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To stop ex from having DS again until lockdown is over

(61 Posts)
MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 22:56:01

DS has been staying at his dads every other weekend as per the court order (although ex has been messing around adding days and changing times without warning which has been stressful). DS (8) was at his the weekend just gone.

DS has just told me that while he was at his dads they went for a drive with low fuel and no phone, the car ran out of fuel on the road too far away to walk home so they left the car in the road and hitchhiked home. I’ve texted ex about it and he genuinely doesn’t seem to see why it’s an issue that he put DS in a strangers car during a pandemic.

WIBU to stop contact until lockdown is over because ex has proven that he can’t keep DS safe. (To be honest it seems like a dangerous situation to me regardless of the pandemic)

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Nicknacky Tue 19-May-20 23:03:01

Well, if the car has been re fuelled then it probably won’t run out during lockdown.

But seriously, would you be happy to lose care of your child just because you made a minor fuck up?

TriciaH87 Tue 19-May-20 23:04:08

Legally you would risk being held in contempt of court for breaching a court order. I suggest firstly you call a solicitor about the situation. Send them evidence of the messages. Stop allowing him to change the details regarding access. Stick to it like glue. If his not on time or a no show its him in breach of it and you have evidence he placed the child at risk. Use it but be sensible. Follow the law and get advice before you stop contact.

Hillocrew Tue 19-May-20 23:04:13

There's a court order. You cant breach that. Your son was fine, he was with his dad who got him back safely. Court will take a very negative view if you stop contact over one isolated incident

EsmeeMerlin Tue 19-May-20 23:08:32

You can’t just stop contact, there is a court order in place and while your ex did something daft, it sounds like a isolated incident and your dh could argue that getting into someone else’s car was the only way they could get back home.

SandyY2K Tue 19-May-20 23:19:39

I find his behaviour very irresponsible tbh.

I would stick to his EOW as per the court order from now on with no messing around.

What an idiot he is.

amy85 Tue 19-May-20 23:21:45

You can't withhold access as you have a court order and you'll be the one in trouble for breaching it

MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 23:24:57

I’d read on another thread that contact can be withheld as long as alternative contact eg phone/video calls is offered. There was a link to back this up but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find it.

Apparently he frequently goes out with his fuel that low and DS has now told me that they were picked up by someone with a two seater so he spent the drive home in the front seat on ex’s knee with no seatbelt.

(Yes he’s telling me this right now and is still not asleep...)

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MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 23:26:47

@TriciaH87 Thanks for the advice, he’s already breached the order several times during lockdown. Unfortunately I can’t afford a solicitor right now.

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Nicknacky Tue 19-May-20 23:27:33

How do you know he goes out with low fuel (not that it makes any difference?)

MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 23:28:44

@nicknacky because he just told me. Apparently it meant he couldn’t have known that the car would run out of fuel that time because he usually lets it get lower than that.

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MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 23:29:22

Oh and trust me it’s not an isolated incident, I’ve had no end of dangerous idiotic behaviour from him over the years.

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MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 23:30:38

Here’s what he said

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Nicknacky Tue 19-May-20 23:36:51

All you can do is speak to your solicitor.

MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 23:39:59

@nicknacky I don’t have a solicitor, I can’t afford that right now

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MysteryFrog Tue 19-May-20 23:44:47

Oh and a little bit of context, he’s blaming the hill but we live in an incredibly hilly area (the town literally goes up the side of a hill) so that seems like a pretty feeble excuse

I don’t know what to do, I can’t afford to get legal advice but I don’t want to send DS back there and put him at risk again. Ex is showing no remorse at all, he genuinely doesn’t think there’s a problem with what he did

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NeverTwerkNaked Tue 19-May-20 23:54:31

Is your ex Normally making stupid decisions or was this a one off?

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 19-May-20 23:55:52

Coram family law have a helpline and a system where you can book a chat with a lawyer for £25.

The key is that if you'd withheld contact you are doing to have to demonstrate to the judge that you had a good reason to do so.

MysteryFrog Wed 20-May-20 00:04:52

That’s really useful thanks!

90% of his decisions are stupid ones unfortunately. He also had a habit of leaving DS with strangers at festivals (the strangers also had a child so apparently it’s fine), driving whilst so tired he falls asleep at the wheel (more than once! Luckily not with DS in the car), telling DS in depth about conspiracy theories as if they’re fact and giving him nightmares (did you know coronavirus is a scam so they can inject us with mind control microchips and take over the planet with robots), etc etc etc

Sadly court didn’t take any of that very seriously because I didn’t have enough evidence

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MysteryFrog Wed 20-May-20 17:31:10

I sought legal advice and have been told that this would be classed as a good enough reason to stop contact as long as I offer phone contact instead. Thanks all.

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Hillocrew Wed 20-May-20 19:04:20

Your ex can bring this back to court. You've to be very careful here you are not the one in breach of the court order.

MysteryFrog Wed 20-May-20 19:42:41

@hillocrew this is the current advice, as he isn’t sticking to the social distancing guidelines I can stop contact as long as I offer phone or video contact as an alternative.

They also said that as he was putting him in danger by having him on his knee in the front seat of the car with no seatbelt, my responsibility to keep DS safe overrules the court order.

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MysteryFrog Wed 20-May-20 19:46:38

Also turns out they were within very easy walking distance of his house so it was a complete unnecessary car journey

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Nihiloxica Wed 20-May-20 19:49:28

Your child has a right to see his Dad, even if his Dad is someone you consider an irresponsible gobshite and who judges risk differently from you.

Is it really better for your son not to see his Dad in person because he ran out of petrol?

I think that is shocking parenting on your part, but I guess you will be able to use the lockdown as a pretext to distance your child from his father.

Yet another child harmed by the lockdown.

MysteryFrog Wed 20-May-20 20:06:07

The legal advice I got was very clear, the person I talked to also said that if I were to allow contact to continue and they ended up in a similar situation again and there was a collision (as I said, front seat on dads lap with no seatbelt) it could be considered partly my fault as I allowed contact to continue despite knowing how irresponsible his dad is

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