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my next move?(4 Posts)
I divorced my EA husband in 2002, my DD was just 2 at the time. contact was sporadic, as was maintanance, and he continued to use DD as a way to control/punish me. In 2006 she witnessed a DV incident with his then partner and was too frightened to see him again. He threatened me with legal action, but I saw a solicitor as he was bluffing. Contact was stopped until he was prepared to address the issues, and as a result he didnt see her for over 3 years, during which time he went abroad and had another child with the gf. We had one attempt at mediation where he verbally abused me and I was left sick and shaken. During this period DD had involvedment with CAMHs due to anxiety, fear and behaviour issues associated with what happened and his apparant rejection.
In mid 2009 he turned up at the school and expected to just resume contact as and when. I returned to my solicitor to take up where things had left off, and again he refused to engage. I took out a prohibitive steps order, which was granted in 2010, which prevented him going to her school or removing her from my care without written consent. At the hearing he pressed for contact, and we agreed to supervised contact for 2 hours fortnightly with my mother.
Again, contact has been less than this. Sometimes due to holidays by my mother, but more often because he calls off with excuses, many which seem unlikely. Often he doesnt manage the 2 hours, but makes excuses. During contact he has often run me down to DD if they are close and my mother is far - such as swimming, etc. DD is scared of him and often agrees to stuff because she is frightened to say no. She has witnessed him several times exploding in rages to restaurant/shop staff or to my mother if she says something he doesnt like. he is erratic and volatile and it is very likely that he is involved in drugs (using and selling) and previously he has been involved in prostitution.
2 contact visits ago my mother foolishly left him alone with her for 10 mins. He told DD not to tell anyone, it was their secret, but he was going to a solicitor to get more contact, and pressed her for our address (she finally gave him the street but not the number), and also got her to say she wanted to see him more. She told my mum straight away on their way home.
She doesnt want to see him on her own, but she is scared to say this to him. she says she does want to see him more - but only more as in him not making excuses and missing contact, not as in more often. She will be 12 next month. I think she feels that if something better comes up he does it, and that she should be more important to him.
I went to get help from the solicitor but (as my daughter gets DLA, which is not counted, but gives me a higher rate of child tax credits) my income was just too high to get legal aid. I am left fearing that i will have to represent myself against the man who emotionally and verbally abused me for years, and I dont really know what I should do. Some have said that I just need to wait as I dont need a solicitor, as there is no discussion to have, and that he will need to apply to the court and they will find my address and send details to me. I have been told that I need to check he mentions the previous order. I feel absolutely sick at the prospect of this, and also very angry that I am denied legal aid due to the fact that I get help for a child that needs care. If she were not ill, I would qualify.
Can you advise me what I should be doing, and if there is anywhere that i might apply for legal assistance
just to add that he didnt pay any maintanance from 2004 until 2009, when he returned from abroad and signed on. He had been back for 4 months before he turned up at the school, which corresponded with CSA taking money from his dole.
Now he is being forced to pay by the CSA again (he signed off ages ago, and doesnt apparantly work, though always has cash/holidays. etc) and this seems to have triggered the 'right' to more contact again. I refused to make a deal with him regarding money, wanted it handled through CSA.
I know maintanance has nothing to do with contact, but it seems to be his trigger to hassle. Its a pittance anyway and I have done without for most of her life.
Bumping this for you, I have no advice, I am so sorry. What an awful situation.
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