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Child contact with abusive ex and coronavirus

(8 Posts)
Darklesparkles Mon 23-Mar-20 08:29:57

Hi everyone,

A few months ago I posted about leaving my emotionally abusive ex and got some really good advice from you all flowers.

Things have been slowly adjusting since then, we did go to counselling together (know that is not recommended) and since then he has not been verbally abusive as such. Has given a token sorry for his behaviour but still refuses to go by himself just bargains i.e. if you come with me I'll go but myself next week, same story next week etc etc.

Anyway, with this coronavirus I am findong myself in a bit of a situation with contact for my little boy who is only 2. There is no court order in place yet, it is filed but god knows what is going to happen there now.) And I am currently living with my parents, one of whom is over 70 and the other who will be in the shielded category going forward due to multiple underlying health conditions.

Now, my DS hasn't been with his dad for 3 weeks as firstly he was sick, then his dad had to work all weekend with emergency computer work for the coronavirus in the city centre.

He is now demanding that DS stays with him this weekend, as he has equal rights and it's not fair that he can't see him. I said to him what about my mum, he said that's not my problem that she's in the house with my son is it?!

I do realise it's not fair him not seeing DS, but these are exceptional circumstances and I have to protect my mum too who is in the house where we are all currently living and who really could die if she gets it.

He has said that if this gets bad he will come and get DS and take him down to him (rural location for isolation). I am worried that if DS does go i.e
that my ex will try and keep him or if we go into lockdown etc.

Any advice? Am a bit at the end of my tether and don't want to look like an evil cow if I say I will be keeping DS for 12 weeks sorry because of household circumstances. We do facetime every other day (he is 2 so it's not really a conversation!) and I send pictures every day.

He has suggested that I come down and stay with him (100?mile trip) for 2 weeks with DS then go back...don't want to do that because of the emotional abuse and know he would start on me again with trying to get me back etc.

OP’s posts: |
SuperLoudPoppingAction Mon 23-Mar-20 08:35:16

Did you have a solicitor help you file papers?
Solicitor advice might be helpful.

Also maybe contacting women's aid.

However I personally don't think anyone would blame you for putting safety first.

You could put clearly in writing that until shielding has ended, there will be no contact in person.
You regret this and to mitigate you offer chat time via skype on Wednesday at 6PM and Saturday at 11am until the situation is resolved.

And don't entertain long conversation and debate about it.
There is no court order.
Anything you offer is a courtesy.

You support your dc's relationship with your ex but in a safe way.

AustinRd Mon 23-Mar-20 17:57:11

I know you don’t have a court order but thought you might like to see what Cafcass say. As mother (particularly of abusive ex) we try to appease everyone often not listening to our gut instincts because of how we might be perceived and trying to do the right thing. In these uncertain times I’d advise you trust your gut on this one x

Darklesparkles Mon 23-Mar-20 18:23:01

Hi both, thank you. Have contacted my solicitor for a telephone call tomorrow.

Thank you for sending carcass guidelines Austin, wasn't aware of these.

Think the important one in that document is "usual routine unless to do so would put your child, or others at risk. It would certainly put my mother at risk, we are literally maybe talking life and death and my gut says keep my little man at hime however painfull that is for my ex.

Feel incredibly guilty saying that though and he has really twisted the knife today with guilt tripping me. Threatened to come and get him if things get "too bad" - what does that even mean?

Sometimes I feel exhausted with this. I've left but still feel like he is in control sometimes.

OP’s posts: |
Darklesparkles Mon 23-Mar-20 18:24:47

Omg, cafcass not carcass. Stupid phone auto correct shocksad

OP’s posts: |
LemonTT Tue 24-Mar-20 13:24:05

It does raise the question as to whether the best place for your young child is to be within the home of someone who is shielded if there is an alternative. It essentially means that the child is limited by the risk of someone in a higher risk group. There is no risk based advice to isolate a young child for 12 weeks. There is advice to isolate an at risk older person and that means those in the household with them have to take more stringent measures.

To properly shield your parent you will be imposing a greater level of isolation on the child. That’s not limited to just seeing his father.

There will be no vaccine or cure in 12 weeks. The virus will still be in the community. The only difference is that hospitals will be under less pressure. Your parents are going to be constantly at risk from any socialising you and your son do.

I don’t know how good your ex is as a father but if he could take him to a better location where he has more freedom maybe that’s something to consider even if for only part of the lockdown / isolation period.

Princessfaffalot Tue 24-Mar-20 13:30:37

I think as it’s not court ordered it’s not forceable but they have said children under 18 are allowed to travel between households to see separated parents. So it’s up to you really.

Darklesparkles Tue 24-Mar-20 15:23:37

Hi Lemon, you make very good points there. My concern is literally how good he is as a father (he has an explosive temper, and not sure if I can trust him if DS starts ranting etc and he will undoubtedly outsource childcare to his parents who are in regular contact with other pr working in a supermarket also).

I don't like thought of DS not seeing his dad but so so worried about my mum at some time. Ex has no empathy for this whatsoever.

Finding this very tough and I feel very selfish for considering keeping DS for lockdown.

OP’s posts: |

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