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AIBU to want XP access to children to be supervised

(27 Posts)
PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 07:15:58

Morning, I've posted a few times about my abusive ex (largely verbally and emotionally) and have received some great replies - thank you so, so much.

Now getting ready to LTB and take kids with me (Both DDs under 2). Will speak to a solicitor today, but I don't know what to request in terms of his access to the children.

He has increasingly demonstrated what I believe to be irresponsible / unnecessarily aggressive behaviour towards them. Some examples I can think of:

- He left DD1 (19 months) in the bath to chuck a smelly nappy out downstairs. I rushed in to her obviously (and have never let him bath the DDs alone since) but he accused me of being paranoid and ridiculous for not leaving her "for a minute or two"

- DD2 (7 mths) was crying during teething (she is an angel baby and rarely cries) and he picked her up and marched her upstairs, put her in her cot and shut the door as she "has to learn". I pointed out she may need milk and teething gel and a cuddle and he said I was too soft on these kids.

- He told me to just leave DDs unsupervised in the garden while I watch "from inside the house"

- He thinks it is acceptable to let DD2 roll around unsupervised, near radiators and the tiled hearth. I don't allow this obviously, but again I just get accused of wrapping them in cotton wool.

- He put our DD1 on the naughty step yesterday because when he told her to stop running in the hallway, she didn't. Then at dinner she squeezed two drops of milk from her bottle teat on to the table and he slammed his hand down hard on the table and yelled "NO!" at her. I said there was no need to do that as she really hadn't done anything wrong and he said she needs discipline as she is starting to get naughty now (She isn't, she is as good as gold).

AIBU to want supervised access for now (maybe at least until they are older)?

I want him to see his girls but I know deep down he wouldn't cope on his own with them. Sorry for long post!!

hollie11 Tue 31-May-16 08:35:58

Yes he sounds a bit irresponsible and the point you made where he left a toddler in the bath is bad. However some of the other points, for example - He put our DD1 on the naughty step yesterday because when he told her to stop running in the hallway, she didn't. He is correct - he told the child to stop running and they didn't. He was right to give her a time out........what if he/she had fallen running in the hallway and smashed their head in? I think you'll probably find that supervised access is not something you can request and is for exceptional circumstances. Good luck with the solicitor, I'm sure they'll go through it all with you so you know where you stand.

IrisPrima Tue 31-May-16 08:40:03

Sorry I think you've got no chance.

A lot of what you've posted is just different parenting styles. Yes, he does sound irresponsible sometimes but you don't get supervised access for parenting which is sometimes irresponsible.

I had the same with my ex and DC was only 8 months. He once fell asleep with her whilst in a swimming pool. He also passed out drunk with her on the sofa when she was weeks old. I still had to hand her over and hope for the best.

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 08:56:36

shock Iris - that isn't good.

I guess where I am going with this is I want him to have access to DDs obviously, and when I say "supervised" I wasn't talking about contact centres, I was thinking more his dad being with him at collections and drop offs. Maybe only for the short term until he sorts his anger issues and other issues out really.

I appreciate the responses, even the ones saying I have no chance - it just helps me get things clearer in my own head.

The solicitor I spoke to after the one physical incident (police called) made me feel supervised access in my circumstances was a reasonable request... However I know this split will hit him hard as he doesn't want it, so I don't want to be unreasonable either.

BigginsforPope Tue 31-May-16 08:59:52

Perhaps while your children are very young you can ask for short access visits and no overnight stays for now? I'm not sure there is anything in what you have posted which would support your case for supervised access.

princessmi12 Tue 31-May-16 09:06:04

If you say you fear he can be violent to dcs then it would be a reasonable request for supervised contact. None of the above described by you falls under category of fear for their safety (maybe bath incident slightly ).

HermioneJeanGranger Tue 31-May-16 09:13:17

It's not unreasonable at all to ask, but I'm not sure you'll get it. I think you should get it - leaving a 19mo in the bath alone is really dangerous, but I'm not sure you'll get a court to agree with you.

IrisPrima Tue 31-May-16 09:16:25

You can ask by all means. Do you get on well with his parents? Maybe speak to them about being there at first. After all, they probably don't want to lose contact with their gc.

I had no overnights until 2. Most of the time gps were present but I couldn't/didn't insist on it.

They do seem to pull their fingers out once they realise it's all them. They can't use you as a crutch any more in a "oh no look I'm shit with the kids, you'd better do it" way.

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 09:23:19

I have a good relationship with his dad, who is very logical and level headed. He actually helped restrain STBXP after police incident (and actually had a real go at him!) so I think he is reasonable. I could speak to him first - it's just a hard conversation to have with someone about their son IYSWIM..

Yes I think you are right, he may pull his finger out when he knows they are his responsibility alone when I am not there as back up. I really hope so.

I have broached the subject with him about no overnight visits for now... Until DDs are older as they have a routine in place and he seemed fine with that. I said we can revisit that obviously when they are older.

Lweji Tue 31-May-16 09:23:37

I see where you're coming from.
For one there's mild neglect and on the other a rather aggressive parenting "style", particularly considering how young your DD1 is.
If he's like that when you're around, how is he alone with them?
But I'm not sure supervision by his family would help. Are they quite different? Or did he get that aggressiveness from them?

However, are you aiming to protect yourself or them?

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 31-May-16 09:25:12

I would get supervised under those circumstances (and from some of your other threads).

How ever I would be asking whilst armed with professional reports confirming the issues and as much other evidence as I could.

Unless you have spoken to someone who is worth listening to in a professional capacity such as a doctor or a social worker at or near the time of these issues to obtain advice you may not be able to provide much evidence

SoEverybodyDance Tue 31-May-16 09:45:08

Morning brave OP, good luck to you...

What was the police incident where he had to be restrained? Does it demonstrate STBXP's uncontrolled behaviour? Might this help?

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 09:49:44

Lweji - his mum is unwell and couldn't look after the children but his dad would be fine. He has a short temper and no doubt STBXP got his temper from him but his dad is also reasonable whereas STBXP in irrational. His dad has mellowed a lot with age and I've never seen any worrying behaviour from his dad in the five years STBXP and I have been together.

In short, I would have no reservations about FIL supervising access. I have seen him with DDs and he is actually very good. Same with SIL, although she and I are not close, (she has issues with me being a SAHM) she would also be able to supervise access. She has children herself.

Needsasockamnesty - I have a police report after the assault (he denied it despite my bruises). Children's centre were also notified and called me to see how I was. They said emotional and verbal abuse was a very big thing in terms of what the children see / live with. I said I was worried Court wouldn't believe me but she said she has seen the police pics of my bruises and said that is strong evidence. So I think I have a good case there.

The only thing is, whilst I want to protect my DDs, I also don't want to be too heavy handed in my access requirements to him.. It is a tough one really.

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 09:52:43

SoEverybodyDance - he grabbed me by my front and bruised me quite badly whilst we were having an argument about my parents coming to visit ( he hates my parents, tries to limit my contact with them). He was screamimg in my face etc. When he left in a rage I called police.

runningincircles12 Tue 31-May-16 10:00:57

You won't get a court to order supervised contact on the basis of what you have described. None of it seems excessively neglectful except for the leaving her in the bath.
To be honest, contact centres are pretty miserable places and it can be stressful on the children to have to go there. Have you ever been to one? They also cost money. Even if for some reason, a court ordered supervised contact (although it would probably be 'supported' rather than supervised), the aim would be to move it outside the contact centre ASAP.
You could in the meantime suggest that contact take place at your house where you can supervise it, although this will mean you having to spend time with your ex. Otherwise, I am afraid that the professional opinion would be that there are no huge concerns (from what you have described) to warrant supervised contact.

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 10:04:49

Hi, runningincircles - supported contact (another adult eg his dad) present would be fine with me. I would not want to do contact centres, definitely not, as I get the feeling they are for more extreme cases and not very pleasant.

I'm happy for him to take DDs out during his access, but ideally would like another adult present.

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 10:06:10

I would also be fine with him having contact in my behaviour, in theory. In reality it depends on how he is with me post-separation.

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 10:07:13

Sorry ^ I meant in my house, not in my behaviour confused Multitasking as I write..!

OldKingThistle Tue 31-May-16 10:11:53

I don't agree with that, 19 months is a bit young for the naughty step, especially for something like running in the hallway. Time out is not effective if you use it for every tiny little thing and don't use the proper technique (warning first, calm explanations etc). onviously leaving her alone in the bath is totally unacceptable! It sounds like if he has been nasty and abusive to you and is now demonstrating that he can't control his anger very well with normal toddler behaviour then I think you would be right to push for supervised access at this stage.

2nds Tue 31-May-16 10:14:06

Hollie I have two young kids, 1 is 3 and the other is 2 and the naughty step would not work for either of them because both are behind in their speech and they wouldn't understand and the youngest one would just laugh and and get up and walk off or start climbing.

The naughty step might be a good punishment for some kids, but not all kids would 'get it'.

Lweji Tue 31-May-16 10:15:24

I wouldn't have him in the house, it only opens the door to more abuse of you.
It's much safer and clear to all if contact is always separate from your home. It needs to be a safe place for the children and you.

SoEverybodyDance Tue 31-May-16 10:18:43

Sorry to hear that PiratesHat. Was that incident and your bruises well documented? He appears to have anger issues and lose control. I think he is beginning to demonstrate this in front of your children - i.e. the incident when he banged his fist on the table. It will probably be worse once you've left him. I have no experience but would bring it up with the solicitor asap.

Baconyum Tue 31-May-16 10:32:20

Personally I wouldn't want him having unsupervised access. So Yanbu.

But...the family law system in uk is in my opinion shit at dealing with this. Supervised contact is rarely decreed and only in the most extreme cases.

I actually know of a case where father served time for raping the daughter and STILL got unsupervised access after he left prison.

PiratesHat Tue 31-May-16 10:38:15

Baconyum - shock This is shocking but yes I know what you mean re: the justice system. If I am honest, it's fear of this that has kept me with him all this time - at least when I'm here I can supervise!!

bibliomania Tue 31-May-16 10:38:17

In your shoes, I would sit down with your ex's dad and explain why you'd like him to be around during contact, and see if this can all be done on a voluntary basis. Your ex's dad might be able to sell it to his son as a way of helping him - it's not easy to deal with two such small children, and an extra pair of hands might be welcome. It would come better from him (ex's father) than you.

As a fall-back, you can try and insist on it through a court process, and you may or may not succeed. If it can be done by agreement, it's a lot cheaper and easier all round.

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