Stopping contact(13 Posts)
Hi, I have been going round and round in circles for 5 and a half years with my ex. We have one 6 yr old daughter (sorry, don't know all the abbreviations!). Up until now, the arrangement has altered around once a year. He has done and said so much since we split. These are just a few things:
Had a letter from school about TT day which he did not pass on. Went to the school to pick her up to find the school closed and a text from him at 3.30 on the dot, telling me about the TT day and that I could come pick our daughter up from his.
He spoke to her last year, telling her in not so many words that she must feel different to all her friends because their mums and dads all live in the same house. He has done this as well as constantly threatening to tell her how "I wrecked his family" and "what I'm like". After he spoke to her she woke up in the night crying, something she has very rarely ever done.
He took to me court in 2010 for custody but quickly withdrew this when he realised he didn't stand a chance. He then persued getting his days/nights set which at the time, I had left uni due to illness and my daughter hadn't started school, so he ended up with every weekend. When she started school, I thought he would see reason and change this since she would never be spending any quality time with me during the week. Nope, I'd phone him crying, begging to him to let me have her on the weekend (big mistake - he enjoyed that power so much). After returning to uni when I got better, I then had to leave again so that I could spend those few hours after school with my girl. This culminated in me going to the school to pick up my daughter one friday. I'd asked/told/warned him I'd be coming to the school. He had a few days notice. When I got there (I had to have a lift from my father as my car was knackered) it turned ugly very quickly, with him bundling her into his van, punching my dad (who is weed bless him) and threatening to call the police. My poor girl was crying and asking for me so he reluctantly handed her over.
A few weeks ago during the holidays. he had her on the last weekend. He also had two extra nights the weekend before so I told him I'd be picking her up on the Sunday evening. I knew I'd had to co-ordinate this with his recent ex (whom he has a 3 yr old son with) as I knew she'd be picking him up then. When he saw me, he slammed the door in my face with my daughter on the other side. He eventually came out, shaking with anger, repeatedly asking me "why am i doing this?". The entire incident upset our daughter (though she has been fine since).
He has moments of what I can only describe as 'psychotic anger' when he sends me and his ex the most disgusting texts, calling us all the names under the sun, blaming us for his family being wrecked and calling us bad mothers. On more than one occassion now in the past year, he has said 'he won't be held responsible for his actions' (I don't know what he means by this - he doesn't explain himself but his mother has been sectioned twice for suicide attempts and he has said things to our daughter before). That worries me a great deal and he said this only recently to his ex when he phoned her very angry.
This is becoming a thesis, let alone an essay but rest assured there's so much more that has happened in the past 5 and a half years.
Very recently I have tried to change the days he has our daughter as he sometimes has her when she has school and he has to get up quite early, drop her at his mums and go to work. His mum then ends up taking her to school. She is getting very tired on these days and confused about the alternate days every other week. I have tried to change this to every wednesday evening which made him blow his top, try to change his son's days around, culminating in him sending his ex and I a text saying he wasn't go to see his kids anymore. A week later he is acting like nothiing happened asking when he's having his daughter but still being abusive towards me.
I now NEED all this to stop. I have hit my head against enough brick walls. Many friends and family tried to tell me to get this sorted from the beginning but at the time, I felt like I needed to keep the peace wherever possible. This has not worked. He is constantly trying to get one over on me, be the control master and undermine me and he is clearly happy to use his daughter to achieve this.
My solicitor has advised me to stop all contact, forcing him to take me back to court. He will receive the letter in a day or two and obviously the is going to hit the fan. It feels extreme to be doing this and I really don't know what's for the best. My daughter has only briefly asked twice in the past fortnight is she is going to her dad's and if anything her behaviour is improving and she seems a lot more settled. All I know is I've tried for too long to appease him and compromise and nothing I've done until now has ever eased the situation.
The only way I would feel comfortable with him seeing her right now would be if it was supervised for a few hours but I do not trust his mother and sister, and I don't know how I would set that up other than through the courts. My sister, who is a SW has just advised me to phone CAFCASS which I am about to do but the advice and support on the net for mothers in similar positions to me is woefully inadequate. Loads of advice if you're a bitter ex like mine on the fathers for justice type sites.
I need to feel like I'm doing the right thing. I know no one can tell me that but myself and I was under no illusions how hard this would be but my god this IS hard!
have you reproted any of these incidents to the police?
like punchng your dad - that should have been reported staight away as an assault. wihtout evidence like police reports you are going to find it difficult. you need evidence.
ahve you reproted abusive text messages or other incidents to the polie or other person eg solicitor? is there a recod kep/diary/log ?
was a court order issued before? what did it say?
you are going to need evidence/proof/good records of his behaviour if you want to now persuade court that contact should now be supervised when it hasnt been up to now .
make sure the text saying he isnt seeing his kids is recorded somewhere eg by solicitor .
you could in meantime look at contact centres near you to offer something www.naccc.org.uk
Unfortunately I have never reported any of these incidents to the police. I know I should have but for many years I allowed him to guilt trip me for leaving him.
I have hundreds if not thousands of texts from him from over the years. I have some on file and all that he's sent in the past year on my current phone. My solicitor is aware of them and has advised me to keep a log.
The court order runs from 4.30pm on a friday untill 8.30 on a monday. This thankfully means that he cannot pick her up from school as the HT is aware of the situation and will not allow her to leave with anyone apart from me.
Our current arrangement is every other weekend (when my daughter gets to see her half-brother) and alternate tuesdays and thursdays. It was the tuesdays and thursdays (which has my daughter confused with where she is supposed to be) that I have been most unhappy about and tried to change to every wednesday (for the evening only rather than overnight because of her tiredness). That is what he blew his top over most recently.
I have now spoken to CAFCASS and I feel so much better than I did this morning. I needed good solid impartial and professional advice on this issue as my head was spinning with advice from friends and family who I feel might be telling me what I want to hear. That said, I haven't even known that!
As the CAFCASS officer I spoke to put it, I have been in the situation for such a long time it's hard for me to see what is normal and right.
I would love to start up a support group for women in my position with abusive and manipulative ex partners if anyone has any advice on how to do so. CAFCASS suggested speaking to Woman's Aid, not naturally what you might first think of but as she said, I have been living with the verbal and mental abuse for too long now.
so you want to change something which isnt even in the court order? ie tues/thurs to a single weds? but every week?
but you will keep the weekends? or you stopping evrything?
if nothing was reported to police etc thn it maybe only recent txts etc are relevant?
I have constantly questioned what's for the best. Until he began making threats, such as he won't 'be held responsible for his actions', and telling both me and his ex that he didn't want to see his kids anymore, all I wanted to do was change things to a wednesday evening. And yes it isn't in the court order but we had managed to come to an agreement between ourselves before.
Since he has said these things, it has made my belief stronger, that it is not right for my daughter to continue going over there (at least unsupervised). I had been beginning to feel this way over the past few months but as usual didn't want to upset the applecart. I have always (as is his friends and family) been too afraid to confront him with what I really think should be happening, or our shared concerns about his behaviour, and as a consquence have compromised to mine and my daughter's potential detriment.
I think my attempt at changing the alternate tuesdays and thursdays was all I felt I could realistically do but that has changed in the past fortnight, or, I have finally seen sense!
if there is a court order and you stoppping contact you need "reasonable excuse" .
you need to ask solcitiro if you avhe "reasonable excuse"
or /and you need to go back to court to ask for a review/change.
if he takes you abck to court what will you tell judge? you need to ahve it very clear evidence and so on . you need to report "he won't 'be held responsible for his actions'," etc
Yes my solicitor knows all he has done and after speaking to CAFCASS I'm much more clear that I do have reasonable grounds to stop contact.
I have never stopped contact before or ever been obstructive in terms of contact. I have always acted on what I believe to be right rather than allowing bitterness and vengence to play a part in my decision making. It does however seem, that this may actually bite me on the bum as on the other hand, I have unintentionally allowed his mental abuse and manipulative behaviour towards me to shape the outcome of the situation in the past(does that make sense?).
I will be speaking to my solicitor again very soon and checking whether or not we are better off taking this back to court ourselves rather than allowing him to act on the letter he will be receiving soon. I think I find the uncertainty the hardest thing to deal with. He clearly has mental health issues and until he addresses that, I don't see what will ever change.
agree it all sounds awful - but am just concerend that without evidence eg doctors reports on his mh issues , police reports etc - that you might get a judge on theday who takes it as you making unilateral decision to withold contact. you need watertight evidence - will texts be enough?
Understand and appreciate from you have said this man is piece of work but do you have any concrete concerns the welfare of your daughter is being compromised when being cared for by her father?
if I were you I would address the stopping of contact by letter... when he turns up to pick DD up have your phone set to record the conversation and his behaviour....
have house phone ready to dial police if things get bad at all.
This man is manipulating, emotionally abusive to you and DD and it sounds like everyone around him....he has been violent and very aggressive...you are not safe with this man around either of you....try not to be alone once you know he has your letter...better to do this letter through your solicitor too...
I hope things go smoothly but I fear they won't....take care and keep posting xx
This is a brief run down on my reasons for stopping contact:
He has said on numerous occassions that he won't be held responsible for his actions (with no explanation as to what he means).
He has picked her up from school without telling me or has kept letters from me so that he can have her on a TT day without notifying me.
He has upset DD (still don't know what this stands for!) by saying stuff to her about her familial situation, causing her nightmares. I only know about this because he admitted what he said to her. I have no idea what else he has said to her.
He has on numerous occassions refused to let me have her back when I have given him plenty of notice and explained why I am picking her up. This has upset her, and worst of all, when I went to pick her up from school, he punched my dad in front of her and threatened to call the police resulting in her crying for me. She wouldn't leave me out of her sight for a while after this in case the police came to take mummy away.
On numerous occassions he has told me that he doesn't want to see her anymore, changing his mind around a week or so later.
In the past he has hit me and tried to trip me up whilst i had our daughter in my arms.
Unpredicatable moodswings (his psychotic episodes) that usually consist of me and his recent ex getting a barrage of strong verbal abuse. This has always caused me great stress. This is also when he denied responsibility for his actions.
Other things he has done includes keeping things that belong to me since we split up 5 and a half years ago. He refuses to give me these things back. I've never seen a penny from him. He encourages undesirable behaviour in her as he thinks it's funny when she's cheeky/cocky. His house is full of boxes of stuff. His kitchen is unhygenic since his dog is shut in there all day when he is at work, and she is not properly housetrained. He has no cooker or washing machine and relies on his family to cook all meals and wash his and his children's clothes. When he does feed them, it will be beans, supernoodles or jam sandwiches.
Sorry, probably just repeating myself and wasn't quite so brief afterall! Is this enough reason to stop contact? I can't stop questioning myself at the moment.
Thank you for your replies so far. I very much appreciate it.
His home is unfit for a child and indeed unfit for a dog either...these alone are basic needs which should be in place.
I'd be phoning rspca about the poor dog and the living conditions of the poor thing or Dog Warden. Is his home council propertty? because they will not allow this to continue in their property either...he has responsibilities as a tenant in the house and in the state of the garden too (covered in shit?)
You have grounds to be taking these concerns to SW...that at the very least he should not have any residency/overnights at all whilst his home is unsuitably hygienic, safe or ill-equipped to have a child in it like this.
As you have no real evidence of the violence, etc...this makes using this very difficult at this stage.
How old is your DD? she maybe needs some way of being able to talk about her feelings, what her DF has said/done around her, etc...this will likely be your best route...childrens experiences and feelings will be very important to know and your DD may benefit from having someone neutral to talk to about things. You can ask SW children and families services about this for her....it would go a long way in getting support with stopping the contact, etc too....perhaps supervised visits will be the best route maybe....if he is willing to comply with this at all....
he may just crawl away at that point anyway...
If you weren't married then he has no specific rights to see your DD...he would have to take you to court if you refuse to let him see her....and he knows you have good reason to stop contact....
Honestly...I would just refuse any contact and let things go from there...but be prepared for his backlash, have witnesses, record any contact, phone Police immediately if he gets ugly
without witnesses or ahving reported some of the incidents it is tricky to use those as evidence. #however, the house is of concern and i wouldnt allow dc to go to a place that wasnt fit for purpose.
but you need to explain to yourself and have a ready answer for why you ahve allowed her to go to his up to now given its state?
(what he feeds her is not a big deal, beans are nutritious tho obviously not idea for every day if that is all sh ahs...)
i would say no contact in his house until it is hygienic and fit eg cooker - but get SS or cafcass to visit him and confirm if fit ir not. you going to ahve to involve authorities here .
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