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I'm hoping this is in the right place - ds and contact with h - - - - URGENT

(159 Posts)
dizzymare Fri 21-Aug-09 22:19:06

Recent history - seperated from my H after a long history of problems, then me discovering he was shagging someone else was the last straw. He left, I've stayed in the house with ds. Joint named morgage, which he is still paying at the moment, what will happen in the future I don't know.

Anyway, H has been totally shit at seeing ds for quite a few weeks, crap excuses, or not turning up with not even a texthmm Ds is only 20 months, so isn't totally aware if daddy doesn't turn up yet, plus I've stopped mentioning him coming incase he doesn't come.

H has said he wants to take ds away for a weeks holiday, won't say where or who with. Except I know who it'll be with, I'm far from stupid hmm. I've got ds passport and documents here, so at least I know he can't take him abroad.

Ok, now for the immediate problem. Tomorrow, he's due to pick up ds for contact day, as arranged between ourselves. What I need to know is can he take ds away without my permission? And if he is intent on being a bastard and takes him without my permission or even knowing, where do I stand legally? I've got an appointment with a solicitor but not until friday, which isn't much use tbh.

If anyone can help, or give me some info that would be really helpful.

dizzymare Fri 21-Aug-09 22:35:42


GypsyMoth Fri 21-Aug-09 22:49:28

if he has pr (parental responsibility) i believe he can take him for up to 28 days. abroad or uk.

go to their forums are grear,and will be able to fully clarify whats what.

but really,this is only your problem. with the other woman. your ds should still be entitled to a holiday with his daddy. regardless.

dizzymare Fri 21-Aug-09 22:50:07

You've all hidden legal haven't you?

dizzymare Fri 21-Aug-09 22:51:12

really, shitsad


CarGirl Fri 21-Aug-09 22:52:08

hmmmm I think if he takes him away without telling you so in effect refuses to return him then you can apply for an emergency residency order.

GypsyMoth Fri 21-Aug-09 22:54:32

how can he leave country if you have passport?
does he actually have pr?
is he a british citizen? does he have british passport i mean,not dual nationality or anything?

dizzymare Fri 21-Aug-09 23:00:46

I know he can't leave the country with him, I'm worried about him having contact with ds tomorrow and not returning him. We've up until now made all arrangements between ourselves, and I've been in/out of hospital so haven't got my act together at all. He's a british citizen, with a british passport.

I've fucked up again haven't I.

GypsyMoth Fri 21-Aug-09 23:23:20

i dont see how!

what makes you think he wont return him though? you will have to call police for advise if this happens,and call court first thing for advice on an emergency order.

think i heard/read that holder of child benefit is where the child officially resides.

dizzymare Fri 21-Aug-09 23:41:04

Somethings niggling away at me, I'm 90% sure he'll bring him back but that 10% won't let go. And I'm insecure about me and a lot of stuffblush.

But thanks for listening to me prattle on and giving me some advice

NanaNina Sat 22-Aug-09 00:16:34

Legally both parents have the same rights to a child of the marriage. As you mention H I am assuming you are married and the child is berefore a child "of the marriage" giving you equal rights. Contact arrangements need to be negotiated between the 2 of you in the best interests of the child. It is best if you can sort this out yourselves but if you can't it will need to be sorted out in court. Are you divorced or in the process of doing so - if so contact arrangements should be addressed as part of the divorce process.

Even though you have equal rights, you do need to be certain that the child's father is capable of caring for him (as he is still very young) and is familiar to the child so that he will be happy to go with him. I also think with a child so young it is not unreasonable for you to meet the GF (although this could be difficult) and satisfy yourself that she is suitable to be sharing the care of the child with his father, as this is inevitably what will happen. However hurtful it is for you I'm afraid that you cannot refuse contact because your ex H has a girlfriend. I think your main consideration should be whether this person is suitable to help care for your child, and even if you don't think she is I'm afriad there isn't very much you can do about it.

Re the weeks holiday. Your ex H is being unreasonable in refusing to give you details about the holiday especially given the age of your child. Again is he capable of caring for the child for a week, does he know his routines etc. Is the child familiar enough with him to be cared for by him for a week. i think these are the things that you need to be thinking about. You must be acting in the best interests of your son, rather than being annoyed about the fact that the GF may well be going on the holiday.

Re contact - why are you so worried that he will not return the child. Has this ever happened before.

Is there any possibility you can go to mediation to get these contact issues resolved. In my experience, major major problems can occur regarding contact and can go on for years with the child in the middle. If you can't agree, or if you refuse contact your H can go to court to request a Contact Order and there would have to be a very good reason for this to be refused. In fact I have known Judges be very punitive towards mothers who are refusing contact so do take care. If a court makes an order then contact is defined (exact time and place etc) and if you don't keep to it you are in contempt of court with potentially serious consequences.

SO is it beyond the realms of possibility for your and your ex to sit down together and try to come to some sensible agreement which will be best for your child. Or can you try mediation, usually very effective in sorting out these things. You will need legal advice also. However you must accept that your H does have a right to contact with his child.

A very high percentage of absent fathers lose all contact with their children after divorce, and given the fact that he has not been keeping in contact with the child, he may well lose interest.

Your H needs to understand that with a child of 20 months, if he is going to have a meaningful relationship with him, he needs to see him on a regular basis, as children of this age are not able to recall adults who they only see infrequently as older children can do.

Try to keep a balanced view of this and if the matter does end up in court at least the judge will be able to see that you have your son's welfare at heart. So many of these cases just end up with the parents trying to score points over each other with the poor child in the middle. It may be that you have to be more mature about this than your ex H for your child's sake.

Happy to be of any further help if necessary.

Anyway try to keep a balanced view

dizzymare Sat 22-Aug-09 12:10:55

Thank you NanaNina

No. he's never not returned him before, but because of this thing about going away for a week, I'm on my guard. I thought we were being amicable until a few weeks ago, now it feels like H is trying to mess me up, putting pressure on me and being a general arse wipe hmm.

Ds waved bye to me quite happily this morning, he's meant to be back by 5, so all I can do now is wait. I really don't want him to be with H today, but after reading what you said about it looking bad on me if I stop allowing ds contact, I don't really have much choice.

He's let ds down alot recently sad

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 22-Aug-09 12:25:05

Message withdrawn

Claire2301 Sat 22-Aug-09 12:31:35

Hey Dizzymare, I've been following some of your posts and I just wanted to say I hope you are ok. If you need to talk i'll be around today.

If your H brings up the holiday when he brings DS back could you ask him again for details and explain that you need to know where he is going before considering letting DS go?

dizzymare Sat 22-Aug-09 12:34:16

H is only willing to agree to one day a week, every saturday, because of his work schedule hmm. Saying that, in the last 3 weeks, he's let ds down twice. If he wanted to see him more often there's no way I'd stop him, but what I object to is this fantasy of thinking he can take him away for 7 days without me even knowing where he isshock, or even who he's going with. He can't see the issue, or should I say won't see the issue. That's why I'm concerned what his next move might be.

mumoverseas Sat 22-Aug-09 13:13:37

agree with a lot of what NanaNina has said. However, although of course your H should have regular contact with your DS, bearing in mind the fact that he has let him down several times, I don't think it is unreasonable for you to refuse him one whole week of contact at this stage. DS is still very young and his dad needs to prove himself a reliable and responsible parent before he has him for a week.

Although as NN has said you can't refuse him contact just because he has a new girlfriend, you can however (if the matter went to Court) make it clear that you are unhappy for your H to have contact with DS whilst girlfriend is there as you feel he needs to spend quality time with DS in a different environment (ie not at the family home) and make it clear you feel it is in your sons best interests for it to be just him and dad initially.

As others have said, as you are married he automatically has parental responsbility and therefore if he did not return him after agreed contact, you will find that the police will not be interested and will say it is a family matter and you would therefore need to see a solicitor asap and make an application in the County Court for a Residence Order in your favour. It would probably be sensible to try to agree a regular pattern of contact between DS and his dad.
Ideally, you will be able to resolve things out of court, either between you or during mediation which will be far preferable than issuing Court proceedings.

dizzymare Sat 22-Aug-09 14:09:56

I thought we had agreed a regular contact agreement between ourselves, and neither of us wanted any courts involved in determining the care of our son or access arangements. But, because he's shown little regard for ds needing to see him on a regular basis, is why were at this point now. All I can do today is wait and see what happens, and tbh my nerves are on edge purely because he's not exactly shown himself to be fully committed to seeing him when we'd agreed, and being committed to his welfare. Otherwise, why would he think it perfectly ok to think he can take him away for a week without me, his mum, knowing where he's wanting to take him. Well, he'd agreed, and I've gone along with it. I do want him to see him more regularly, it's H that makes excuses, then doesn't turn up when agreed.

I'm due to see a solicitor on friday, but I think I might have to push for earlier, or find another solicitor myself.

Why the fuck can't anything be straight forward anymoresad

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 22-Aug-09 14:14:58

I don't see how he can be relied on to look after him properly for 7 days if he can't for one. Does his new woman know she is about to be a baby sitter as well as a shag option?

You are doing really well dizzy.

dizzymare Sat 22-Aug-09 14:16:51

I've got a feeling she's probably with him now, and it's making me feel sick to the pit of my stomach FBG.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 22-Aug-09 14:21:00

I totally understand sad.

It is awful when someone you love is with someone you don't want them to be. Whoever they are.

Tell your ex he has to start being honest otherwise it is all going to end up horribly.

GypsyMoth Sat 22-Aug-09 14:29:20

what will you ask a solicitor to actually do? all they can do is send an expensive letter reminding him to keep to contact agreement...which you can do verbally. there is nothing legally binding for him to have broken so far here.

he's done nothing wrong,legally.

dizzymare Sat 22-Aug-09 14:34:00

If that's what it takes for him to be reminded, then in my opinion it's money well spent. If he can't manage to keep regular contact with one son, then how is he going to do it with 3 children eventually?

GypsyMoth Sat 22-Aug-09 14:46:36

solicitors letters will probably be viewed by him as telling him what to do. i doubt he'll take kindly to this. it could end up building more resentment,and not much else!!

how about mediation instead....

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 22-Aug-09 15:11:51

Message withdrawn

OnlyWantsOneDoesntLikeDM Sat 22-Aug-09 15:17:21

Dizzy, I really feel for you x x x

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