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custody possible - please help

(8 Posts)
snailsandslugs Fri 15-Jul-11 22:41:53

I don't know who to ask and just need some facts - hopefully to reassure me so that I can get some sleep.

He has just texted me that he is contacting a lawyer and all communication will be through him and that he is flighting for custody.

He lives in France - he is French, me, here in London. (Will it go through French courts? Are they more supportive to the father?)

I left him when I was pregnant because I thought he was emotionally abusive. He used to shout a lot/get angry/critisice me constantly/constantly picking faults/controlling. I loved him and still do which I know sounds bizarre. he has 2 sides to him. But I left him to have a baby. After I had her it was really diffiuclt, alone and with no money and so for 2 years we talked about me going back - it was like I wanted him and didn't want him. When I tried to go back to him, I was deeply miserable/homesick/felt trapped/felt worthless etc.

There's so much of the story. I know i should have stopped it, instead of being indecisive. He kept giving me chances but I would never go back.

He calls me a pathalogical liar/mentally unstable and therefore unfit mother. I am worried that he may get custody becasue
1. He is a doctor - a very charming one- most would never believe the way he was with me. he is pushign this idea that i am mentally unstable
2. He can get a very good lawyer - I can not - I struggle financially (he gave me no money for her since she was born and he made very few efforts to visit her)
3. I have been seeing a counsellor mainly because of my low self-esteem froim him - she thinks I had PND.
4. I did lie to him. There were 100s of times I said I would go back and never turned up. WHen I did, I invented big lies to get away - it was like escaping includig my father being very ill. Sick, I know, but I was desperate to get away. SO, yes, i lied a lot.
5. Maybe it seems that I was mentally unstable - when he was moving on and looking to date, I would beg him back - I didn't want to lose him and then when he accepted me back, I didn't go! I used to invent stories.
6. for the first 4 months i found it diffiuclt with DD - i was on my own and I didnt reallybond with her. I wanted him back - to help me - i felt v alone and lost - I might have written (evidence) in emails to him that I didn't want her - that I wanted him., etc. I didnt bond with her straightaway - I looked after her as best as possible and i thought she was beautiful etc., but i did at tiems wish to have my old life back. i might have written that to him. since after that i fell completely in love with her. she is the best thing in my life and without her i would not want to exist.

Should I start worrying a lot? I am feeling sick.

changeforthebetter Fri 15-Jul-11 22:49:09

No ideas on your legal position but it seems you are the primary carer for your child and you may have struggled but, so does virtually every mother. Motherhood is hard work, whatever your circumstances. I doubt very much that he will want to give up his life and look after a small baby which is what you are doing. See CAB, see your GP and HV (unless she is barking, some are.... ahem, I hear). Record your concerns. Floundering in the face of early motherhood is NORMAL especially if you are doing it alone. I suspect he is full of merde and just trying to play games with you. Establish your legal rights and move on from there << deeply unMN hugs>>

snailsandslugs Fri 15-Jul-11 22:57:41

I hope that the decision makers/judge will understand the difficulties of Motherhood.
He will get a nanny, he says. He is on a 100K.

StiffyByng Fri 15-Jul-11 23:31:21

What contact does he have with your daughter? The court, through CAFCASS, will want to know who the best person to care for the child is, and the interests of the child will be paramount. The CAFCASS reporter appointed by the court will speak to both of you. You will be able, if necessary, to submit evidence to him/her, such as letters from medical professionals and health visitors, regarding your health, if this seems relevant. The relationship between you and him is NOT relevant. It is the relationship you both have with your child, and how capable you are of meeting her needs that the court will care about, and the reporter will assess.

You don't say, I don't think, how old your daughter is. If the post-natal period is a long time ago, it is very unlikely that any statements you made at that time would be considered relevant in any case, given, I assume, that you have parented her successfully since then. The court is also unlikely to order her to move countries, although I'm not a lawyer and so may be talking out of my bottom... My DH had to make every argument in the book for moving his kids from Kent to London. International jurisdictions are completely out of my knowledge, but the case within the UK is usually held where the children currently live if proceedings are filed in another court.

Unless you are an inadequate parent, and your ex can prove that your daughter would be better in his care, in a different country, with very limited access to her mother, then I feel you're not likely to lose residence.

I hope this helps you sleep.

snailsandslugs Fri 15-Jul-11 23:44:45

It helps a lot and I feel you are right (thank you - I am starting to see sense).

He has never contributed financially, never paid for his visits - seen her about once every 2 months thanks to me travelling there and funding it. I work part time as an Infants school teacher.

I have never harmed her in anyway and always did my best for her.

I honestly don't think she should be with him on her own - he has a temper and a warped sense of humour at times.

You wrote a lot and explained it clearly - thank you for taking the time, it is appreciated a lot. x

Kladdkaka Fri 15-Jul-11 23:49:48

Jurisdiction for child custody isses lies with the country where the child is habitually resident.

It's a bit unclear from your post, but if your child lives with you in London and always has done, then it has to go through the UK courts.

You need to talk to a solicitor ASAP. Here is a list of Law Centres in London. These are not-for-profit law firms who provide free legal advice:

Kladdkaka Fri 15-Jul-11 23:57:02

My personal opinion, and it is only that, is that he doesn't have a cat in hell's chance. Does he really think that that a British court is going to take a British child, born and raised, away from a loving, caring British mother and send that child to a foreign country she has never lived in to be with a father she has never lived with?

Gonzo33 Sat 16-Jul-11 18:33:00

My friend has just gone through this. Although her child was born in France she had moved back to the UK. Her solicitor got the case heard in UK and as she is a UK national she got to keep her son here.

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