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XP wants to take me to court. Advice needed!!

(30 Posts)
baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 16:36:16

Bit of background. XP and I split up nearly two years ago, and since then his contact with our DDs has been decreasing, his choice not mine. 6 months ago he moved to a different country, but he is back now but living 150 miles away from us. We have an agreement which was done through my silicitor, stating he will come and see the DC for two days every fortnight, obviously he has not been sticking to this recently.

He has quite a few mental health problems, and was sectioned in the summer, however he is no longer receiving treatment since moving back to this country.

Anyway, he want the DC to go and stay with him (at his mum's house) for a few days every couple of months, but his mum has a dog which has a history of biting and had to be muzzled. The house is tiny and DD2 is terrified of dogs, so I said the dog must not be at the house while the DC are there, which has been fine in the past when they have gone. He is now saying that the dog will be there, and if I don't agree then he will take me to court!

Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Will it get to court? And if so, is he likely to win?

TIA

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 16:38:58

Just to clarify a few things which aren't quite clear in my post.

The agreement with the solicitor was done about a year ago, not since he moved back.

It is his choice to no longer have treatment for his mental health problems, not the advice of his doctor.

HattiFattner Mon 10-Oct-11 16:41:50

I think Id be seeing a solicitor to amend the agreement.
In the meantime, Id be finding contact centres for him to visit with the kids. If he has been sectioned, I would not want unsupervised contact until he can demonstrate that he is well.

GypsyMoth Mon 10-Oct-11 16:42:04

The solicitor agreement isn't legally binding.

I think you will lose

GypsyMoth Mon 10-Oct-11 16:42:59

It won't be unsupervised, his mum will be there. And you can't discriminate over MH issues

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 16:47:31

Its not so much the mental health problems, although I'm not 100% happy about him having unsupervised contact, it is the dog. Will a court agree that the DC should stay in a house with a dog that has a history of biting?

GypsyMoth Mon 10-Oct-11 16:51:07

Is it documented? With police or in doc/hosp notes?

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 16:54:08

I'm not sure, I don't know the people it was biting. Would it help if I got it in writing from his mum that the dog was biting and had to be muzzled?

GypsyMoth Mon 10-Oct-11 17:00:26

Why would she do that though?

No, I doubt it would help

Collaborate Mon 10-Oct-11 17:02:26

ILT it isn't discrimination re MH issues. The court can't ignore them where there are child welfare issues at stake. If it impacts upon the father's ability to care for the child then it's an issue the court will take into account.

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 17:06:02

Yes good point.

So, if it goes to court and I bring it up and he admits it, would the court make the DC go do you think?

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 17:14:05

Collaborate - He has severe mood swings and can be very aggressive, it's got to the point where I won't allow him in my house anymore because he scares me. He has been aggressive towards me in front of the DC before, and has self harmed when DD1 and I were in the same house (he had to be seen by a doctor afterwards because it was so bad). He has also, in the past, said he wishes he had never had children, and I made a mistake by not having an abortion when I found out I was pregnant with DD1.

pinkytheshrinky Mon 10-Oct-11 17:16:29

I do think you should let this go to court and get CAFCASS involved and then there has to be complete transparency about his MH situation (and for what it is worth I do think in certain situations discriminating against someone because of MH issues should be allowed if it affects the welfare of the children)

You have no idea really what is going on, if you have been scared of him you should do all you can to protect your children.

GypsyMoth Mon 10-Oct-11 17:18:50

Well I have been there with court and MH issues and I had to fight! Hard!

What was he sectioned for?

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 17:23:10

He was sectioned because of severe depression and OCD, he cut his leg up so badly that it had to be stitched, some of the cuts were about a foot long. He has had these problems for years, but doesn't take the help he's offered to get better.

pinkytheshrinky Mon 10-Oct-11 17:27:10

But Tiff, surely it is better that at least baabaa has the full picture rather than the version he chooses to give her.

Also if he has walked away from treatment against Docs advice then the court should know this.

GypsyMoth Mon 10-Oct-11 17:31:53

So no documented dog bites?
That you know of. So, medical records would be next? Can't remember if cafcass have the right to view these.

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 17:50:28

If I can prove that the dog has bitten is it likely the DC will be made to go there?

pinkytheshrinky Mon 10-Oct-11 17:56:20

CAFCASS do have the right yes - they have to get a court order from the judge but it has been done in our case.

You need to forget about the dog and concentrate on out exs poor judgement and find out what is going on with his MH

GypsyMoth Mon 10-Oct-11 18:43:49

Yeah, think dog is least of your worries. He or mil could say they dont have it anymore/ it won't be there or will be muzzled all the time. Courts can't go round and check at every visit the dc have.

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 19:11:37

Have spoken to him, he is now saying that the dog didn't bite anyone, it was just with another dog that nearly bit someone. That's not what I was told before.

I don't think he is hiding anything from me about his MH, have no idea though whether he is really capable of looking after them, had always just assumed he was confused

cestlavielife Mon 10-Oct-11 21:18:26

Dog find out breed talk to local police if it is dangerous dog etc.

But this is more about your ex and his judgement.

I do agree that court is good idea but there can be issues over medical confidentiality . Was there police or social services involvement ? when he was sectioned? But you can say in your statement concern about his MH then is up to judge to decide if orders medical or psych reports .

My ex told judge he never had psych issues he only stayed voluntarily in psych unit for b and b coz I would not let him home .

But there was enough police and SS reports to back up and cafcass recommended supervised contact.

Question is whether cafcass would say his mother is ok to supervise with or without dog

cestlavielife Mon 10-Oct-11 21:19:27

The denial about the dog could be his MH talking. ...

baabaapinksheep Mon 10-Oct-11 21:51:59

There would be records of when he was sectioned, although it was in a different country, so not sure how easy it would be to get hold of them.

Not sure whether I would trust his mother to supervise access, she has quite a lot of her own MH problems.

cestlavielife Mon 10-Oct-11 22:08:47

when was last time he saw dc?
how old are dc?
has he seen them since being back?
does he have a gp in uk? is there any UK record of his issues?
is his mother's mh documented andhow does it manifest?

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