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DD not wanting to see exH.(20 Posts)
DD is 12. For the last 3 months she's refused outright to see her dad. We split 10 months ago & it's been brutal to say the least. Constant messages from exH, nasty things being said & on one occasion physical violence. Having tried to get exH to come to DD & spend the day with her he tells me "not to worry" or that she doesn't seem interested when he texts her. Everything I've suggested from taking her out for the day to just being at mine with DD is a problem for exH. He had dinner with her once at mine, snooped through my house & sent me disgusting messages while I was out accusing me of all sorts. I suggested he spends NY with DD at mine. He agreed, then today has changed his mind because he doesn't want to be in the same room as me.
It's been like this for 3 months. DD says she wants to be at home more rather than travelling an hour to his. She's also told me when she's at his they don't do anything. She sits in her room watching TV. But with exH fluttering back & forth with his decisions too I'm reluctant to tell DD any plans with him because he changes his mind depending on his mood with me. I'm at a loss now.
You are offering solutions and making dd available for contact, keep doing this but make sure its via message or email. If exh decides to take you to court because you are not letting him have contact at least you have evidence to refute his claims. You are doing everything you can so that your dd can have a relationship with her father were she feels comfortable. Its your exh's choice not to maintain a relationship with his dd, 12 year olds require effort and thats not your responsibility.
I think you’re getting too involved here. You are not with your Ex any more and your DD is 12, it’s not your job to faciliate contact. If your Ex has approached your DD and she said no, respect her decision.
I think you need to respect her choices too. But also respect her right to change her mind at any point and let her know that she can come to you at any stage and say she wants to see her dad.
I am going through similar with my son who is 8 and the more time goes by and the more little things he manages to tell me the more I understand why he really doesn’t want to see his dad.
your DD is 12, it’s not your job to faciliate contact
This is very poor advice : the courts would absolutely not agree.
You are doing everything right, let your ex come and visit her locally if she wishes and take her out. That way she doesn’t have to go to his house There is no point in forcing it and if the courts do become involved over custody etc your daughters wishes would be taken into consideration
@MrsBertBibby the courts would pay a lot of heed to the daughters wishes by age 12. They are to my sons wishes and he is 8. Plus it doesn’t sound like her dad is that interested so I am not sure he would take it to court?
Yes, but that doesn't allow the resident parent to absolve themselves of responsibility, does it? Which is what was being said. The resident parent is expected to encourage and support contact.
And in 25 years, I have never seen a court give free rein to a 12 year old to stop contact, in the absence of other factors. For very obvious reasons. Wishes and feelings is only one factor among many.
To those who say that it is not the mother's job to facilitate contact, please refer to the following ruling:
"If your 10yo said they didn't want to go to school, or wash their hair, or eat their supper, what would you say? This is what the President of the Family Division, Lord Justice Munby, said recently about children who are reluctant to have contact with a non-resident parent, in Re H-B (Contact)  EWCA Civ 389, a case which had run for six years,
 …There are many things which they ought to do that children may not want to do or even refuse to do: going to the dentist, going to visit some “boring” elderly relative, going to school, doing homework or sitting an examination, the list is endless. The parent’s job, exercising all their parental skills, techniques and stratagems – which may include use of both the carrot and the stick and, in the case of the older child, reason and argument – is to get the child to do what it does not want to do. That the child’s refusal cannot as such be a justification for parental failure is clear: after all, children whose education or health is prejudiced by parental shortcomings may be taken away from their parents and put into public care.
 … what one can reasonably demand – not merely as a matter of law but also and much more fundamentally as a matter of natural parental obligation – is that the parent, by argument, persuasion, cajolement, blandishments, inducements, sanctions (for example, “grounding” or the confiscation of mobile phones, computers or other electronic equipment) or threats falling short of brute force, or by a combination of them, does their level best to ensure compliance. That is what one would expect of a parent whose rebellious teenage child is foolishly refusing to do GCSEs or A-Levels or “dropping out” into a life of drug-fuelled crime. Why should we expect any less of a parent whose rebellious teenage child is refusing to see her father?"
I wonder if the above ruling applies to abusive fathers? I am in a similar position. Contact is supervised by family, but his house is a hoarder's paradise and wholly unsuitable with no beds accessible or an acceptable level of hygiene, yet ex wants them there only. Contact venue currently by mutual agreement and the dc don't want to go back there. I feel it would be to their detriment to force them to go as he's also been emotionally and physically abusive.
OP, can you get some legal advice?
Our judge has been quite satisfied that there are clear (and proven) reasons why DS feels unsafe and therefore it is acceptable for him to choose not to go
I actually think that ruling is quite abhorrent as it fails to recognise abuse by the parent as a reason for refusal
No. A background of abuse is an additional factor that will make refusal a more compelling reason.
I have dealt with hundreds of cases where kids "don't want" to see one parent for no better reason than that they know the other parent doesn't want them to.
So a mere statement of unwillingness should never be determinative.
Let the abusive parent go to court and argue why they should have access to a child who has no wish to see them.
The court allowed my 11 year old to make that choice as I proved I had made every attempt for her to see him. He proved he had made no effort with her and 9 months on continues to make no effort. She is happier now than ever and very settled. Not all judges rule in a certain way.... this judge said dad has to win her respect back. He hasn't..
Precisely. The determinative factor was not merely the child's unwillingness, but the background of a dad who clearly didn't have the ability or desire to step up.
Wishes and feelings are never the only factor.
You know your child and you are in a good position to make that choice. Are you going to court? Keep a diary of what your child tells you about her feelings x
@mrsbertbibby could I pick your brains on this topic?
Reason my son (8) doesn’t want to see his dad is because his dad tried to persuade him to do something dangerous. Dad then lied about it (to me, to social services, to cafcass). (I never doubted son). Dad finally admitted it (in court) . Judge and cafcass suggested trying a mediation with son involved. ( Judge said it was understandable why son didn’t want to see him at present but we had to try and find a solution). Dad agreed in court but is now refusing to consent to son seeing the mediator. Son is therefore refusing to see dad. Son suspects dad is too scared to hear what he has to say to mediator.
What’s the likely outcome when we head back to court again (there is another hearing in the spring to see how mediation worked). Will son just be made to see dad without any mediation first? Or there be a way for the judge to enable my son to see a mediator even if his dad doesn’t agree to it? My son has real concerns about what his dad did (and other things his dad has done) but underneath it all he loves his dad.
I imagine the judge will be pretty hacked off with your ex!
In theory the judge can give permission for your son to mediate but that seems pointless if dad wont participate.
It seems unlikely the judge would nust order contact. S/he might explore other possibilities such as family assistance order but ultimately if your ex wont work at it the judge will have to give up and order no contact.
Thanks @mrsbertbibby . I am so cross with ex for cancelling it, my son set so much store by the idea of it. He felt it was his chance to have his dad hear how he is feeling.
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