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Help - solicitors letter(5 Posts)
Hi lovely's, I've posted this twice as I'm not getting much help on the lone parents section.. I hope that's ok!
Some of you may remember me being in an awful place two summers ago.
Here's the link: Pregnant and he's thrown me out http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3339916-pregnant-and-he-s-thrown-me-out
It's been pretty crap ever since then really.
After your amazing help before I'm reaching out for a bit more if that's ok... ?
Because of your wonderful advice I started to look into the ex and why and how he could do these awful things to us.. and yes you were right, I truly believe I'm dealing with a classic covert narcissist 😫
After baby was born in feb 19 the ex had been in and out of our lives. Hoovering me back in with I love toys and so on,, and then spitting me and dd's out just as quick, then goes missing for months at a time. It has honestly taken me all this time to really believe that he has a serious personality disorder. All I wanted was my family all together and I was truly living in a warped reality and I couldn't see what he was doing. All I could see what the love bombing that he served up for a few years. Like how could I ever get anything as special as that again?
Anyway, I digress... he has never once helped with DD. Never made a bottle. Never changed a nappy, never offered or done a single feed or night feed. I was exhausted, I told him so but he offered no help. If easily put a figure of 15 hours in a year contact with her. Even though the opportunity and encouragement to do more has always been there.
Like I said he would hoover me in and then spit us out and I had to say no more. That's when all my reading/ knowledge I'd learned over that time kicked in and he knew I was different. And so he changed too.. he ramped up to a whole new level of arsey!
So after spitting his dummy out one last time he went missing between end of Oct and just before Xmas. Contacted me out the blue saying he wanted to take DD on Christmas Day as his family here over. Shocked but not entirely surprised I replied with "you and your mum are welcome to come here xmas morning to see DD but bearing in mind that you've never had her alone or cared for her and haven't seen her for months (again) I think it would be beneficial for Dd if you came here and started to build a relationship.
I thought I was offering a huge olive branch here., I mean xmas morning!!!
He replied with.. I can't do the morning but can do Boxing Day.
Then guess what? He cancelled because he had a cold! 😏
I then didn't hear from him for two weeks then he asked me if he could take DD on Sunday and that he knew it was my birthday but his mum was up. I replied that given I listed my concerns for dd and how he needs to see her initially in her home environment where she feels safe and settled I was concerned he wasn't listen to me regarding her welfare. I stated that it would be best if he could see her regularly - little and often in her home and build up a relationship with her in order for her to feel happy to be away from me - which is everything she's ever known. No reply.
I then offered the following weekend for him to come into my house and see dd for this process to begin - he agreed. He turned up looking like he'd been sleeping in his car ( not the person I used to know by any stretch) wearing a hat he didn't take off - odd in my opinion if you're trying to bond with a baby you've hardly ever seen. He never wears hats. It was just strange. And he never spoke to me the whole time he was there. He didn't ask questions about her.. didn't ask if she needed anything while he was there he even struggled to answer me when I asked him if he wanted a cup of tea. He then left. Arranged after via text for the following week. Same thing happened.. same hat.. same silence.. same everything.. no questions asked about DD. I even asked him to download a co-parenting app that might help us communicate better and there's a diary etc, he downloaded it but never used it.
Then nothing. Didn't hear from him. Found out he had put his house on the market. And I honestly thought I probably wouldn't see him again for who knows how long.
He didn't show for this weeks visit.
I didn't chace him. Then today I get a solicitors letter. Saying he wanted immediate contact away from my home because he found it too difficult to be there in my home and that it was affecting him building a natural bond with DD. 🤯 goes on to say he has rights and it's also DDs right to see her father. Then a schedule is laid out of when he wants her. Starting with every other Saturday for 3 hours around her afternoon nap and tea time. So 6 hours a month and more like 3 awake time if he can even get her to go to sleep,
Working up to the following few months of 5 hours every other Sunday. Assuming these dates and times are to fit in along side his other son who he only ever sees every other weekend and wants them both together for less life impact.
Then at month 5 - every other weekend.
Then it goes on to say that mediation is being arranged and I should get my own legal advice!
WHAT?! Strip everything away, I have no benefit from him sulking round my house and god only knows how much I need a break but it has to be done properly in a way that DD is ok with. She can't understand that it's only initially for a few hours. She can't understand that over nights in a few months will result in her going back to her home. She doesn't even know this man and he doesn't know anything about her.
My heart breaks for this little angel who won't know what the heck is going on. With no transition, nothing.
I must clarify that I have tried so desperately to get him involved up to this point. Even though I don't think he's a trustworthy character and he emotionally abuses me for a long time, lied, cheated and if you read my original thread, did the worst things to us I do believe she should have an opportunity to have a father. But I truly believe it has to be done slowly and properly.
Any advice would be wonderful,
Thank you so much if you've got to this point without falling asleep!
Contact his solicitor with a counter offer. Two can play his game.
Advise that Saturday at that time is not good because it is DD nap time so he won't get the quality time he wants.
Offer Sunday morning for the same amount of time. From what you have said he is unlikely to go through with it.
Explain that you want your daughter to know her father but also to know support and love. It all has to be about her best interest not yours.
send evidence of all his comings and goings. Explain that you feel it is in your daughter's best interest to have someone there to support her father who may struggle with parenting as he hasn't been there for her up to now and therefore you want the initial few visits to be at a contact centre or mutual friend.
Explain also that you will be logging each and every time he fails to show and his reasons if any were given.
You don't have to do what he said just because a solicitor wrote it but you do have to show that every offer you make is in DDs best interest and no t to do with your feelings around the situation.
I agree with Otter. Don't be bullied just because the letter is from a solicitor. Your ex needs to establish a bond first, before he gets lone access, so the first few sessions should be at a contact centre or a trusted joint friend.
I seriously doubt a court would expect you to hand your child over to someone she has only seen for 15 hours, and has never changed a nappy or provided a feed.
You do not have to mediate if you feel he is bullying you. You can speak to a mediator and they will tell you whether mediation is appropriate or not, and if not, provide certification.
He has decided to take the legal route, so that has started the legal ball rolling. If you both disagree with the child arrangements, Cafcass will be involved. They will promote the best interests of the child, which would not to suddenly have immediate contact, particularly given the age of your child. There is lots of attachment based research on the adverse effects of young children spending time with the non-resident parent alone, particularly if they are under 18 months- it can destabilise the child and damage their attachment to the resident parent.
And as for his demands, your ex needs to be reminded that it IS NOT ABOUT HIM! it is about his child! It is not about him asserting his rights, it is about the welfare, wellbeing and stability of the child.
My ex tried (and still does) use solicitors to threaten and intimidate me, but family court is not like civil or criminal court. As long as you are confident that you can protect your child and act in their best interest, go with what you think is best. Xx
Thank you for your replies. It's made me feel a bit better about things.
I totally don't think it's in her best interest to just go off with him without any understanding of her needs. But I feel like I'll have to just hand her over. Solicitors are an expense I just can't really afford.
He hasn't worked with me at all and he cannot communicate.
I just can't believe all this has come about because HE feels uncomfortable in my house with no thought of how DD might feel in his house away from all she knows.
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