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Messy custody battle, help please(18 Posts)
Just need a hand hold really, everything is getting very nasty and exhausting whilst my ex boyfriend tries to sue me for full custody of our baby. I'm not sure if it's just me but the whole situation is so stressful it makes me feel physically sick, this is not what I had in mind when starting a family. I was so excited and hopeful.
After a huge argument one night my boyfriend told me in not so polite terms to get out of our flat (family home, which I pay for). So I took our 4 week old son and left to go to my mum's over 200 miles away. Since then I've tried to arrange contact between them but his demands ate ridiculous, he wants our son 3 days on 4 days off shuffling him halfway across the country each time (which is not in his best interests). I get he wants to see his son and have a relationship, I don't however want him in his care alone overnight. This is due to multiple criminal convictions, mental instability, having no job or any money or means to support a child. I was willing to try and make an arrangement out of court that was in everyone's interests and safety and now he has gone fully fledged into harrassing me about his rights etc.
This was a very coercive relationship and what I've mentioned here doesn't even scratch the surface. I'm just exhausted. This isn't what I wanted at all for any of us. I'm not worried about my son being taken away, i know there is no likelihood of that, just worried about the destroying nature of a messy custody battle in the court room.
Sorry for the ramble, I just wanted some kind words or advice about how to get through this I guess. I spend every night replaying everything over and over again and getting so upset. Not a good mix when I have a little baby to look after
I would pay for a solicitor to get legal advice . Just remember it isn’t his rights it is responsibility . He has no rights the child does .
As for texts ignore any abusive texts . Keep them . If he is harassing you go to the police.
It also may be worth contacting women’s aid
Let him take you to court and you can ask for the minimum amount of supervised contact.
Only allow supervised contact until then as whatever is the current arrangement they will build on.
If you are his primary carer then they will not change that unless there is solid proof that you are unable to care for him. (Him just saying things would not class as this.)
There is no need for a baby this young to be going for overnights, they need stability and a secure bond with their primary caregiver for their development. At that age they have no concept of whether someone is coming back or not, and are too young to have it explained what is happening.
My DP is a great dad but if we did separate I wouldn't be sending them for overnights until they could talk and understand what was happening. There's just no need for it they can spend time together in the day, and your ex needs to show he's capable of looking after him during supervised contact to begin with based on what you've said about him.
@starlight2345 I have taken some legal advice and have a solicitor (thankfully) it's just the whole situation is so stressful! I've tried to explain to him that with rights come responsibilities and he's taken none. I have now been ignoring his messages as I realised it's gotten alot bigger than I can handle so I'm just leaving it to the experts . I just want to keep my child from harm and that is it, I'm not stopping contact full stop, just a careful arrangement. He says he's had solicitors and the police involved however jts been over a week and I've had no letter or anyone at my door . I don't know anymore I just can't believe it's gotten this far really
My advice would be to block all contact. He is too unstable for you to deal with - you should be enjoying your baby. Leave it to him to see a solicitor, if he isn't supporting his dc financially I doubt he will pay legal fees. Keep texts etc for the future, stop engaging in talks with him. Dick heads like him are not worth trying to negotiate with ime.
Tell him you will only communicate through he's legal representative. He's lying to you, ignore the twat.
@Sally i am calling his bluff, if he was that serious he woild of had his legal representative contact us by now. We are all.just sat here waiting!
@bubbles supervised contact is what I would feel comfortable, if some correctly through the courts and he proves himself to be responsible and safe then I am more than willing to build on that and possibly increase. You are very right. My little one is thriving and has a very good routine with me. He is safe stable and secure and seems to be happy enough!
@april pretty much everyone has told me to stop engaging with him and ignore it. I guess it's finally time to listen to what everyone has been telling me.
Did you find out what caused your baby's bruises? Has that been resolved?
He's relying on you backing down because you're worried about the trauma of going to court. Don't. You are not on the back foot here, he is. Say nothing at all to him (except maybe 'see you in court then'). What reason would he even have to call the police about you? Bullshit.
So you moved out a week ago? Baby is now 5 weeks?
I didn't think they usually suggested overnight stays for tiny babies. They need more stability at that age.
@lovinglola we didn't find out No, he avoids the question every time, doctor said bruises were from pressure? They are aware of the situation so going to court is only going to make matters worse for him!
@butterymuffin I agree completely, I've been away for nearly 3 weeks now I'm certain I would of heard from someone now if he was serious. I didn't want this
The thought of going to court can feel very scary, but you will come out of it with a set of rules he may not comply with but he can't really argue with. You can make sure all contact is detailed, and ensure he only contacts you in certain ways. In the end, having this in place will be less stressful than continual arguments and pressure from him. With such a tiny baby, he won't get anything like the level of contact he's asking for.
Also, what's the deal with the house he's living in? Why are you still paying for it? If it's rented, give notice on the tenancy and let him take it on alone. If you own it, you have a right to be living there instead of him surely?
This is due to multiple criminal convictions, mental instability, having no job or any money or means to support a child.
This is not a man who's organised enough to take you to court. In fact he'll avoid court if he's got criminal convictions.
Is there any way you could stay at your mum's for a few months? I wouldn't consider going back to his area at all, to be honest. I'd get in touch with the landlord and give immediate notice.
He will need to travel to a contact centre near you to see him and that's what you should be asking for
Am a little confused between your threads - has he had the baby overnight since you left?
In regards to the flat we were both jointly liable for it, but had to give 4 weeks notice. I knew he would not/could not pay the rent so I paid it for the last 4 weeks and just left. It physically pains me he is still there when I've paid but I could not stay any longer.
@myrtle this has all kicked off since i allowed him to have our son overnight. When I said I didn't want him to have him unsupervised anymore because of how he was returned to me before!
@hollowtalk I am currently living with my mum
You need to write down want you want and the rules you want him to stick to.
Don't communicate with him, only via solicitor, and if that is impossible tell him you will only talk via post. This gives him and you time to cool off.
Change all lines of communication he has for you and block him.
You have to stick to your rules too, life will be a lot easier with boundaries.
No judge is going to take your baby from you for extended periods with all you are saying in mind.
Evidence is key. Start saving all his threats and communications. I would apply for a non molestation order on the account of him harassing you.
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