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ExP not disclosing contact details when with dd

(31 Posts)
buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 09:28:52

My ExP has our dd for overnight contact (she is very young under 1 years old) and whilst it wasn't stipulated in our court papers that he was to take her to a family member's house every week (he has no fixed accommodation) it was assumed by the sheriff and both parties that this is what he would be doing.

When he collected our dd a few days ago, he stated that yes he was going to the family member's house. After he left I tried calling his mobile (on an issue I had forgotten to check with regards to our dd) which went straight to voicemail. I then called the family member's home to which they said no, your dd and him are not here.

I emailed my solicitor as I was worried that I did not have a way of contacting him in case of emergency, however his attitude is such that I had no right going to the solicitor and we should have handled this between ourselves. My stance is such that as I didn't have a way of contacting him, I didn't have the option to resolve this between us. He has been found to be a consistent liar as well so I felt if I went straight to him on his return, he would have made up excuses at the ready.

I had agreed with him that yes the court papers do not say that he has to take her to the family member's house - it was the fact that he gave an elaborate explanation about taking her to the family member's house when he clearly had no intention of doing so.

So AIBU? he seems to think that as our dd was with him there was no reason to mention this issue to my solicitor and felt that (until pushed) he did not have to give the address of where he was taking her.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 09:32:38

bumping in the hope of a reply!

lurkerspeaks Tue 16-Dec-14 10:04:03

You went to the solicitor after one voicemail message? Did you give him time to call back?

Did you clarify he wasn't at his relatives house at that moment in time or that he wasn't expected there at all?

Presumably you sometimes go out with your daughter and miss phone calls. So you would occasionally not be at a phone and have a phone that went to voicemail.

On the basis of the info you have provided I don't really understand what the problem was part from the huge hostility between you.

BramshawHill Tue 16-Dec-14 10:09:11

Unless there's a huge back story here where he can't be trusted to care for his own child, I'd say you need to cut him some slack. He's her father, would you like it if he kept checking up on you whenever you had her? Making sure you were where you said you'd be, weren't doing anything not scheduled despite being her parent?

Give him some space, you might find it easier to co-parent if you can both be reasonable.

StockingFullOfCoal Tue 16-Dec-14 10:09:42

I'm surprised he was granted overnight access whilst he has no fixed abode shock hmm I would be challenging that.

Maroonie Tue 16-Dec-14 10:10:27

If there's a reason he can't look after her alone then it should be part of the conditions of contact. If not then a parent can take their child where they choose.
do you let him know where you and her are all of the time?
It sounds like you are looking for reasons to start conflict. Perhaps he knows this and that's why he's acted this way.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 10:25:29

Sorry to clarify some details and sorry to dripfeed -

- His relatives had also tried ringing him, there was no answer. His phone had been off for several days.
- He has taken her without my consent and part of the court details that he cannot remove her from the kingdom of xxx without my consent
- He was lying about where he was taking her, instead of taking her to an environment she knows (his family's) where a child of under one knows her surroundings, he took her to a friend's of whose sofa he is currently crashing on. I do not know what provisions are there for my daughter.
- He had previously taken her and not allowed me to see her for over a month when I had PND.

in the meantime of this he has lied about phoning health visitors as he has been "deeply concerned" for dd's welfare (apparently I was wearing perfume which is supposedly damaging to our dd) - the health visitor had no record of any calls. Because he is willing to lie about these matters, I am very anxious when he has his mobile switched off and no other contact number available. His relatives were also wondering where he was.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 10:25:57

also just to answer a question - he never has credit on his mobile to call back

misskangaandroo2014 Tue 16-Dec-14 10:28:57

My ex did something very similar. I dealt with it via his parents but if you are unable to contact at all and DC are not where arranged then I can appreciate how concerned you must be. In case of emergencies (which have since happened) I managed to impress upon my ex the need to be contactable (I was admitted from A&E for eg).
As he has no fixed abode an address where dc are really needs to available? It's just basic responsible/ adult behaviour.

misskangaandroo2014 Tue 16-Dec-14 10:40:06

It sounds drastic but have you explained to him that if NO adult can make contact with him, then at some point you will have to report them as missing? When I discussed the drama with my exes parents their first thought was to report them missing, I was concerned about it, but certainly if they'd not materialised exactly when expected I would have felt it necessary.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 10:40:54

and sorry just to clarify, I emailed my solicitor after he had told me at length that they were going to his relative's home, but when phoning there after his mobile was switched off and the relatives saying no he wasn't there, they weren't expecting him, it was at this point I emailed my solicitor as I was worried as to why he was lying about where he was taking our dd.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 10:44:42

thanks for all the answers so far, I realise I didn't explain myself very clearly. When I have explained to him before that it is good for dd to be at the same environment given her young age and that we both need to have an emergency number he has shrugged it off.

Thank you kanga - he seems to feel that the law is beneath him in these respects. However if this was the other way round, I know he would be down on me like a ton of bricks (he has previously text me saying "you've been seen out without our daughter - explain") but i didn't want to make it tit-for-tat, i've been trying to remain objective as best I can.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 10:45:59

his parents/other family's (apart from his the relative's that he takes her to) have nothing to do with him so I have no one else in his family to contact.

Oldraver Tue 16-Dec-14 10:50:22

As it hasn't been stipulated by the court he has to take her to x place then he hasn't really done anything wrong.

ArsenicStew Tue 16-Dec-14 10:50:25


"you've been seen out without our daughter - explain"


Did you log that with the solicitor too?

What do they advise re. overnight contact, lack of contact etc?

StoicButStressed Tue 16-Dec-14 10:51:32

Apols if being thick, is you child NOW back with you? Or still AWOL with DF?

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 11:00:15

she is now back. it wasnt stipulated in the paperwork but the sheriff stated it as we were leaving the courtroom. I just find it worrying that he feels the need to lie about where he is going with her and that the location he is taking her to has no real provisions for her and he is sleeping on a couch. If I challenge him on this issue without involving a solicitor he belittles it and makes me feel stupid. His response when I asked him about this was that "she's always ill when she's with you, she's fine with me." He deflects the issue at hand and raises something else entirely.

I did raise that comment to the solicitor. Due to his behaviour (outwith the realms of the issue being raised), he has been reported to the MARAC scheme with the help of women's aid.

I'm going out now but will read any other replies on my return.

Taking her to different environments makes her very unsettled on her return.

RubyReins Tue 16-Dec-14 11:02:36

I am assuming that you are in Scotland as you made reference to the Sheriff. That being so I think the court should be appraised of the situation and you should ask for a Child Welfare Hearing to be fixed. The focus now is very much on case management of cases so it may be that a further hearing is planned to check on progress?

I have noticed a real trend towards fathers being given a very sensitive hearing from the bench of late and it's very hard to remain objective - orders are only made if it is in the best interests of the child to make an order so the Sheriff has already made a decision that this level of contact is in your DD's best interests irrespective of your ex's lack of a permanent address.

You need to ensure that the Sheriff is appraised of the lack of communication with your ex and the fact that he is not where he said he would be. Explain his lack of candour. That said, if your ex has parental rights and responsibilities then the Sheriff may rule (as I saw recently) that he doesn't need to let you know where he is provided that your DD is well cared for and is returned to you on time as per the court order.

Until such time as the terms of the order are changed please please please follow its terms. To act in defiance of a court order is contempt and will just add to your troubles. Keep a note of when you tried to call him and the responses of his family members - they might be willing to swear an affidavit supporting your position.

Feel free to PM me if that would help - I am a family law advocate (barrister!) practising in Scotland. If you are not in Scotland then ignore the foregoing! Good luck.

ArsenicStew Tue 16-Dec-14 11:04:11

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) are regular local meetings where information about high risk domestic abuse victims (those at risk of murder or serious harm) is shared between local agencies. By bringing all agencies together at a MARAC, and ensuring that whenever possible the voice of the victim is represented by the IDVA, a risk focused, co-ordinated safety plan can be drawn up to support the victim

Wow. And that is considered to have no bearing on the contact issue?

He is clearly a controlling man and he is clearly using contact with your DD to exercise further control over you (fear manipulation). The two things are linked.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 13:12:42

Hi Ruby yes I am in Scotland, the sheriff granted the contact on the basis that he was at that address, although not stipulated in the paperwork it was assumed as a given - his solicitors (who he has not contacted with regards to payment etc since we were at court - I know this as he has told me as much and wishes for things to be out of court, am guessing because if I update my solicitor with regards to him having no fixed add/ his plans to move away, going back to court a sheriff may see that it is not in the child's best interests to be moved from pillar to post to whichever location he is staying at).

Sadly although the MARAC was raised, as it was to do with his abusive behaviour towards me, it wasn't focused on our dd and so contact is still allowed.

I am not saying that he shouldn't have contact with our daughter, however I do feel that at such a young age it is not good for her to be taken to unknown locations.

I have tried the soft touch approach but this seems to result in him lying further (he had previously also said he was gravely concerned that I was overfeeding her (her weight is bang on for her centile growth rate and that he had to waste his little time with her taking her to his solicitor so that this could be assessed?! My solicitor although obviously cannot confirm that this is the case, she was very doubtful that he had ever taken our dd to his solicitors office).

When he gets found out to be lying he makes it a non-issue and tries to turn things back on me. It seems I have 2 options, be light handed and be lied to, or go through legal channels and be yelled at/belittled.

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 13:14:08

and yes arsenic he is very controlling, when we were still together he stated that if our dd did not get his surname that would be a breaking point and he would leave, at a time when I was heavily pregnant and then developed very serious PND I just agreed for fear of being unable to cope alone.

Mrsjayy Tue 16-Dec-14 13:22:52

I think you should go back to court abd rearrange access he isn't trust worthy he probably turned his phone off to prove a point that it is his baby too you have no idea who he is mixing with therefore you don't know your baby is safe although he will look after het but ehat happens when he moves to another sofa.sorry you are going through this sounds hellish.

Mrsjayy Tue 16-Dec-14 13:25:36

Could you sort it so a relative drops her off and brings her back so you don't have to see him all this shit is him stil trying to dominate and control you

buddhasbelly Tue 16-Dec-14 13:41:01

I had thought about doing this MrsJay - things settle for a few weeks and then he does something like this.

This was the first week we had rearranged contact so that he had dd for 2 nights instead of 1 owing to a change in his work schedule. He had made such a song and dance about how he was taking her to the relatives that when I did try to contact him to double check the time he was dropping her off at (he was quite vague and I had something on this morning so wanted to clarify) and he wasn't there, I was quite concerned as to where they were.

If the situation were reversed and I wasn't going to be where I said I was for 2 consecutive nights, I would have contacted to say that xxx is where I will be in case of emergency. I realise that there will always be differences in our approaches to parenting but to me this just seems irresponsible/ a need to continue to lie (he had previously been turning up with a dog maintaining he had bought it for our dd, it turns out it's the friend's he is staying at's dog - he had made a point to say that this is the first time they had ever stayed there overnight but then why was he turning up at my door with the dog? which incidently I have not seen for months now, it is very bizarre, tiring and I constantly end up feeling like I am in the wrong).

Viviennemary Tue 16-Dec-14 13:48:43

Your child is very young and I understand why you're worried. I agree that you need to go back to court and renegotiate if you're not happy with the arrangements. Perhaps one of these supervised contact arrangements would be better if you're concerned.

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