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ex threatening to have daughter eventually

(8 Posts)
mopsera Sat 06-Oct-12 23:47:16

...she's only 2.5 , so needs mummy ;me; at mo esp as im breastfeeding. she cant even get thru the night without me, quite clingy. but he has better resources ( car/ lives in my old town which has far better more fun resources/ where im in a remote village, thanks to him, and he has better financial prospects).he says he will eventually have her living with him . he still has a chip on his shoulder as his ex locked him out of his last marriage/ house literally and he didnt see his kids much for a while.should i apply for residency? he's a mean barstard when it comes to war/ ( as he calls it), deviuos, bullying, intelligent, no morals, dodgy.

crackcrackcrak Sat 06-Oct-12 23:51:15

Get a solicitor and get some advice.
If you need legal aid this might take a while. In the mean time stay engaged with health visitor/gp etc any other services you access.
Ex can't get residency just because there is better stuff where he lives, only if there are concerns about your parenting.

perfectstorm Sat 06-Oct-12 23:59:40

I'd post in legal and ask for advice from someone legally qualified to give it, but as a general rule of thumb: courts like the status quo kept for children, pretty much at all costs unless they are actively being harmed by their living situation. If you are primary carer, always have been, and she is strongly bonded to you, then he hasn't a hope in hell of winning sole or even primary residence unless you're actively abusive in some way. Children are seen as better off where they are used to being, with generous contact with the other parent. In most situations, anyway - family law is notoriously individualised.

Having said all that, if his ex denied contact then this may open wounds, and I'd be careful to propose generous contact, with a schedule leading up to overnights when she's a little older if he and you split a while ago, and earlier if the split is recent and he and she have a strong bond. It will also be really important for her that she and her dad have a good relationship.

Is there any way you would think about going to mediation to see if you can get a court order by agreement? You could stress that you aren't trying to exclude him and want him to play a big role in her life, acknowledge how horrible missing out on some of his other kids' lives has been, blah blah blah? I know some people are impossible to work with, but if you can try to get it across that you need to work in a polite and cooperative way to do what is best for her, rather than making her a battleground over which you fight, things might go better. If he loves her, then he may take that on board (and certainly your taking it on board will go a lot better if it ever should reach a court hearing).

I'm not for a second denying that he sounds an arse, I'm just saying that if he does love her, and you can just get it across to him that you need to work as parents, even if apart, to give her a calm and stable childhood, then that will be massively easier for you and massively less harmful to her. Parental conflict is so bad for kids. He needs to stop seeing her as a possession to be won and to start seeing her as as a small person whose needs must be met as well as possible by her parents, regardless of what makes them happy personally.

There is one other point. A friend of mine is a family barrister and he says most of the people he sees want the judge to vindicate them - to "win" and have their version of the marriage and the other's parenting ability stamped as the official truth. What usually happens is that a middle course is struck, and both sides feel angry, bitter and that the other side conned the judge/CAFCASS. If you can get an agreement with him in mediation, and that formally stamped as court-approved, that would be cheaper, gentler and a lot more likely to result in good things for you and your daughter.

STIDW Sun 07-Oct-12 11:44:16

The finances and arrangements for children are treated separately under different bits of legislation and each parent's resources aren't taken into consideration when determining living or contact arrangements.

Sole residence orders aren't granted as often as they were a few years ago and the outcome of many applications is shared residence. Shared residence doesn't have to be a child living 50:50 with each parent it can be in different proportions. In fact the Government has published draft legislation replacing contact and residence orders with Child Arrangement Orders.

Most people don't need a residence order, a bit of paper isn't as important as the reality of the situation. If one parent cares for children the majority of the time it's unlikely a court would disrupt the children's sense of security and established bonds by changing the arrangement drastically unless the children weren't surviving satisfactorily. However children who are insecure about their natural parentage tend to grow up with low self-esteem leading to behavioural and emotional problems later on so the bond and relationship with the parent with the minority of care is deemed important.

Good contact for children relies on parents working together, or at least not against each other. Going to court tends to leave parents feeling resentful and resistant making that difficult or impossible so it is always worth trying alternative ways to resolve matters such as mediation. Mediation isn't appropriate though if there is DV and an alternative is to negotiate through solicitors. To maintain a reasonable relationship children need to spend time with both parents and that usually includes overnights, weekends and holidays. As said above that can be achieved relatively quickly if both parents are already significantly involved with the child and more gradually if not.

If you can reach an agreement between you it is a good idea to write it down so it can be referred to later. It won't be legally binding but apparently parents are more satisfied with and more likely to stick to arrangements made between themselves. There is a no order principle meaning that courts shouldn't make an order when it isn't necessary so if parents agree between themselves without involving the courts it is unlikely the court will make an order.

mopsera Sun 07-Oct-12 14:31:31

thank u. yes, i agree, but my ex wavers between insanity ( some kind of evil jekyll and hyde type thing) and threatening to take dd away, and normality ( i love u, we can share care etc etc ) very disorientating. it doesnt help when he drinks as he turns into a monster. ( its put me off alcohol and im abstaining for now )
i would love to discuss things and come to an arranglemnt, but he would never stick to a written agreement as he would see it as being 'controlling' and he changes his mind so often
...what he would agree to one day he would disagree with another.

i dont want to go the court/ legal route as it would make things worse.i agree that is not the route to take for a peaceful life. i think we will compromise eventually and i hope we can live near each other.

the crazy thing is he pushed me to move away from my old flat which i loved, although it was 2 floors up ,it was 5 mins walk from his flat. if i had resisited him we would have been both living nearby, no problems. now i cant swop or move back as im in social housing and the town i moved from is oversubscribed, so im having to compromise and move somewhere i will be less isolated near here , the town i can get less isolated housing is a bit rough and ready, but i have no choice.

cestlavielife Sun 07-Oct-12 22:25:19

you need to be insisting he does comet a formal written agreement as to when he has her for visits and other issues - this is so you both know where you are -and also, you then have something to go on if it does end up in court showing what you proposed and agreed and what did and didnt work and why...eg contact was agreed for saturday x october but he didnt turn up /turned up three hours late etc.

see for example www.cafcass.gov.uk/PDF/FINAL%20web%20version%20251108.pdf

by letting him not come to a "formal" (something written doesnt have to involve lawyers just two mature people sitting and discussing the arrangements) agreement he is just going to mess you around.

and if you show you want to sort things out properly -but he is the one refusing -then also that shows up when/if he does apply to court for residency

so put it in writing now, propose schedule of contact and keep a diary/record of what happens and when

if he turns up drunk to get her -call police so it is recorded.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 22:29:05

I think you may want to keep a diary from now onwards of all comments, texts, emails, messages etc he makes, and how he is. And put a suggested schedule together of contact going forwards.

Agree you need to report any collections or drop offs when he is drunk. Has he ever had any sort of treatment or counselling for drinking?

STIDW Sun 07-Oct-12 23:30:22

You can't appease, mediate or negotiate directly with someone who is being unreasonable. What you need to do is set physical an emotional barriers and and look to your own behaviour. For example not reacting to things he says and thinking through in your own time how to respond unemotionally.

For a while after separation arrangement can be chaotic but usually contact settles down eventually. It is better if you can avoid the courts if at all possible. IF your ex is persistently irregular and inconsistent with contact applying to court on the basis that your child is unsettled and it would be in her best interests to have routine could be the lesser of the evils.

A contact order would mean you have to make your daughter available at certain times. However a contact order would set boundaries so those times would be limited and the rest of the time you should be able to enjoy some privacy and a family life without interference.

You have to stand up against someone when they are bullying otherwise it doesn't stop. The best way to do be assertive and clear what you need and how it is to be achieved without being pushy, hurtful or aggressive.

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