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Ex taking me to court for joint residency of 2 yo, feeling very low, help please.

(29 Posts)
theitalianjob Tue 21-May-13 23:17:35


I'm not new here but it's been a long time. I had some incredible support here in the past & I'm feeling so alone & low & worried I'd really appreciate some help & advice from others who have been or are in the same situation please.

I have 3 dc's.. The older two (10&8) are from one ex & dd3 who is almost 2 and a half is from my recent p who I split up with 4 months ago after 4 years. There was long term arguments & unhappiness between us, he never fully accepted my other children & it got worse when we had our own child & I was the one to finally end it.

So I've lived alone with my 3 for 4 months now, which is fine, my older 2 are happier as am I. Ex-p & I went to mediation voluntarily & I thought it was going ok (he sees dd every Sunday 10-6 & Thurs 9-2) but out

I live alone now with the

betterthanever Sat 25-May-13 10:50:35

When families move house the children still tend to have many familiar things around them inc. both parents, when they stay overnight with relatives it tends to have followed on from having spent time there during the day there, when they go on holiday they know it is temporary and in most cases have both parents there - even when they don't it is a temporary. That is not to say in some cases it could work for the off but it doesn't always work. My main point is how the legal action has been brought about it is not helpful for anyone. OP has not said over nights could not happen.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 25-May-13 09:52:42

overnights at a new place should be built up.

Does that mean families with young children shouldn't move house, go on holiday or stay with relatives?

A child is perfectly capable of spending a night in a different home in the company of a familiar parent or carer - without having to 'build up' to it.

wonderingagain Fri 24-May-13 21:19:30

I'm always disappointed that when anyone asks for advice on here it's about law, or it's about how right they are or how wrong the partner is. It's rarely discussed in terms of what is best for the child.

Options need to be open, children should be consulted but decisions need to be made with an open mind as to what is best for the family as a whole.

jellybeans Fri 24-May-13 14:56:40

3xcookedchips, very wrong assumption. I said needs contact with both? But for small babies/infants when the mother has been main carer, regular contact with the other parent is a better option than 50/50 just for the sake of both parents have to have the same. I certainly don't think dads are bad, that was what you twisted it into. My DH was not allowed to see his father from a young baby as his mother was bitter about an affair. I have seen the effects and you can't make up for that absent time especially when DH only tracked him down in his mid 20s. I would not do that to my child and anyone who does that is very wrong..(excluding abuse obviously). So again I feel both parents are important and certainly regular contact with NRP but for very young babies/children 50/50 my not be in the best interests. Obviously there may be exceptions.

betterthanever Fri 24-May-13 13:55:38

The default is every other weekend. I hope we agree that this should not be a default?

And I don't think the OP was saying that is what they want, in fact overnights were about to start but I think even though the child sounds like they have a great relationship with both parents, overnights at a new place should be built up. The OP the NRP and the child may all agree that is great as it builds.

I think what struck me and others is the sudden need to take this to court, a place where hostility between parties tends to increase.

Dadthelion Fri 24-May-13 12:52:35

The default is every other weekend.

Did the NRP see their children every other weekend before the separation?

wonderingagain Fri 24-May-13 12:44:00

Oh dear, here we go.

It always depends on the circumstances and ultimately what's best for the child is paramount. If shared care 50/50 was happening before, with two parents fully sharing, then fine, shared 50/50 care should continue.

3xcookedchips Fri 24-May-13 12:12:25

EOW as the default is at the very least is anachronistic.

Jelly: I was interested in your comments as they add nothing to this discussion other than to show you up for being an exponent of the Mum is good, Dad is bad camp. This child has two equal parents. The mother has no more rights over that child than the father does, only obligations of responsibility(and not just financial). The child on the other hand has a RIGHT to a meaningful relationship with BOTH parents and should be allowed to develop a bond/relationship with the father in the situation where the parents are separated. Age should not necessarily be a bar to overnights. It should be built up to sooner rather than later. How else will the father develop any parenting skills and else with the child begin developing that bond. If there are no welfare issues, where is the issue?
Children can have and do have two homes.

betterthanever Fri 24-May-13 11:02:45

I think every other weekend contact is barbaric. I think it totally depends on the circumstances.

Dadthelion Fri 24-May-13 10:53:54

I can't imagine having children with someone I wouldn't be prepared to share care with after a separation.

I can't imagine what it would be like to see your children every other weekend.

I wonder what the effects on the mental health of NRPs is for seeing so little of their children.

I'm so glad my ex wanted to do shared care. I think every other weekend contact is barbaric.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 24-May-13 07:50:09

I can't imagine a court would enforce a 2 yo who hasn't had any overnight contact with her dad being forced to spend half her time with her dad.

But the OP makes it clear that he has had overnight contact for the first two years of his DDs life - it's only the last 4 months that has stopped.

MsColour Thu 23-May-13 23:01:58

My ex took me to court for 50:50 shared residence of our 6 yo and 3 yo and didn't get it. He has every other weekend, half the holidays and a midweek teatime.

I can't imagine a court would enforce a 2 yo who hasn't had any overnight contact with her dad being forced to spend half her time with her dad.

Worrying times though. So stressful and pointless in the end. Court totally destroys any chance of parents working together.

wonderingagain Thu 23-May-13 22:44:00

he is devious & poisonous can you give us some examples?

betterthanever Thu 23-May-13 22:39:09

lucy in some cases it may be in the child's best interest to have 50/50. Having read this board for 12 months now, the main thing I have learned is how every case is different and people tend to not be able to put much on here about their own circumstances (defo not all) so it is often difficult to know how things will turn out.
I have noticed that when giving advice it is often general and people sometimes get scared or overly positive by something that is just not relevant to them.
The best advice on here is from lawyers about protocol as the welfare side is just that and whilst it has legal elements to it, it is a welfare issue. If it is about the children and they are all different, what might work for one may not for another in exactly the same circumstances.
Other people sharing their actual experience is good too as you hear how it feels from a parents point of view. My advice is read and learn as much as you can, if you can stomach it... and then see if anything matches.

lucyloo78 Thu 23-May-13 12:24:10

so ex doing same, going for shared res and 50/50 - tho this is not in my 3 yr old son's best interests. he manipulates and convinces people he's right despite catalogues of lies & tends to get own way.... any advice pls?

jellybeans Thu 23-May-13 10:21:05

I agree it is too much about rights of the father in many cases rather than what is best for the child. This is what happens when people insist there is no difference between mother and father and nothing 'special' about a mother to a young infant/child...In Australia there were cases where young breastfed babies were handed over to the father for a week at a time as there was a trend towards 50/50 physical contact. A recent report criticized this kind of care. It is crucial to have a relationship with both parents but it doesn't have to be 50/50, children are not possessions and should have one home with regular contact with the other parent. Don't give in and good luck.

kittycat68 Thu 23-May-13 10:09:11

If hes throwing in the im taking you to court card now then i agree he is trying to bully you into agreeing to what he wants.

Op think seriously though, you need to pick your battles carefully, you are in this with him for the long haul and things CAn get very nasty.

3xcookedchips Thu 23-May-13 08:40:01

Better: I agree court is the the last resort but when one or both sides are implacable then mediation is just another tick box on that road.

There is not enough info in the OP original post plus there is hostility warranted or otherwise which is likely to cloud the issue.

Lucy: Are you asking if the OP was abusive to the father?

lucyloo78 Wed 22-May-13 20:46:18

what was his involvement in child's life b4? was it abusive relationship?

betterthanever Wed 22-May-13 20:35:17

must add 3x your last par is spot on: Age 2 is not so young for a child to be spending more time with the other parent, especially if that parent had already played a part in the their life for the 1st 2 years. Imagine the disruption that has been caused to that childs emotional well being after that parent had previously being a constant in her life.

betterthanever Wed 22-May-13 20:34:15

baili this is the bit I was talking about: I would say, though, that his action indicates strongly that he is not happy with the amount of contact or the pace of increase, and to be fair, after 4 months not having any over nights, I wouldn't be either. without a full picture I am not sure you can say that four months is too long too wait?
3x court is not ideal when mediation could have started the overnights now which is why it sounds like she is being bullied as I don't understand his eagerness to go to court - I hope the judge says mediation should continue. I don't like to see people pulled apart when things are already difficult - court is never nice for anyone.

3xcookedchips Wed 22-May-13 13:42:48

The court will go along with what you both agree - if there is still disagreement then the court may make an order.

Its not a case of the OP being bullied. Unless we know the reasons behind the current schedule it may be the case of the OP being overly restrictive and controlling and the father feels his only recourse is to court. They will put the interests of the child first and if they regard it is in the best interests of the child to see more of their father and establish a meaningful relationship then they will. However, a lot will depend on both of your attitudes and demeanour.

Age 2 is not so young for a child to be spending more time with the other parent, especially if that parent had already played a part in the their life for the 1st 2 years. Imagine the disruption that has been caused to that childs emotional well being after that parent had previously being a constant in her life.

balia Wed 22-May-13 13:30:11

I specifically mention the interests of the child. Twice. There's no mention of how the child feels about contact or why it should be limited, and I think you will find that it is in a child's best interests to have full relationships with both parents (obvs not in cases of abuse etc).

betterthanever Wed 22-May-13 12:11:42

Yes but you see balia it isn't about you/ the Op's exp (being not happy) it is about the child..... this is where `best interests of the child' is used to get `what the NRP wants'.
OP don't be bullied, if a child isn't ready after 4 months then they are not or they may be ready - there is no one size fits all.

balia Wed 22-May-13 11:16:31

Unless it is a condition of the specific mediation service you are using, there's no reason why you can't carry on with the sessions. If you reach a mutually acceptable compromise he can withdraw the court application. I would say, though, that his action indicates strongly that he is not happy with the amount of contact or the pace of increase, and to be fair, after 4 months not having any overnights, I wouldn't be either.

Shared Residence is becoming a lot more common and reflects the idea that both parents have responsibility for the child, so it isn't as worrying as it sounds, and as others have said, doesn't automatically mean 50/50. However, i would disagree that the court will rule it out because of the child's age, although they would be likely to gradually increase the contact rather than immediately order a 50/50 split.

You need to think about the concrete reasons why such a split would not be in her best interests, and think about what kind of contact you do think would be in her interest.

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