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Where can I find legal advice?

(18 Posts)
acrunchieandacupoftea Mon 26-Sep-11 23:25:20

My DS's Dad has in the last 24 hours started texting me about his suicidal feelings.
Talking non stop about getting back together (after more than a year) and he Needs support from me.
He then went and picked up DS from school.
So, I am not going barging round there and I am barely reacting because although I imagine the worst is possible I also think judging from speaking to him that they're having a nice evening.
He normally has DS on a Friday evening after school.

Where can I actually get real legal advice to find out what I should do, I have emailed and called solicitors to find out about free mediation but haven't had any luck/responses. I don't want to be so scared about DS spending time at his Dads or also have his Dad messing me around, this is the first time he has spontaneously gone to pick up DS himself I usually drop him round at home.

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 11:24:33

How old is ds?
What is normal contact arrangements?
What do you want to happen?

Ps I have an ex like this

chelen Tue 27-Sep-11 13:20:14

Hi, just wondered if all has got back to normal?

acrunchieandacupoftea Tue 27-Sep-11 18:57:12

I've picked DS up from school and all seems well.

Also spoke to ex on the phone today, it is very frustrating, he has moved on and can't understand why it might not be nice for me to hear he is so upset and then for him to go and pick up DS.

DS is 4.

Normal contact arrangements, as of this month are for DS to go to his Dad's on Friday evening. Until Saturday.

I don't think I want anything to happen as such, but I just started to feel like everything was very much out of control. I feel I need DS's Dad to sort things out a bit, he is going to see a therapist apparently but I just feel so bewildered and feel like if I knew of a solicitor who would speak to me I might find out what the official guidelines are for what to do in these circumstances.

Also am getting a lot of texts about meeting up, for DS's sake so I know my ex really needs to get on with his life but I just can't make him.

chelen Tue 27-Sep-11 19:11:13

Hi, I am pleased all is well.

On solicitors, we got a free half hour with a solicitor which was very helpful, advised us in general terms of the options and expalined our rights. Very useful. I know of one friend who said she got good legal help through a law college, maybe that is an option to look into.

I would be wary of a situation where he can just randomly pick up his son, this is not really sustainable for you and could get scary for the child, most kids like to know where they are going to be etc. Also if he picks up his son more when he is feeling down, that is not ideal for the child.

Hope your ex sorts himself out a bit.

Tyr Tue 27-Sep-11 19:22:04


This isn't an ideal job for a solicitor. You can contact mediation services yourself, if that is an option. If you don't want him burdening you with his problems, say so and suggest he gets counselling.
You need routines re pick ups for your son's sake but I'd speak/write to him myself about that.
Doesn't sound like there is any need for legal action at this stage, especially since the two of you seem to be communicating.

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 19:42:49

well one way to show you taking him seriously is that if he says "i am suicidal" then you act and go get your son and call 999 on him. have polcic go round. hopefully it embarasses him enough to ot pull that one again...

so that he doesnt mess around any more like this.

or if you believe he just messing about /emotional blackmail then ignore ignore and assume all is well.

not much legal advice can do for you really unless you think he really is unwell?

my ex been harassing again delusions we get back together etc. i have said "this has to stop. harass me again and i go to the police" so far this seems to be working... for two days anyway...

acrunchieandacupoftea Tue 27-Sep-11 22:09:00

He is really unwell.

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 22:43:08

if he is really unwell and expresing suicidal thoughts then you need to stop contact except for supervised contact.

so you acknowledge his texts, send round 99 paramedics or police if he texts you suicidal thoughts.
you urge him to see gp and tell him that you can only allow supervised contact - if not with you then family? friends?

you cant mess about wiht someone if they really unwell and talking suicide - you cannot let your 4 year old be a party to that .

supervised contact til he well and on meds etc

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 22:45:38

999 - call 999 if he sending you suicidal texts and DONT let ds go with him alone - has be supervised have another adult present.

dp ypou know his gp?
you can pass information on - you wont get any info patient confidentiality but you can alert them to his texts etc so they know, if he already under MH team???

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 22:46:49

is he diagnosed depression?
already under psych or community MH team?

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 22:51:03

ps my exp is always sending texts to get together for dc sake etc - i did try last year eg attending school event together but it just went mad - he really thought that me being civil to him in public meant we could get back together.

normal rules dont apply mediatione tc if one party is really not well and unable to accept end of the relationship.

erratic behaviour - you need to + talking suicidal = only allow supervised contact
keep all his texts etc

onus is on him to show that despite sending suicidal thoguhts he is actually ok to have your child overnight.... til he proves it dont let him

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 23:12:11

ps if there is no court order stating when contact is then you can unliterally stop contact except for supervised in best interests of your child given he is unwell and suicidal (keep his texts as proof in case needed later). it is down to you really.

if there is a court oder for contact you need to go to solicitor to get your concerns raised . you can also stop contact if you have good reason too and him being suicidal is a good reason!

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 23:16:39

another way of looking at it -if this was a nanny i was employing or nursery worker or teacher - would i be happy for them to be in charge of my child in this state? or would i not leave my child in their care til they got treatment?
or would i want to know they wre being supervised by another adult?

cestlavielife Tue 27-Sep-11 23:17:50

if you wrote on nanny and au pair section "my nanny says she is feeling suicidal. should i leave my child in her care today?" what would response be?

that he is his dad doesnt make it ok if he is unwell.

tabbythecat Wed 28-Sep-11 09:17:05

do women with PND have their children taken away from them? Not unless they are actually assessed to be a risk towards them no. He's not a nanny, he's your child's father! Encourage him to start therapy. Say you're concerned, tell him he's doing a good job and you value his role as father and its important he is there for the future. My ex said he was suicidal after we split, it was a worrying time. I found it hard to be supportive at all as I tried to keep an emotional distance from him- I had to to get on with my life. I look back now and feel slightly ashamed that I wasn't more compassionate, i wasn't dreadful but i was rather matter of fact -go to your GP, try counselling etc- when really i shouldn't have feared being a bit more open and emotional- i was scared he'd see it as a green light to getting back together again - so i do know how hard it can be, however if you can do that then i'm sure it would of comfort to him. People with depression can often put on an act for periods of time when they have to- e.g when visitors call, when they are at work, when their kids are staying, so don't assume he is making DS miserable with his behaviour, he may be completely normal during those periods and contact with DS may be all he is clinging to. Mediation may help with boundaries, you could state at the start that reconciliation is not going to happen. Then talking about your child is good for the future, and boundaries- no collecting from school out of the blue etc etc.
If there is anyone else who is close to him i'd mention his state of mind to them- someone in his family maybe? Just so someone a bit more appropriate can keep an eye on him and help him through. If you honestly feel he is a risk to your child then call social services but that isn't something to undertake lightly and the repercussions will last for years.

cestlavielife Wed 28-Sep-11 10:12:09

the risk needs to be assessed.

acrunchieandacupoftea Sat 22-Oct-11 13:25:05

I am keeping texts now but I didn't record that one.

He has seen DS since because I can't get to the school at 3.30 and he can, so he picks him up.

I am organising mediation now.

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