have no idea where you stand. But your dd sounds bright and intuitive and sees him for the twat he is. She's right it does sound like a waste of her life and we'll done to her for seeing through him.
If she is expressing her own wishes with no influence from you over them, then I think you should support her, at 8 years old she's obviously observed and come to her own conclusions.
YANBU. I think you should carry out your daughter's wishes. DH sounds like a nightmare.
YANBU at all, just be prepared for it to end up worse than it is now.
Dsis went through this with her ex, he was abusive to her, regularly took drugs and still does, even went as far as taking the kids hostage one night in his flat when he was supposed to be returning them, offering them back if Dsis took him back. Police went round, the kids seemed fine so they let them stay
After she stopped access he took her to court. The court granted him 3 days access per week
He regularly doesn't pick up the youngest DS from school on his access days, always has illnesses which means he can't have them, but the court have said that Dsis has to make them go on his court appointed days whether they want to go or not. All she can do is make notes of when he let's them down and keep the court updated at reviews. Nothing changes though.
If you're prepared for it to possibly get to that stage then carry on and support your DDs wishes whilst you can. Good luck!
No, there isn't a court order at the moment.
Naice - it can't really get worse. He doesn't want more than eow because it'd impact his life too much so the worst that could happen would be DDs wishes being ignored and an order being made for eow. But considering shes showing physical symptoms of anxiety and her education is suffering because of contact (she's pretended she's ill a few times in the hope that if she misses/gets sent home from.school then she won't have to go to contact)then iI'm hoping the court would listen.
this man abused you and abuses your dd.
why on god's earth would you encourage contact? if he doesn't arrange it, leave it there.
your dd may have a right to know her dad, but he has no right to harm her and continue contact. if she wants to see him, support her, but be aware that he's trying to break the relationship she has with you, and he'll try to turn her agianst you.
you are the only one who can safeguard her, so do it.
there's no court order, he cba, so let it be so. ultimately condoning your ex by supporting his contact with your dd will do more harm than good.
the last thing she should grow up thinking is that her father is a role model or even acceptable in any respect.
he did this, he doesn't deserve to have a victim gift wrapped for him. she deserves someone to make sure she grows up safe.
you can do this
Cloudia tge court doesent always listen. My friend has a dd 5 who has court ordered contact and CAFCASs involved. The judge is incompetent at best, and despite evidence against ex and his emotional abuse if dd, has to go on contact eow. Cafcass in their case are useless, and do not listen to her dd wishes not to see dad. Eow she has to go to dad where she is physically and emotionally abused. Tge dad in court is his usual awful self so judge can see how he's like, but still has to have contact. If friend refuses contact, judge can order reverse residency, so friend is blackmailed into complying with contact. So it's a tricky road, with not necessarily the desired outcome, the judge you get is luck of tge draw, can be a good or bad one.
If he's not bothering, leave it. Leave ball in his court
I agree hissy, your main priority is to safeguard your dd, he is emotionally abusing her, leave it, don't complicate matters by involving court and Cafcass. My friend wishes she was in your position, but ex uses contact to get at her, so does his utmost to comply with it.
I would never have allowed her to go in the first place.
My ex was verbally abusive to me, he never was to our dd which is why I am encouraging contact. In your situation I would make him to take me to court and most of these men can't be bothered so its a win win.
I wouldn't worry about going to court at this stage. Get some legal advice & get them to write a letter, reminding him that contact is for the childs benefit NOT the parents and your DD despite your best efforts no longer wishes EOW visits but is happy with occasional ones and you agree.
If it is impacting on her health & education keep a note of all days she is ill/off school & any concerns you have had to raise with school for future evidence. Get her seen regularly by some sort of counselling/HV service so you have outside support for her sake but also to start a paper trail.
Just stop contact and let the ball rest in HIS court, if HE wants to fork out legal fees to take it down the legal route (& I bet he won't) let him make the first move.
Listen to your clearly bright child asking for help, she needs you to back her up.
Bloody awful situation for you - makes me spit how often we see parents usually mothers, but not always, who have to bend over backwards to maintain contact with their exes against their better instincts and at the detriment of their childs welfare.
Even if the court doesn't listen though aero, it'd still be eow like it is now so is surely worth a try?
Totally agree hissy that hos main goal is to break her relationship with me. Luckily she can see past his lies and spite, but she shouldn't bloody have to.
I'm pretty sure his parents will pay his court fees so do think it'll end up there as he's always openly said he will always stay in DDs life so he can get at me.
Just leave it to him cloudia, let him make that decision. If I were you I would nit want this man in your dd life.
listen to your daughter and protect her
She has told you- an adult she trusts -that she doesn't want contact. You know what he is like. To encourage their relationship when she has said that's not what she wants could make her feel like your not listening or believing her which could be really damaging.
I know, Maroonie, it just feels like a massive choice to make at 8 even though I know it's for good reason. The saddest thing is that she doesn't even consider him as he plays such a small role in her life - she gave up Sharing achievements or hoping for him to attend her school plays etc years ago.
You have to support her - and show to her that you support her. It's so important when she so massively does not have the support and love of her other parent. It's also so, so important that she feels that you will take her concerns seriously and be on side when it comes to her dad.
I would agree with sending a solicitor's letter - and try and make it as conciliatory as possible. State that your aim is to support her in the hope that a contact pattern can be found which she is happy with as you would not wish contact to cease completely when she is older and can fully choose. Be clear about the details and how concerning they are and state quite clearly that you consider them more than enough to take notice of her wishes for reduced contact:
- anxciety levels, GP visit;
- her feedback that he uses contact time to attempt to undermine her relationship with you, which she finds distressing and is in fact only harming her view of him;
- not supporting her social network, important at her age and will be increasingly so;
- not propritising her on contact visits, leaving her watching TV while he does hobbies etc. - again, damaging her view of him
End by saying that his approach to contact and the way he conducts their relationship is having such a negative effect that you believe that if she is forced to continue with EOW then she will almost certainly choose to terminate contact completely when she is old enough to choose - and ideally you do not want that.
I would think seriously about copying the letter to his parents, if you feel that they would fund him in court - perhaps they should have their eyes opened about how he's making their GD feel about him.
You have to support her op, she sounds like she knows what she wants, and is aware of how he treats her, emotional abuse can be damaging long term, that would not be good for your dd. My friends dd who is 5 knows she does not want contact with her father, even at that age she is certain.
If he isn't organising contact I'd not follow it up, and minimise it where possible. Don't facilitate by offering transport or anything you don't have to. Just don't "obstruct" him unreasonably.
Keep a diary of contact. If minimal is the status quo it could help in the future.
Honestly, I'd avoid fronting him legally to get contact stopped. It could encourage him to go for shared custody to spite you.
I'd let his disinterest be your weapon.
Hissy - your approach is completely correct. Unfortunately, our legal system is completely out of sinc with what is right for children. Abusive partners (even rapists and violent abusers) get custody. It is mostly about what the men want, not about what is right for the children.
The difficulty is that she's intimidated by him and finds it difficult to voice her feelings to him. He demands to know every time if she loves me or him more, if she wants to see him more etc. She's scared to be honest because she knows he'll be angry so she repeatedly says I don't know which makes him angry with her but more so with me because he says I'm alienating her and then in turn she worries about him being angry with me.
Your DD is old enough to know whether she wants to spend time with her dad or not. No one should make her spend time with him any more than making her stay away from him.
It is up to him to prove to your DD that he is worth spending time with - and he appears to have failed.
I am sure any 'judge' would take your daughter's feelings into account
happy there is no order in place, so the child can decide not to go and if the father wants to take it up in court he is free to do so.
I'd let it go, not support/run around or sponsor any kind of contact if not directly requested by the DD. If he wants to drag her into court so that she can tell everyone how he makes her feel and how she doesn't want to see him as a result of his behaviour... I'll be very surprised.
OP - you need to get everything he does to you and to her logged in writing, keep a journal.
This man is STILL controlling you and you are still scared of him. He has no right to that power. you can just say No. Do the authorities know of his abuse of you (both)
You need to take her to the Docs and tell them everything and get her referred for counselling. this getting it on the record will help support you both in the future and help protect her from him.
Forget trying to reason with him, don't actively tell him she doesn't want to go, IF he contacts you, say that she is busy that day, or say she is not well, put him off a few times and he might get sick of it and not bother.
As long as you don't alert him to her not wanting to see him, i doubt he'll force it. whatever you do don't show your cards.
the older your DD gets, the more sway she will have in court.
he can't stay in her life if she doesn't want him to be there ultimately.
the more he forces it, the sooner she will stand up and say no and one day any court will have to listen.
Think about this love, he won't win ultimately. he's a tiny pathetic man, he's weak and this is why he is so cruel and nasty. you could crush him with a flick of an eyelash, but he has conditioned you to believe that you couldn't.
Good God, your last post is terrible!
Other posters have good points about not antagonising him into fighting for the sake of it with a letter - here, you need to go on your own instinct I guess.
Whatever, is there a way of some of the abusive stuff you describe being recorded in some way? If your DD is showing anxiety, could you access some counselling through the doc? This could provide a safe space for your DD to be able to talk about things... which at the same time will produce a record (crucially NOT submitted by you) of what's been happening at her dads, her treatment by him, and exactly how she feels and why she doesn't want to see him so regularly.
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