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Your chance to add to Marilyn Stowe's free ebook on Divorce!

(9 Posts)
olgaga Thu 13-Dec-12 08:59:38

Marilyn Stowe is one of the country's most formidable Family Lawyers, and she is in the process of writing a free ebook guide aimed at all separating and divorcing parents. If there any topics you are particularly keen to see covered, let her know!

Marilyn Stowe Blog

Here's a cheeky plug for my new blog containing all my usual advice and links Survive Separation which is still awaiting entry to the MN Bloggers Network. Feel free to add comments or suggestions, or PM me.

lovelytoes Thu 13-Dec-12 12:24:37

i am in the process of divorce.i had a son previous to my marriage that was only a baby on entering the relationship.his bio father has always been in his life and has provided and paid stbexh has obviously been in his life for 8 years however always maintaned he was my responsibility and not his(fair enough). the only time he interacted with my son was to take him to the odd football game.we broke up over 12 months ago and he asked if he could still take him to the odd football match.i agreed to this as my son loves going to watch matches.after a few weeks my stbexh started asking me to send money with my son to pay for the tickets and provide him with food for the day.i didnt mind this at all.then 6 months ago he started a new relationship and he stopped asking to take him to matches as he was spending the weekends with new gf.that was fine with me as we then moved 30 miles awayand started to take my son to football myself.he has also started playing for a local team.then out of the blue last week my stbexh asked if he could resume taking him to matches as his relationship has ended.i told him that logistically it was impossible and that i had started to take him.he is now saying that he has a right to see him as he brought him up and is going to take me to court to get access.this has caused me much anxiety as he never had parental responsibility of my son,it feels like he is just using him until he gets a new gf and also believe that he is trying to take control of our lives.he has made demands over the past week and sent me abusive txt messages to which i have ignored.the questions i would like answering are what are his rights? i am aware that he was a child of a marriage prior to divorce and if my son wants to continue having a relationship with him he can.i have not asked my son if he wants to go.yet my son has never asked about him either as he is happy in what he is doing at weekends.

olgaga Thu 13-Dec-12 16:59:17

Please try not to be anxious about this, and ignore any contact which is unrelated to the divorce proceedings. He's not the father, and has no parental responsibility. He is using your child to harass and abuse you. He can threaten you all he likes but he won't get anywhere.

I think you should call the police non-emergency number 101 and discuss his harassment of you, or call NCDV for advice.

lovelytoes Fri 14-Dec-12 13:44:47

thank you so much for that advice xxxx

lovelytoes Wed 19-Dec-12 10:04:26

Hi olgaga i have sent stbexh a txt message saying 'all further contact will be via my solicitor and i will not be responding to any txt messages'. I dont have a solicitor but thought this might do the trick.low and behold 2 days later he has sent my partner in the post mail that is addressed to me that has been sent to former marital home (pension statements from a frozen pension).he has opened them and wrote a note in to my partner saying he is seeking legal advice about us not letting him see my son.then today a txt asking for my solicitors name and so distressed, why will he not listen,he believes he is above the sick of living in fear of him.

olgaga Thu 20-Dec-12 08:50:28

To be honest the first thing I would do is write to everyone making absolutely sure nothing else gets sent to your old address. Or speak to the PO about getting a redirection, but if I remember rightly to guard against fraud they send the acknowledgement to be actioned to you from the old address and he will probably not pass it on. (It's something you should do before you move).

I would ignore all contact from him in future.

You will have to get a solicitor for the divorce anyway, so organise that now. He has no right to contact, although he can apply, but if there is no parental responsibility then as I said earlier he simply won't get anywhere.

Alternatively, ring 101 and report him for harassment and abusive behaviour, or speak to NCDV as I advised above. The new definition of domestic abuse now states:

"Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

• psychological
• physical
• sexual
• financial
• emotional.

Controlling behaviour is:

a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is:

an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim."

But I'd advise you to get a solicitor for the divorce anyway.

Xenia Thu 20-Dec-12 09:43:54

I don't personally think people should ever rush to report someone to the police as it just escalates matters. He is not the father but had some kind of relationship with the boy.

Just try to ignore the communications. It is very sad in many cases but step parents who are often very very attached to children and vice versa do not have the rights of a parent unless he had some kind of residence order which I doubt. If your child would like to see him then by all means you can write to your ex saying how let down your child was by what happened before, that he was suddenly dropped and that you are happy (if you are) that he comes to watch his next football match - if you hate the idea then of course don't offer it. See what the child wants too.

olgaga Thu 20-Dec-12 10:13:46

xenia, did you actually read the OP? The DS is not bothered. He barely had a relationship with him. There is no parental responsibility. This is harassment, plain and simple.

I certainly wouldn't be writing, and inviting further contact.

The police non-emergency facility is an excellent way to flag up concern about abusive behaviour.

Collaborate Thu 20-Dec-12 11:43:56

The exH doesn't need permission of the court to apply for a contact order, but his relationship with the child will not be afforded parity with the natural parent's, and the wishes of the child will be taken into account.

Someone who sends abusive texts isn't doing themselves any favours, as if the court thinks that his continued involvement in the child's life is going to be disruptive then he's unlikely to get contact (unless the child wants it).

OP - you need to reach your own view about going to the police over the texts messages. Are they genuinely abusive and threatening, or are they more terribly impolite? The police are there to investigate criminal activity, not police the impolite. It isn't harassment that he asks about having contact, however unreasonable it may be that he be granted contact.

I get around half a dozen injunctions a month these days, so I get to see what will get orders and what won't.

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