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welfare of unborn baby- can any solicitor/law MNers advise?(90 Posts)
its a long story but heres my situation...
im a mum of 3 kids, whos father died 4 years ago... he was a decent bloke and even when our relationship was on the rocks, access to the kids was easy and positive. they are all happy and settled with me at home, well provided for.
last year i started a relationship with my now ex. (hes divorced with his ex wife who wont allow access over verbal abuse)
it started great but over 6 months his behaviour got really erratic. he dumped me twice (excuse: he saw his dd in town, felt low and hid in his flat for a week on both occasions).
both times we got back together once he 'pulled himself together'. its been rocky since as i got sick of picking up the pieces for his mental health problems. but it was bearable and i stuck with him in the hope that hell change. i fell preg. since i got preg, he changed for the worse, he got controlling, started the mental abuse n mind games, telling me im not looking after the kids right etc. everytime i mentioned ending it, he threatened me with court, saying hell get custody of the baby.
about 6 weeks ago, we had a row cos i didnt ring him before i went to sleep. he turned up at my house wanting to row further. i told him no as im not rowing in front of my 4yo daughter ( who was in the car waiting to go to her aunts). i said no and turned on my engine to leave. he said 'so your driving away from me now then' i said 'well yeah i am actually'.
to which he said 'ok, see u in court and look forward to having social services on your back'
at that point i snapped and finally said its over, as im not having my bereaved kids used as weapons amongst other things.
since then, he :
- put in malicious allegations to social services about me and my family, after i refused to get back with him (i kept the texts in which he admits he was wrong for that n that he did it cos i drove away). social services accepted it was malicious and took no further action.
-spread hate about me and my family to others and online, and has been warned to stop harrassing me by my solicitor. police were called on 2 occasions.
-threatened to have my baby taken from me at birth, and bragged that when he goes to court to get pr, he can refuse to give me the child back after contact as long as he can provide for him, and theres nothing i can do to stop him.
-has said he planned to run abroad with his dd when he gets contact (he hasnt seen her for 2yrs).
-hasnt bothered to sort his issues out, just continued to slag me off. hes still trying to wind me up saying baby will support x team when he gets custody, his mate posting that hes going to help him get custody.
-his demands are unreasonable. no other males are to have contact with, or ever discipline his child, including family and even if they are naughty in their care. the child must go to a different school in a different area to my 3. he wants overnights with the baby from birth. the list goes on.
-i have worries about the babys welfare. hes not emotionally stable at once and cant think straight when hes upset. hes in alot of debt but spanks his wages up the wall then relies on others to bail him out. his personal hygiene has become poor and he smells awful. i strongly feel that he would not hand the child back after contact or even run off with him. i think his anger, possessiveness and depression will cause so many problems and worry itll ruin my baby emotionally.
hes already tried to have my kids lives disrupted by child protection for revenge already and its not fair on any of them to be brought up around that. i just want my baby to have a good start with
no bullshit a positive atmosphere. i dont intend to put him on the bc or be around cos i just think theres too much risk to my kids (all 4), in the way of welfare, mentally and by the threat of abduction.
ive been told by alot of ppl (mostly dads and pro-dads rights people) that he can 'easily' get pr and i should prepare for him to get contact too. so i feel im being trapped into handing my baby to him.
i honestly think he will fully abuse his 'rights' and use his pr to control me.
my main question is: if hes serious and applied to court for pr and contact:
- will i be given the chance to contest it, or will my reasons at least be taken into account before handing him pr?
- what will happen once he submits his court order forms?
-will cafcass definately get involved?
-if he still gets unsupervised contact, is there anything i can do to prevent him abducting, refusing to hand him back after contact or trying parental alienation? to protect myself and my baby from his games?
- if he applies for a residence order, how likely is it that he'll be granted it?
sorry for such a long post, but im so distracted by this and its stressing me out. i feel like i just cant relax and enjoy my pregnancy for the worry of what hell do, what he has up his sleeve when i give birth. im 22 weeks, social services, homestart, police and the midwives/hv are aware of it.
i need someone who knows the real facts and deals with it, to advise and not anyone whos just going to force more fathers rights biased stuff down my throat.
He has made malicious calls to social services and this will be taken into account.
I suggest using a recording device next time you talk to him so that you have concrete evidence to play back of him being nasty and verbally abusive. Although I doubt you will need it, he sounds like a lot cause and I'm sure anyone with a bit of sense can see that. I would try and get a restraining order. Let them know how nasty he really is. He also does not see his ex partner's children and probably for the same reasons, so that will play against him as well.
I have had dealings with social services and I must say they don't always do their job properly and play fair, but it sounds like you have some fair ones in your area willing to see sense.
A lot of these pro-dad/MRA people are just as nasty as he is. They care more about the wants of the Father than they do about the children a lot of the time. I wouldn't listen to them, they're a bitter bunch and many probably don't see their kids for valid reasons. Especially the ones who say this even after you have explained what the Father of your baby is like.
ive been tempted to do the recording thing, but isnt that entrapment? dont wanna give him ammunition against me.
what worries me too is that hes sooooo unbelievably good at playing the hurt puppy act, crying out how goddamn hurt he is that yet another woman is 'screwing him over, taking his kid away' and that he 'dont understand why this keeps happening' to him. thats why i get worried about the custody and abduction threats, cos he seems to be able to worm his way in and out of everything with ease.
im worried about what grief he could cause if he gets his hands on pr, and just how much disruption he'll dig up for my poor kids for the sake of revenge. i just want a simple conflict-free life for my kids. (my 3 have already been through so much since losing their dad.) i dont think my ex has the capacity to grant them that.
I've only been able to skim read the thread as I must stop MNing but in case no-one has said this yet:
If when your baby is born you breastfeed, the courts absolutely will not ever in a hundred years impose any contact order for a breastfed baby to be away from its mum overnight. the dad will still be allowed contact, but only for short periods between feeds i.e. no more than an hour or two at a time.
The thing about abusive men is that they are full of bullshit. Never mind what he says. It's bullshit. The courts will put him firmly in his place. You've already had SS and police involvement so there is a clear record of this man being a harmful, troublesome individual. Cut contact entirely, get non-mol orders in place now and let him try to take you to court after your baby is born. By the sound of it he won't bother and no one else has any legal power to make you see him or let him see the baby.
just had my social worker ring me and wants to visit next week.... im worried in case hes been spurting more nasty allegations about me.
i think hes just going to play dirty now tbh
No advice but . Try not to worry about the social worker, they know what your ex is like and they might just be popping in to see that you're okay. x
Well, you can always inform him that all phone calls are being recorded, as advised by your legal team
mumsnet everytime he rings!!
I would keep a record of every communication you have with him. He sounds like a flight risk, I would insist that all contact is supervised through a contact centre. Ssd should advise.
Dont worry about the social worker, just be honest and reasonable with them and get their advice about where to go next.
Has he got cash? ie several thousand? if so I wouldn't worry too much about him getting pr/custordy as legal aid is no longer avaible for those typoes of cases, so he would have to pay his way through the courts to try and legaly get the child of you. I would investigate the option of a restraining order to keep him away and If possible as others have said look at moving house to another area.
would it be fair to make a final decision based on the advice of this social worker? my gut instinct is telling me to keep him away til the courts decide what to do and ive got something in place to protect my baby. i feel under so much pressure from others, who say its 'not fair' on and 'damaging' to the child to have just one parent (i get offended by this as dd's dad died and despite this, shes a happy confident girl). they honestly seem to think im enjoying this, im really not. its stressing me out cos the clock is ticking and im trying to prepare for the birth of this baby x
You don't need to make any final decision now, or any decision at all, the baby has not even been born yet. See what the social worker has to say and then mull it over.
I agree that keeping him away until you have something in place to protect your baby sounds like a good plan.
Honey, in all likelihood the SW is coming to offer you help in keeping this man away from you. As to 'friends' etc telling you bullshit about it being'unfair' to keep him away, just keep saying to them 'Better no father than a shit father and he's a shit, so we are keeping him out of our lives.'
The way to deal with abusive men like this is to set up hoops for them to jump through, which can be done (particularly when there is already evidence of abusive behaviour) and if he 'won't jump through hoops' then he won't see his child - or you. Courts take a dim view of people who are non-compliant when they already have a bad track record - and a decent man who wanted to see his DC would obey to the letter, be polite and reasonable and demonstrate longterm good behaviour.
social worker didnt turn up cos she had an emergency... but she said on the phone she'll ring me monday as its not urgent.
got a question. would giving the baby fw ex's surname would give him any advantage in court? only i told some of my family about it and they seem gobsmacked that i chose it, saying they 'thought i hate him'.
i do after the trouble hes caused and though ill contest pr and contact until some kind of protection is in place, its not the babys fault.
even if he stays away, my reason for it is: the baby will know his roots, who his dad is. as much as im angry still i dont feel im right to deny my baby that.
plus my surname is the same as my kids, who have their dads surname. it wouldnt feel right to name a child after a man who isnt his dad.
but the mixed reactions has confused me and i dont know whats best to do
Why not give baby your original surname.
Just on the point of what to do immediately after birth.
You will be the only person with parental responsibility. He cannot see the baby without your consent or court order. You should register the birth on your own, and you get to choose the name.
He may or may not get PR later if he applies (chances are he will - it's very rare for PR to be refused) but in the immediate aftermath of the birth you'll need some breathing space.
If he applies for contact and/or PR then get some legal advice at that stage, but write down now what all your concerns are so that when you involve a solicitor later down the line you can give them all relevant information from the start.
If on income grounds you may qualify for legal aid, have a look at this, which contains a list of all the situations (and evidence) in which you could still qualify.
if he got pr and contact in the end, can i request the court put in protection to stophim from refusing to hand my baby back? would a prohibited steps order do that or would i have to get a residence order? hes the type who would just take a child without permission just to be nasty to his ex x
You can insist on supervised contact only ie in a contact centre. Because there is plenty of evidence of this man's abusive behaviour, you can make it a real obstacle course for him to have any contact at all, and if he continues to be troublesome a court may agree that he is to have no contact with either you or the child. Remember that at present you can refuse any kind of contact with this man and use the law to force him to leave you alone. He may well give up and go away. He sounds like a stupid arsehole who is as chickenshit as most bullies are and who will back off if it becomes too difficult for him to torment you. I appreciate that it's very frightening to be harassed by wankers like him, but he does not have superpowers and the law is on your side.
If I were in your position I would move, change my number and warn family and friends not to tell him where I was.
Just get away. Couldn't give a fuck about the rights and wrongs of it.
Don't give the baby his surname! That's mad. Give him yours. Doesn't matter where your surname came from, it's yours now.
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