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Not married, ex partner wants split time with baby(14 Posts)
Hi, please help. My friend has come to me for advice as I split up with my ex husband a while ago and she wants me to help.
But her situation is a bit different...she wasn’t married, she was with a man for a few years and they have a 10 month old. She has left because he is abusive and controlling. He tried to prevent her leaving and told her she could only go if she agrees to him having the baby for 3 nights on 3 nights off. To get away she face to face had to agree.
It’s been two weeks and this is killing her and wants it stopped, how can she reduce this so he still sees the baby but doesn’t have to go that long without him? As she fears he won’t agree and will keep the baby anyway.
Also when she went to take the baby’s passport and birth certificate from the place it’s always kept, he had taken both, I’ve said put a stop to the passport (coz I think he has a place in USA) but can she put a stop to it?
Any help would be grateful appreciated. I’ve said she needs to speak to a solicitor but at the moment money is very tight for her (she’s staying with a friend nearby her ex at the mo), she’s spoken to gingerbread and has been having counselling since Jan for his abuse towards her.
He is threatening primary care/full custody, but I’ve explained there would be no reason for the court to give him this.
Do you know if he's on the birth certificate as dad? And whose surname does the baby has? Sounds like a really horrible situation
I think the first thing is to stop the 3 days on/3 days off routine. She can send this in a text when the baby is with her (so he can’t keep the baby) and say She didn’t think it was a good idea to begin with but have given it a try and it isn’t working. List some reasons why it isnt working (baby is unsettled, bottles etc being forgotten between houses) and that she isn’t happy to continue this arrangement. Think of two options she is happy with that a court would think reasonable and suggest both of these to him. Don’t give him the child until he agrees to one? X
She needs to make a preemptive strike here and make an application to court. If it were me I’d be asking for a Prohibited Steps Order (to sort out the passport situation) and a Child Arrangements Order (to sort out the time the child spends with each parent), it would be rare that the court sanctions that volume of overnights for a baby. She doesn’t necessarily need a lawyer either, I can’t remember the exact stats but I think most parents now represent themselves in family court matters.
I might be wrong but I thought if there was abuse in a relationship there would be some entitlement to legal aid still? And I think emotional abuse would count.
Thank you. Yes Dad is on the birth certificate and baby has his surname. I’ll get her to ask about legal aid. Yes I think an order might be best, and initially for him to agree to something less before she gives him baby next. I guess it could go against him in court if he is unreasonable if she is trying to be reasonable.
As much as she hates not having baby with her, the DF has a right to see his child. Plenty of DCs have shared custody, a week on, week off etc. I'd hate it myself, but the child does not just belong to her.
If there are abuse issues or questions of care etc that is different, but on the face of it, it's a DF wanting time with his DC.
She needs to stop that level of contact. Shared custody isn't usually granted for such young children. She should propose an alternative which is based on the child's best interests. Once a precedent is set it's difficult to reverse in court so she needs to change things quickly. There won't be legal aid unless there is proof of abuse but she would be best speaking to a lawyer.
Thank you. I agree she needs to do this ASAP, will it go against her in court if she stops all contact until he agrees to something more realistic? I know he should have time with the baby, he is his too, but he is very controlling and wants everything, baby is still young and she doesn’t want to be away from him for as long as 3 nights. I have a 6 YO and the most I spend away is every other weekend fri-sun (also every tues overnight), I think this is more realistic, although maybe initially she should suggest every Weds and every other Sat, or maybe overnight sat 12pm-sun 12pm, would that be reasonable for a 10 month old? She is scared, he had a house but she wasn’t on the mortgage so she knows she isn’t entitled to anything and isn’t bothered. He has money and would fight her in court but he recently sold his shares in his business so he isn’t working so guess she can’t claim child maintenance?
Is the reason that she doesn't wish to continue the shared care because it's 'upsetting her' or 'upsetting the child' ? Is the child being harmed in anyway ? Is the child's welfare impaired in anyway ? . The answer cannot just be 'because my friend really misses her baby' - as that can be equally applied to the father. If she goes to court she will need some specific reason why the child should be with her the majority of the time. This will be difficult if he is already showing that he is able to care adequately in the 50% of the time the dc is not with her. She needs to show WHY having equal access to each parent is 'not in the child's interest'
The abuse - is it documented anywhere. ? GP, police , health visitor ? Has anyone anywhere in some kind of professional capacity witnessed the abusive behaviour ? Did the abuse threaten the dcs well being. (Of course I understand that a mother living with abuse is upsetting for a dc - but I am talking about direct threats to welfare?) If Yes - then apply for legal aid.
Passports - You do need to go to court - although if there is currently no court order and he leaves the country without the mothers permission, he is guilty of child abduction. A VERY serious charge .
A specific steps order costs £215. However completion of the 'help with fees' form will calculate how much she will get off that fee depending on her income. As far as I recall, I child - it's about £1500 a month before you have to pay court fees. So if she is on very low income should all be free. Specific steps that he not leave the country with the child is what she needs to ask for.
Thank you @smallereveryday, I know what you’re saying about is it only her that’s missing the child, it is but also the father has text her numerous times saying how unsettled the baby is with him (trying to say it’s coz she’s moved out and he’s not settling when he’s back at home) when actually it’s cozhe never did the bath or putting to bed so the baby isn’t used to it. I don’t think the baby is at risk when with the father but he often has to have his mother there to help him.
The abuse is documented with her gp and she’s been seeing a counsellor since January. She has given him numerous times to chance his abusive and controlling ways and as he hasn’t she can’t put up with it anymore. He is trying to dictate where she is staying (at her aunts) and for how long etc and I’ve told her to only text re the baby, nothing else as he is still trying to tell her what she can do and when. She is scared and trying to be amicable by telling him everything/keep him informed. I’ve said she needs to see a solicitor tomorrow if possible. I’ll get her to ask about legal aid too.
I’ve just spent an hour an and half on the phone to her and it’s just so overwhelming for her.
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