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Ex P Trying To Make Me Out A "Danger" To Our Child To Court - Help!

(22 Posts)
ConfusedAsHell Thu 27-Sep-12 00:44:52

Bit of a long story, Have had to name change due to exp and exFIL hounding me on here!

Basically, I left exp due to him being financially and emotionally abusive, had no where else to go but DM's over the other end of the country with our DD. DM has a bit of a past but has righted all wrongs. EXP and exFIL are trying to use my DMs past against me in legal matters by saying my DD is in danger being here and I'm an unfit mother. SS have been in touch and already said they have no issues, same with HV.

I just dont know what to do. I know it's going to be an ugly fight. They wanted DD every second weekend from Friday to Sunday, I rejected the offer as EXP would have been working during hours DD was supposed to be in his care and offered 4 hours every second weekend at a contact centre as I felt being dragged across the country every second weekend wouldn't be good for her as she's young (14m)
They have now rejected it and I think they're going to go for the full haul and try for full custody!

Will my mums past be a problem?

crackcrackcrak Thu 27-Sep-12 00:54:12

Is the past issue drug use or similar?

14 months is a bit young for whole weekends away from you. I think you probably have more of a case for your contact proposal than they do. Why contact schedule? Him proposing contact whilst he is at work is absurd. He ought to be travelling to whee you live for contact really but if you ask him to do that have a think about a reasonable contact period - a whole day for example.

What you need to do is prepare your argument and back it up. This is how you manage court proceedings. For example; 'I do not agree to ex contact proposal
Because I feel a lin period away from me would be distressing for dd at her age. Therefore I instead propose x period of contact as I feel this would be more beneficial for dd etc'

For a 14 month old the contact (accusing to Cafcass) will be recommended to be frequently for shorter periods so have a think about what u want to propose

deleted203 Thu 27-Sep-12 00:54:28

I honestly wouldn't worry yourself. You say SS and HV have been in touch and have no issues. I would speak to your solicitor about this, but I cannot see how Ex could possibly prove you are an unfit mother without backing from SS who do not appear to be in agreement with him. Best of luck to you and please don't let him give you sleepless nights.

LineRunner Thu 27-Sep-12 00:57:04

Well, no, no-one's past in necessarily a problem if SS and HV are prepared to put in writing to the court (through CAFCASS) that there are no concerns.

But in terms of contact, you have to persuade the court that your contact suggestions are reasonable or the court can and often will impose its own. Thinh about if there might be some additional compromise here? If you go to court having suggested a reasonable plan, you'll be fine.

ConfusedAsHell Thu 27-Sep-12 01:06:00

Yes, it was drugs (Hash and valium) She's been clean for a long time now and is willing to take tests to prove it if needed.

I think thats roughly what my solicitor has replied with.
As much as I know deep down that it'll be okay, I'm just terrified of losing DD

NellyJob Thu 27-Sep-12 01:17:57

I saw his post.
Really don't worry.
xx

olgaga Thu 27-Sep-12 09:10:18

Yes it will be OK. There's no way a court would order a 14 month old child to be away from their main carer for a whole weekend, or do that amount of travelling.

Take heart.

boredandrestless Thu 27-Sep-12 09:19:59

I saw your previous posts and the hounding you got and suspected thngs would go this way. Your ex is a real chip off the old block isn't he. hmm They are showing that they are bullying and controlling. Nothing more.

Have social services and health visitor stated they are happy with you and your DD being at your mum's. Are they willing to put that in a report?

I don't think many judges would say a 14month old going every other weekend, for the whole weekend, for a long distance visit, while dad is at work is a good idea. hmm I know it is hard but try not to worry. Think about what would be best, maybe little and often? I agree with contact being supervised too. Have yo looked into what contact centres there are available (different types) and where they are? Social services may be able to advise you on this.

My ds is older so don't have experience of contact arrangements at this age but perhaps others will come along who have.

boredandrestless Thu 27-Sep-12 09:21:21

Just remembered - can women's aid advise? Did you get in touch with the branch local to your mum? Being able to state that you are being supported by women's aid speaks volumes for obvious reasons, and they are really helpful IME, even if you aren't staying in the refuge.

olgaga Thu 27-Sep-12 09:30:14

You might find this useful/reassuring:

Arrangements for Children

If you cannot reach agreement between you on residence and contact arrangements - either during a divorce or during discussions about revising contact arrangements, an application for a Residence and Contact Order may be made to the Family Court by either parent. In future this is likely to be renamed “Child Arrangements Order”.

It is important to note that each case is judged on its own circumstances. The Judge may direct Cafcass to investigate the issues and decide which are relevant for the court to decide. The Cafcass officer will investigate within the framework of the Children Act 1989, taking these factors into account:

(a) the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of age and understanding);
(b) physical, emotional and educational needs of the child;
(c) the likely effect on the child of any change in his circumstances;
(d) the age, sex, background of the child and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant;
(e) any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
(f) how capable each of the parents are, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, of meeting the child’s needs;
(g) the range of powers available to the court under this Act in the proceedings in question.

This kind of consideration Cafcass will give to issues around contact can be seen from their own publication “Time for Children”
www.cafcass.gov.uk/PDF/TimeforChildren.pdf

Amongst other helpful advice in “Time for Children”, pages 12 and 13 set out the following in relation to children and contact issues:

Children under three may find staying contact more difficult than older children, so particular care and sensitivity is needed when making arrangements at this age

Your parenting plan must be for the benefit of your children and not about parental time-shares. If you do not focus on your children’s needs, they may feel like parcels being moved between addresses.

Your children’s wishes need taking into account. Older children have friends they want to keep and interests that are important to them. They will want parenting plans that allow for their social activities.

Children mature at different rates so do not expect your children to manage similar arrangements to others of the same age; some children are confident and independent, others are shy and clinging.

Young children may need much reassurance to be away from the place they usually see as home without getting distressed.

Younger children usually manage frequent, short periods of contact
best; older children may prefer longer, less frequent periods.

Be flexible and update your parent plan over time. As children grow older their needs and circumstances will change, so will yours.

If there is any violence, alcohol and drug misuse, or psychiatric illness in the family, the parenting plan will need to take account of this to ensure the safety of your children. In order to benefit from contact, children must be safe and need to feel safe. Occasionally the risk of harm to the child will be greater than the possible benefits of contact and it may be best for it not to happen at all or to take place where risks to the child and possibly a parent can be kept to the minimum.

Here are some examples of contact arrangements which cater for the age and needs of of the child:

Baby: a couple of hours each Saturday morning,

Young toddler: a day each weekend: with very young children who have a short memory span frequent shorter contact is better than longer periods further apart

Young children: alternate weekends with one night overnight and maybe an evening each week

Older children: alternate weekends with overnight contact, maybe from Friday night to Sunday night; there could be additionally one night overnight contact a week; some parents agree Thursday nights, which would then provide a continuous long weekend every other weekend.

11 and up: often have sport or other weekend activities and contact must be planned around those. The court will not force a teenager over 14 to have contact with the other parent and at least from the age of about 12 the court takes the child’s wishes strongly into account.

Holiday contact during school holidays can be shared, but would depend again on practical issues such as the parents’ working pattern and leave entitlement.

Arrangements for general and family holidays such as Christmas, other religious holidays (if they are important) and the birthdays of the child, the parents and siblings need to be agreed – it is better if you can do this well in advance.

Special family occasions such as weddings will require some flexibility.

Contact orders or arrangements should always take into account the situation immediately beforehand. If both parents were actively involved in caring that is a different situation to one where one parent has done all the caring and the other is unknown to the child (to give an extreme example). In the first example, overnight care might be possible from the beginning. A parent who has had little to do with day-to-day care, or the reintroduction of an unknown parent will take much more gradual and careful handling. It always depends entirely on the circumstances.

crackcrackcrak Thu 27-Sep-12 09:38:39

I also think, well I'm fairly sure that if he makes allegations that you are a danger to your child either Cafcass would ask for recent evidence of his concerns or they would ask why he has waited until now to raise these concerns.
Hope you are ok

babybarrister Thu 27-Sep-12 10:34:57

your DM may have to do some drug testing to show she is now not using - I assume that she woudl co-operate - if so, then that should put the court's mind at rest

boredandrestless Thu 27-Sep-12 10:38:54

Are you planning on staying with your mum long term, or will you be looking for a place of your own local to her at some point? I remember you have a nice support network there of old friends and your mum, I'm glad you have nice people around you, must feel nice compared to feeling miles away from them. smile

NellyJob Thu 27-Sep-12 10:53:37

what bored and restless said might be a good idea, a place of your own but near your mum and old friends?

ConfusedAsHell Thu 27-Sep-12 11:02:35

I am looking for my own place the now, hopefully will have somewhere soon. This whole situation is really upsetting and stressing my mum out, the things they have said about her is sickening and has reduced her to tears on many occasion and my mum isn't really the crying type.
Yeah, my mum is willing to co-operate.
I maybe should have mentioned in the original post than I stay in Scotland, I know some things are different up here.
It is nice being away from them but with all this crap they have been saying about myself and my mum, it feels like I'm still there in a way, it seems I cant escape the abuse sad
I'm quite happy for DD to have contact with her father and his family as they were good to her but they just don't seem to understand that under no circumstances am I sending my daughter to stay with them right now until I have some form of legal arrangement set up as I know for a fact they wouldn't return her.
Apparently in doing this, I'm using DD as a weapon and I'm playing games. It's rather hard to fight the temptation to go through there and give them a piece of my mind!

boredandrestless Thu 27-Sep-12 12:52:37

Are they also in Scotland or are they in England?

Have you seen a solicitor yet?

I understand what you mean about feeling like you are still being abused. It is sad and frustrating for many women, but is nowhere near as bad as living with it 24/7. Stay strong, you did the right thing and will be gradually building a new life up for yourself in a new area, it will take time but you will get there.

If contact is all formally arranged then it shouldn't be an ongoing headache, hold your head up high (and your mum) and carry on.

You've had some great advice here <silently blesses MN>
I did things differently and am wondering now if i did the right thing lol.. DS's dad didn't want any contact, he was flitting around enjoying his single life, but DS GP's did, and they were willing to pick him up ect. They had him weekends and some of the holidays when he was at school, he loved it, and still goes now he is 15. They brought him clothes and basically shared his care with me.

The best bit is that we managed this even though i and they did totally not get on. MIL gave me constant hassle about splitting with ExP until one day my DM snapped and filled her in on the abuse he had meted out which included a broken arm.

After that, she wound her neck in. They literally pick him up from the doorstep, and drop him off the same way. Not much conversation, i have written her a letter once thanking them both for the care they give DS.
They basically did the job that ExP was incapable of doing without trying to get back with me.
Now they send me little presents like plants for the garden ect and we speak politely on the doorstep, we will never be great friends but it works for DS and they also 'supervised' the first contacts between him and ExP.

I'm not saying the same will happen or be ideal for you, but look outside the box if you can, or you may end up looking 'unreasonable' and then they will get granted whatever they're asking for.. sad

What relationship did you have with MIL?

boredandrestless Sat 29-Sep-12 16:05:25

Your ex's parents sound like good people Things, that when filled in have stepped back and shut up. It is lovely your DS sees the regularly and they help out with him.

Unfortunately OP's ex's father has been hounding her online spreading lies on her support thread, trying to discredit OP and her DM, etc. They are basically helping her ex to continue to abuse her! Things will have to be done officially and hopefully when they are they will back off a little and everyone will settle into a routine.

Little and often is best for small children, maybe offer one day a week? I do think asking professional's for their advice/opinion is a good idea as it will show you want things to be fair and above board.

Ah i see thats why i was wondering what the relationship was with MIL. Because if she is reasonable and the op thinks there would be good care from her, maybe she could agree to him having contact supervised by his mother.

Little and often is going to be hard if they live really far apart

ConfusedAsHell Sat 29-Sep-12 21:36:06

MIL is just as bed as FIL and EXP. She was the one who called SS and police.

Rut roh sad Sorry to hear that.
Why do these people actively go out to ruin the life of someone who cares for their grandchild its bloody sickening. Even me and ExFIL can talk civilly for the sake of DS1 and he knows i despise him and he is the same about me.

DS says he slags me off to Ds though, i don't like that, i think its EA.. but i trust DS to make his own mind up to ignore the vile old goat grin

trolls4us Fri 05-Oct-12 22:32:28

SS get compliants all the time from men involved in the court process over custody/child contact trying to make all sorts of allegations against the mothers in the hope that one of them will be acted on or listened too...they know this and dont usually believe the word of someone anyway involved in this type of battle as its like two children fighting ...dont worry SS have found nothing but are bound to investigate...if anything it makes him look like even more of a deranged sociopathsmile maybe you could go to police and bring a charge of harassment aginst him or something as he was found to be lying?and he has after all wasted SS time that is meant for protecting children who are genuinely being abused etc

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