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Waiting on a court date how much contact is likely ??

(32 Posts)
Happylittlebee89 Sun 31-May-15 13:41:36

Hello

I have posted with regards to this before whilst pregnant now my son is 1 month old ! I have been told by my ex that I should expect a court date through the post in the next few days and Im panicking he is claiming that he will get my son a few hours every day and need to know if this is true ?? Slight background is that my ex partner finished our relationship when I told him I was pregnant he told me to get an abortion he is a recreational drug user and I have had the police involved with his friends for threats to kill whilst pregnant !! He has not made any effort to get in touch with me or ask to meet his son and won't call the baby by his name he refers to him as "that baby" I am a breastfeeding mammy and my son is fed on demand Im so worried that the court are going to make me express my milk or something so he can go to his dad's and this is causing me so much stress !! Also as I have suffered from poor mental health in the past he is using this against me he has messaged me telling me Im unfit to be a mother and so on although all professionals involved have said how amazing I am with my son !! I am so worried that the court process may effect my mental health and I don't want to end up depressed when Im so over the moon to be a mammy ! X

inthename Sun 31-May-15 14:20:04

Please don't panic. If a court date arrives, then read the letter carefully and make an appointment with your local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice. All cases involving contact are now referred for mediation first (which when he discovers this may make him quieten down a bit!) Yes, they will be looking at establishing contact, but hes dreaming if he thinks its going to be exactly as he wants. With bf babies it tends to be short and frequent periods of time but they would want it done in a way that is safe for your baby, not because it suits the father. Do you have a case worker or social worker (you mention other professionals?) as its worth speaking to them about his threats before the threats start to make you feel bad about yourself and should also be able to point you in the direction of help.

whattodoforthebest2 Sun 31-May-15 14:31:12

Congratulations on your new baby flowers

Try not to worry too much about the court date. I know you've got a lot going on with the new baby, but the court are there to make sure contact arrangements are fair and reasonable. If you have health professionals backing you up, the court may take statements from them into account, so don't think that they'll just do what he wants because he's the father. The baby's wellbeing (and yours) will be their priority.

Get backup from your GP, social worker etc and, as InTheName says, see your Citizens Advice Bureau for support as well.

Happylittlebee89 Sun 31-May-15 18:39:48

Thank you for your replies ! Yes I have a social worker Im so scared to speak to her as in the beginning she tried to make out my son was going to be at risk with me I have obviously proved her wrong and the perinatal mental health team and my eating disorder nurse and my psychiatric nurse have all said how amazing I am doing and eating disorders are discharging me once baby reaches 3 months ! He's my miracle baby as I suffered anorexia for 7 years and was told I could never have children j have totally changed my life around my little boy has completed me as a person in a way I never thought possible and I don't want this to drag me down zx

whattodoforthebest2 Sun 31-May-15 22:16:25

You're doing so well Happy - keep going and stay strong. Get all these people behind you and you'll be fine. Just remember if you have a bad day, it's just a day, there's always tomorrow and start again. Babies are so tiring, but it sounds as if you and your little man are going to be a great team.

Lots of hugs and good luck.

Happylittlebee89 Mon 01-Jun-15 11:34:04

Thanks so much it's just the panic of it all with him Im the happiest ive ever been in my life and I only have that little black cloud hanging over my head just wish it would go �� xx

whattodoforthebest2 Mon 01-Jun-15 12:55:04

When I went to court, I was on my own and ex had a team with him! I had been worried about doing or saying the wrong thing, but the judge was very fair - he listened to both sides and was very keen to make sure I understood what was happening and that I was happy with it - different circumstances from what you're dealing with, but I was very reassured by the whole thing.

I hope you get yours out of the way quickly so you can get on with your life.

CrushedCan Wed 03-Jun-15 00:10:06

Don't expect a court date until you have a lawyers letter. They will go through a lawyer to try sort contact amicably first - court is a last resort..

lostdad Wed 03-Jun-15 14:20:39

I would go further CrushedCan - don't expect a court date until he has proposed mediation. Before he makes an application to the court he will need to contact a mediator, speak to them, they will contact you and invite you to go in to try and sort things out without having to take things to court.

So in short...don't worry. A lot of people come to me (I am a McKenzie Friend and help in situations like this) with the same issue you have. I advice them to forget it until they get paperwork. It's an attempt to scare you and worry you. Ignore it.

Going forward you should think about what is going to happen going forward. It is in your DS' best interests to have a relationship with his dad unless he is a risk to him. I am saying this to try to avoid going to court - because that is the worst of all outcomes. It is expensive, upsetting and usually unnecessary. Your ex will in all likelihood be in your life one way or another until your DS is old enough to decide for himself so think ahead.

And...congratulations!

Happylittlebee89 Thu 04-Jun-15 06:09:44

Thank you for the replies I was contacted about mediation when I was 37 weeks pregnant i advised them that at that time I was unwilling to attend as I had quite a complicated pregnancy and was unwell towards the end and was unwilling to cause anymore stress ! I said I would attend after Id had My baby I then got a solicitors letter a few days before going into labour stating he wanted to have access and take my son one hour every day which I find highly unfair as why should my days revolved around my ex partner ! Also this is only for two weeks as he works away for the other two ! Please bear in mind throughout my pregnancy he has disputed the paternity ! I booked an appointment to see my solicitor but I then went in to labour and had my son so obviously missed that appointment ! I was then obviously a new mum and ended up with quite a bad infection so didn't open any mail I had recieved another letter from his solicitor this time going on about maintence which I had no idea what it was about as I have not asked for any money and do not want his money ! I was due to be at the solicitors to reply to this letter on Tuesday last week but I actually saw my ex and he then started to message me claiming I was an unfit mother and so on and that I was going to be issued with court papers so I spoke to my solicitor and she said it was a waste of time and money to now reply to the letter If Im going to be served with papers anyway ! It's so heartbreaking that this is happening when I think of all the evil and hurtful things he did whilst pregnant ! Surely if he is a recreational cocaine user I can asked to have him tested and for supervised access can't i ? X

Penfold007 Thu 04-Jun-15 06:15:46

Is this man who disputes paternity on the birth certificate?

whattodoforthebest2 Thu 04-Jun-15 06:18:44

Keep records of everything, dates and details of his contact with you. Copy texts and emails for evidence in court.

Try not to worry now about it, when the time comes, see your solicitor armed with those records and let her do the work. If he's been abusive, I can't imagine the court are going to give him the time of day.

He's just trying to stir things up and upset you. Try to detach from the hassle, but I know it's easier said than done. flowers

Happylittlebee89 Thu 04-Jun-15 09:57:13

No I did not name him on the birth certificate as the last contact I had with him was Febuary 26th and the text message said call him what the fuck you want and don't make me on the birth certificate so I went ahead and stuck with that as I didn't have a message from him asking to meet him or anything and now he's saying that I will look so bad in court for not naming him on BC yet he is still going round denying that my son is his x

nagsandovalballs Thu 04-Jun-15 10:24:07

Keep those texts! They are great evidence.

abreakwouldbenice Thu 04-Jun-15 10:39:33

Well done on the birth certificate front. If he's truly interested in the baby he will apply to have his name on there which is costly. You could go together and add him to it which will cost you the price of another birth certificate but if he applies to court he will be granted his name on there at a cost of around £150 I believe. For what its worth he's a bully and his tactics back this up. What ever he says about you just try your best to brush it off. If he makes you feel inadequate, his tactics are working.

lostdad Thu 04-Jun-15 10:57:27

abreakwouldbenice - `If he's truly interested in the baby he will apply to have his name on there which is costly'

It will cost him £215 (at most) for an application for Parental Responsibility, the birth certificate to be amended and any contact, etc. he is seeking.

If I were assisting him I would be advising him to organise mediation now the baby is born, to ask the OP so sign a C(PRA1) to avoid a court case and to fill in a C100 form to submit to court should she not do so. With regard to the drug abuse I would advise him to stop it straight away and to go to substance abuse organisation to get help.

My point is...he's already got a solicitor which seems to suggest that he may take this further and not just give up.

If the OP demanded supervised (or supported!) it would very probably be ordered...in the short term. The court is unlikely to order all contact takes place in a contact centre until the child is old enough to make his own decision. And the court would order a drugs test. And then a Section 7 report would be ordered. Then there would be a few more hearings. And then a final hearing.

The irony will be that if the OP refuses to talk or mediation she may end up in court...with the judge/magistrates ordering her to talk or mediate - the same thing happening but with greater stress and cost.

Once you start on the court route, it follows a well-worn path. I've gone through it myself and help other people going through it and it's a common theme. I advise people that if they can avoid it, they should do so.

Sorry to be so grim here but if you can avoid all of the above, you should do. Court ain't nice.

abreakwouldbenice Thu 04-Jun-15 11:03:34

Thank you for clearing that up I wasn't sure. £215 is a lot of money though. yes she should cooperate fully. I meant don't let the nasty things he is saying get to her as this is what he wants. No need for him to be name calling or using her illness against her. he could do all what he is doing without that. Very well put there lostdad thank you

Happylittlebee89 Thu 04-Jun-15 15:51:03

I agreed to go to meditation after I had the baby and was going to go see my solicitor to offer him supervised access but he has now said Im been issued with a court date so Im waiting for it which is why my solicitor advised me against sending a letter as i arn't in the position to be paying £150 every time a letter gets sent as I am supporting my son financially on my own and on benefits at the minute as I was ill with anorexia before I fell pregnant x

lostdad Fri 05-Jun-15 14:45:17

You mention death threats - is it something that was reported at the time? Although the criteria for legal aid was tightened a lot in April last year there are still several grounds that would make you eligible.

It is worth considering representing yourself though. We're helping an increasing number of mums in your situation who don't want to pay solicitor fees (or feel that they can do a better job with a little assistance). £150 is a lot for one letter when you can do it yourself with a little help.

It is also worth speaking to Families Need Fathers. It's not a dad's group - it's a parenting charity that helps mums and dads. There is a forum for members, meetings around the country offering legal and emotional advice (solicitors there who help out), a helpline, etc. We get a lot of mums (both resident and non resident).

Happylittlebee89 Fri 05-Jun-15 17:40:52

Yes the death threats were reported to the police also i reported the social media abuse I was getting from my ex partners friends and also the police were involved with regards to an altercation with his mam she abused me verbally in the street and came after me I was sat in my car whilst she was screaming at me !

lostdad Fri 05-Jun-15 19:22:04

Have you tried to get legal aid?

Happylittlebee89 Fri 05-Jun-15 20:34:10

My solicitor said they don't offer legal aid for family law ! How can I find out if I can get legal aid ?

Starlightbright1 Sat 06-Jun-15 09:50:09

I am not sure the process but I would definitely look into whether you are eligible .. I found this but you may need to swap sols...

www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

Womens aid may also know

Happylittlebee89 Sat 06-Jun-15 11:23:26

Thank you I have just looked on that website my mam actually works for women's aid and it's only if domestic violence has been involved fhat Im entitled to it x

lostdad Mon 08-Jun-15 11:06:32

Criteria for legal aid include:

Admission of to a refuge, letter of admission to a refuge, letter from a health visitor saying a condition is presenting that is consistent with something suffered as a result of DV, etc.

Consider a McKenzie Friend if you need help in court - lot of us about and there are some good ones.

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