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At what point do you say this is not in my DC’s best interest

(4 Posts)
OliveTree3 Tue 09-Apr-19 14:58:41

For some background:

I was with my nearly 3 year old’s father only very briefly, he was emotionally abusive and harassed me when I ended the relationship to the point that the police became involved.

He chose not to see DD until she was 8 months old and insisted on a paternity test etc. before paying any maintenance which is currently the minimum ordered by the CMS. I never blocked him from seeing her as I want her to be able to have a relationship with him if possible for her sake.

Since then contact has been very sporadic every month or two for a few hours with him cancelling/changing the date 3 times out of 4. At what point, if any, do I say ‘either see her regularly and consistently or not at all’?

I ideally want her to have a good relationship with him for her sake, and she’s too young to know that he’s unreliable at the moment (I don’t tell her in advance that she’s due to see him due to the high likelihood of him cancelling) but as she gets older she will start asking me when she’s going to see him next and I’m not sure what I’ll be able to say.

As she’s barely seen him she doesn’t ask about him at the moment although is happy to be with him when he does see her.

I’m really struggling with what to do for the best, for her happiness and wellbeing now and in the future.

Contact is not court-ordered but surely if it was they would be likely to say that it should be more frequent than a few hours at a time every one or two months?

I’m torn between allowing this to go on and her being potentially emotionally damaged by the unreliability (my dad was like that and it really affected me) and stopping contact but then having to explain to her when she’s older why she doesn’t see her dad. That it was me that decided that.

Please advise, I just really want what is best for her.

bibliomania Tue 09-Apr-19 15:06:40

It sounds like it might fade away quite naturally, and I'd be inclined to let it. There's nothing you can do that will make him a better father than he is. I think you're doing the right thing by managing her expectations about whether she'll see him. Just keen on doing this in a low-key way.

harrietpn Tue 09-Apr-19 15:18:32

Is he capable of being a functional person on your daughter's life? If you had to get the police involved I suspect not. I'd either let it fade out as above or try and stop contact if you can. I think you are only 6 months or so away or you daughter starting to notice.

OliveTree3 Tue 09-Apr-19 15:37:17

Thanks, he’s loving towards her when he’s with her and I trust him to at least keep her safe, but of course it’s really the very bare minimum. Maybe it/he will just fade away. I just don’t want to do the wrong thing by her , whether that’s letting it go on or stopping it now.

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