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To think about going to court over custody

(16 Posts)
thinking54 Mon 04-Mar-19 10:32:09

Dh has a daughter. She is 5. I have 2 children from a previous relationship and we have a baby together.

Right from the start, the arrangement has been dsd comes to us every other weekend and then alternate Sunday's. So she comes to us every weekend. It's been like this for 4 years.

We also have her extra when her mum wanted to go out socialising, which up until about 2 months ago was pretty much every Saturday night. We have proof of all this, texts between dh and ex. We had her the majority of Xmas and new year - all on her mums terms.

Ex has just moved the latest boyfriend in. They've been together a grand total of 9 weeks.

He's not the first to be in dsds life but the others didn't have kids so it was more important to the mother that she could go out drinking which is fine, it meant we had dsd more! This new bf has kids.

Ex has informed dh that dsd is now no longer coming the alternate Sunday's. Just eow.

We are gutted. Is there much point going down the court route? I know it's mediation first etc etc but we want to know where we stand. She has a half brother and step sisters here. Does that count for anything? She is an only child on her mums side.

Dsd also informed us that last week she had to stay at her nanas as the new bf had all his kids (we aren't sure how many he has but it's at least 4) staying so there was no where for her to sleep. We know this was true as dh tried to FaceTime and got a reply from the ex saying she was staying at her nanas for the night. Dh asked why but got no response. Dh will obviously be keeping an eye on this.

We aren't asking for joint custody. Just for the arrangement to stay as it was. She lives 45 mins away from us so to have her through the week we feel is unfair on dsd to travel so much after school and then again the next morning. And I'm guessing court would agree on this if it got that far? Dh has asked if he can go through and see dsd on a night one night a week but was told no.

Just seems so unfair on dsd and dh. They have such a close relationship. Dsd loves her daddy her siblings. She won't want to be away from us for that long. We know that much.

InsomniaTho Mon 04-Mar-19 10:35:07

Jesus. Ex booted her own DD out for the night so her new BF could have his many DC there? What a cow.

Stuckforthefourthtime Mon 04-Mar-19 10:37:50

Good on you both for continuing to push for access, it sounds like there must be a lot of upheaval in her life and it will be good for her to know she is really wanted and important.
Why are you thinking that mediation won't work? It will be a lot cheaper and better for all if you can sort out that way.

thinking54 Mon 04-Mar-19 10:37:50

@InsomniaTho I know. We had been wondering why but dsd told her it's because one of his kids had to sleep in her bed! They had different weeks of half term and his kids were off when dsd was back at school.

thinking54 Mon 04-Mar-19 10:39:48

@Stuckforthefourthtime I don't know to be honest. I've never experienced anything like this before. I just thought it might end up that way. Neither dh or myself want to drag it through the courts but it seems to be the only option. Dsd needs to see us regularly. Not blowing my own trumpet here but we really are the only bit of stability she's got.

IvanaPee Mon 04-Mar-19 10:43:32

I don’t think 45 minutes is too far.

And tbh it could look like it’s just inconvenient (if things started getting tit for tat).

I wonder why she’s insisting on dd staying less at yours if she’s shipping her off to make room for his dc anyway!

Would she be open to a discussion about it? Otherwise, I think he doesn’t have a choice but to go to mediation.

thinking54 Mon 04-Mar-19 10:49:44

@IvanaPee she's not budging. She was just winding dh up last night through messages so the only option is to go to mediation. Though she may back down if she did that.

Her words are 'we are a family now and we need our time'. After 9 weeks of knowing this bloke. Literally zero f**ks given about what's best for dsd.

The sleeping arrangements are worrying. She met him at Xmas time. We had dsd for Xmas. And on Xmas day.....one of his kids slept in dsds bed. Dsd didn't have a clue what was going on. She had never met this child before and had a FaceTime on Xmas morning with her mum.....and a random child. Dsd was in tears.

Queenofthestress Mon 04-Mar-19 10:54:13

I would push for mediation first before court, but definitely go to court if she wants to change it and you don't agree, always best to get things sorted out legally

IvanaPee Mon 04-Mar-19 11:05:58

That really, really doesn’t sound like the best environment for her.

I’d absolutely push for a court order if (when) mediation breaks down.

Duchessgummybuns Mon 04-Mar-19 11:12:58

You must try for mediation before court, court should be seen as a last option even if you know mediation is likely to fail.

Poor DSD.

thinking54 Mon 04-Mar-19 11:14:53

Im glad others agree that we need to do something. I was worried I might get told it's none of my business etc etc.

We just don't have a clue what to expect. We don't qualify for legal aid. I've checked that this morning as someone told me we might as I have a disabled child and I'm a carer for her but it still came out as we don't qualify.

We will fight for dsd as much as we can. Just know it's going to be a long and ugly road ahead

Duchessgummybuns Mon 04-Mar-19 14:14:37

Your DP can self represent if court is necessary. If the facts are presented as they are here he shouldn’t have a problem, there’s lots of websites with advice available.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 04-Mar-19 14:17:53

Poor DSD!!! Talk about being pushed out of the nest.

Seriously though it sounds spiteful and nasty and neglectful. What does DSD want?

Definitely ty mediation then court order. That girl needs her Dad (and you). Doesn't sound as if she'll get much support from her Mum.

Armadillostoes Mon 04-Mar-19 14:21:26

In these circumstances mediation the court. The child's mother is not prioritising her welfare and reducing time with her father will be really damaging.

thinking54 Mon 04-Mar-19 14:30:57

Thank you! Glad to have so much support. I always thought eow seemed the be the norm and therefore we maybe wouldn't get anywhere with mediation or court.

thinking54 Mon 04-Mar-19 14:35:47

@GreenFingersWouldBeHandy she doesn't know to be honest. She had a goodish relationship with the last bf. He used to collect dsd from our house from time to time and he seemed nice enough. But all of a sudden he's out the picture and the new one has been introduced and now moved in.

Dsd's behaviour isn't the best and she's not doing too well in school either. Which the ex has been blamed for hmm apparently we give her too much screen time. When in fact every Sunday morning we have a games marathon where we all sit and play Mario kart on the Nintendo and keep score and have pancakes. Dsd loves it. But now she won't get to do it every week :-(

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