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Solicitor has recommended I write exH a letter about resuming contact (safetly issues). How should I start and end the letter?

(12 Posts)

I have been to a solicitor as I have stopped my DDs contact with their DDad due to safety issues. The solicitor has suggested that I write him a letter stating what needs to happen before the contact can resume.

Should I start the letter Dear exH and finish it yours faithfully? I guess it has been be fairly formal but the solicitor said to make sure to keep it friendly.

The safety issues include not drinking and driving whilst they are in his care, using appropriate car seats unless taking an unexpected taxi journey and making sure they have their own room and don't have to sleep in with him and his fairly new girlfriend.

Thank you.

Fleecyslippers Wed 08-May-13 14:13:56

Either instruct the solicitor you have to write the letter or find a more pro active solicitor.
Your Ex will take NO notice of what you want him to do. No matter hiw you word it he will object but there is just the slightest chance that if he receives a solicitors letter he may just take notice.

She said that at the moment there isn't any point spending money to get a solicitor involved and to just do it myself to begin with. He has threatened court but then backed down when I said to go for it.

I don't think this will necessarily change anything but if he won't agree then him taking me to court for access is the next step.

I have tried to get him to go to mediation in the past and he ignored the solicitors letter so I don't think it makes a difference who writes it.

Snorbs Wed 08-May-13 14:42:56

I think your solicitor has a point here. It likely won't make a damn bit of difference to what your ex does. But it will be an example you could potentially later show in court to demonstrate that you have attempted to work with him to resolve the issues. And at least this way it won't cost you anything more than a stamp.

As to how to phrase it, treat it like a business letter. Start it with "Dear <name>", finish it with "Yours sincerely". Keep all the emotion out of it, keep it short and to the point, and make it clear that this is about what's best for DD.

Yes Snorbs that is pretty much what she said.

She said the courts base their decisions on what is in the DCs best interests and that I should show in the letter that I am thinking of only their physical and emotional well being.

Half the problems is that he isn't willing to admit that what he is suggesting is wrong. (Five kids in the back of a car that only has seat belts for 3!)

Snorbs Wed 08-May-13 14:58:17

He might not feel that what he is doing is wrong but I'd love to see him explain to a judge in family court why having five kids in a car but only three seatbelts is acceptable. I suspect there'd be an awful lot of hmm faces going on.

That is, of course the point of the letter - to create a written a record explaining the reasons you have stopped contact and what he needs to do before it can resume. That way if he attempts to spin a tale that you have stopped contact for no reason you can wave a piece of paper that says exactly why it stopped and showing that he couldn't be arsed to do anything about it.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Wed 08-May-13 15:00:50

Dear X

Following legal advice I have received I wish to formally put on record the reasons for the current suspension of contact.

The issues are

1.
2.
3.

It is my firm belief that these issues constitute serious safety concerns and as such times as the issues are resolved I will be suspending contact.

Yours sincerely

Thank you for the replies, they have been very helpful.

The solicitor has said that I need to have a list of things that he agrees to before contact can resume. For example he needs to promise that

1. He will not drink for 12 hours prior to contact and for the duration that they are with him
2. The DDs need to be in a suitable car seat whenever out in a car
3. He is not to drink any alcohol before driving with the DDs in the car, though if he sticks to point 1 this shouldn't happen anyway
4. If the DDs are to stay at his house overnight they are not to sleep in with him and his girlfriend (I don't trust him not to still have sex) or his girlfriends 15 year old DS
5. He is to speak to me and the DDs with respect at all times and will not use abusive language along the lines of "fucking retard" "stupid jealous prick" or "cunt"

If he can agree to these terms then negotiations about contact can be resumed.

Why is it that I feel guilty when he has contact and I feel guilty when he doesn't!

cestlavielife Wed 08-May-13 15:57:22

how old are the dds ? ie old enough to report back or too young?

does he have a diagnosed recognized problem with alcohol? what does "drink" mean? surely you wouldnt like to be told you cant have a glass of wine when dc around?

do you have witnesses/evidence?

problem i can see is he may say yeh yeh whatever...but wont comply...

DDs are 4 and 2.

ExH does not have a diagnosed alcohol problem and will not admit it but the problem is there. He has an alcohol dependency and has to drink every day. The whole time we were together the only time he didn't drink was when he was ill. He has admitted to being an alcoholic in the past but he seems to think when he feels in control he isn't anymore. He thinks that because he doesn't drink as soon as he wakes up he is fine. He does start drinking at lunch time. Every time I drop the DDs off to him he is already drinking and not his first pint either, he is over the drink drive limit.

I don't drink when I am out of the house with the DCs and I make sure I am in a fit state to look after them.

I don't have any evidence that these things have happened as I have always found out about them before had and stopped him doing them.

I have come up with numerous solutions to keep him seeing them and as far as he is concerned none of them will work. There is nothing else I can do.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 08-May-13 18:57:12

I have exactly the same problem.
My solicitor advised exactly the same, but to say that as we are co-parenting we should be able to bring up concerns with the other parent.
She said that in her experience it will be ignored or denied. She then advised me to keep a diary (I have been advised not to stop contact) over a relatively short period of when I witness concerning incidents (2 to 4 weeks).
Then if and when we have to go to court I have evidence that I raised my concerns with him in an amicable manner in the spirit of co-parenting. He dismissed these concerns and then continued to act in this way.
In her words the courts are reactive to poor parent not pro-active in preventing it.
The only area where the advice I have received is different is with regards to sharing rooms as it is not uncommon for families to share rooms on holiday. Just because it is a new partner does not mean it is unacceptable and sex well the world is full of parents having quiet sex in hotel rooms with children asleep.

That maybe the case but I know someone who has a lot of issues due to the same thing and I'm not prepared to allow that to happen to my daughters.

Thank you all for the advice.

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