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Don't know what do do

(62 Posts)
namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 11:37:41

I've been a SAHD for two years, my partner left without warning at the weekend, claiming she needed some space. Basically she took my DD for a walk and didn't come back. I haven't really been able to speak to her as she's had the phone switched off most of the time they've been away. She informed me this morning that she spent the night with her new man (presumably with my daughter there) and they plan to be together.

I'm in a state of complete shock/panic. I live in rented accomadation, have no money at all and after taking care of my daughter every day since she was born, apart from this time apart and I can't even get to speak to her. Things weren't great, I lost my job just before DD was born and money has been issue. This new man is much older than and quite wealthy and lives almost 200 miles away.

I feel bereaved, have no idea what to do, what rights I have regarding my daughter or how I can possibly cope without her.

TheOrchardKeeper Fri 06-Sep-13 11:39:11

So sorry to hear that sad thanks

You must be heartbroken as a parent.

Have you sought legal aid?

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 11:41:18

I didn't think it would come to this. I'm planning on going to the CAB later and see what advice they can give me, and yes I am absolutely devastated.

TheOrchardKeeper Fri 06-Sep-13 11:43:21

That's good then. I have no advice on the legal side of things but didn't want to read and run. Hope they can give you some good advice.

Hopefully wiser MNers will be along soon.

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 11:44:21

Thanks Orchard

SolidGoldBrass Fri 06-Sep-13 11:54:56

As far as the law is concerned, your daughter has a right to a continuing relationship with you and the priority is her wellbeing rather than the 'rights' of her parents. Are you named on her birth certificate? As you refer to her mother as your partner rather than your wife, I take it you were not married (this doesn't affect your position as father as long as you were named on the birth certificate.)

However, there's obviously some sort of back story here. You say 'things haven't been good' - do you want to mend the relationship with your partner or just arrange plenty of access to your daughter? If your relationship has broken down, it's very very important to aim at a civil, amicable relationship with your ex-partner, because that is what is in your daughter's best interest. If you have had any issues of your own (not accusing you of anything) such as drinking/drug abuse/violence/gambling then it would be good to be able to demonstrate that you have overcome them and that you are a responsible loving parent who can behave in a civilised manner.

karinmaria Fri 06-Sep-13 12:01:32

Also didn't want to read and run. What an awful situation to find yourself in. I'm sure with the help of mners you'll work out what you can and need to do.

Good luck. I hope you're able to speak with and see your DD very soon.

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:01:54

Yes, I'm on the birth certificate. As far as a backstory goes, my partner is a bit of a fantasist, before we got together she was living well beyond her means (huge debts having to be bailed out by parents regulalry) when we got together she was studying while I worked. There was no violence, no drug issues, or gambling with either of us. Yes, I did want to mend the relationship, even after she left at the weekend, and until this morning she told me there was a chance, but now that option is taken away from me, my priority, as it has always been is my daughter.

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:04:12

and I don't just want access to my daughter, I want my daughter back where she feels happy.

mrspaddy Fri 06-Sep-13 12:06:34

So sorry to hear this.. Can you get in contact with any of her family members at all?? A cruel situation. Hope you get the proper help you need.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 06-Sep-13 12:07:06

OK. What has your XP said about you seeing your DD? If you have been her main carer, presumably XP works, and it would seem reasonable that you continue to look after DD while her mum is at work - or have they moved somewhere too far away for this to be possible?

Legal action is an option: as I said, the courts generally encourage the relationship between a child and the non-resident parent to continue but you're supposed to try to sort it all out amicably between yourselves, if you can.

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:09:18

I've spoken to her mother (yesterday) she initially went to her parents, but hadn't told them about her new man and they couldn't contact her either since she went to be with him.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 06-Sep-13 12:09:40

Sorry x-post. You might have a case for getting custody of your DD if you have been her main carer, though it's the sort of thing that could get messy, expensive and be bad for your little girl to be fought over in court. Again: what is your XP saying about contact between you and DD?

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:13:19

She's said nothing about me seeing my DD, apart from a text 10 minutes ago saying she'll be round on Monday to pick up some of her stuff and I can see her then. She does work, but will be moving 200 miles away to live with her new man and I presume he will be supporting her.

Can she just do that? just take her and move my daughter in with a man she's only known for a couple of months?

SolidGoldBrass Fri 06-Sep-13 12:19:00

Yes, she can live with whoever she likes; she is an adult. However, she cannot cut you out of your daughter's life unless she can prove that you are a really bad parent and a danger to your daughter. A court will award you access and your XP will be expected (given that she has chosen to move such a long distance away) to make efforts to maintain your contact with DD ie meeting you at a halfway point for handovers.

How old is your daughter, by the way?

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:23:43

Two years and 3 months. I don't think she could make the case that I'm a bad parent though, especially as she has been the one late back from work for the past two weeks while seeing her new man.

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:26:16

Really? she can move my daughter in with a man she hardly knows after a couple of months? All I know of him is that he's divorced, over 20 years older than us and has a child who doesn't live with him.

WithConfidence Fri 06-Sep-13 12:34:01

Do you have a local children's centre? They would know if you have a family mediation service in the area. Ours is free and will meet with you to discuss whether the plans for your dc are reasonable, even if the other parent won't attend.

testedpatience Fri 06-Sep-13 12:34:50

I wouldnt bother with the CAB, you need to phone local solicitors and try and get a 30 minute free consultation asap.

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:36:31

thanks for that Withconfidence, just checked online and yes there is.

namechaged007 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:50:05

Thanks for the advice, I'm going out to see what on earth I can do.

Zoe999 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:56:27

Just seconding what SGB says. If you want a relationship with your daughter you might have to swallow all your grievances wrt the relationship with your partner. Put aside all your perceived ideas about this injustice or the other injustice and just aim for a calm, courteous, civil channel of communication.

Has your x left all her possessions at your house? That is quite unusual.

Zoe999 Fri 06-Sep-13 13:05:35

Is it a romantic relationship? I'm not defending or condoning as I don't know her but is it possible she needed to tell you it was over from behind a wall so to speak.

I am a mother who 'went for a walk with the children and didn't come back'. I did it because I had no income of my own, I was financially dependent on him and he made all the decisions and I had no voice. I had discussed splitting up and he wouldn't accept that.

You have a right to see your daughter but I'm just putting it out there (sorry) that leaving all your possessions behind is quite a hard thing to do and I know because I've done it. It's not usually something a person does unless they feel they can't cope with splitting up in a more conventional way. Perhaps she feels you wouldn't have heard her if she'd told you it was over. It must seem massively disrespectful that she walked off with your child, but ask yourself hand on heart if she'd told you she was leaving would you have obstructed her leaving?

I am not saying that you have no rights, and I'm not saying that this is the case. It's just a 'headsup' from somebody whose x (to this day) thinks I left on a whim.

Whatever communication you have with her now it's important that she doesn't fear you. It may be really hard for you to swallow your emotions but if you can successfully convince her that you agree that splitting up was the right decision, that you don't blame her for leaving when things weren't good and just generally act as though you assume you will be involved. Fake it til it's real.

If she gets a sniff of anger, or any sense that you intend to stay in your daughters life by bulldozing over her and "showing her" in court then there's a chance that she could be so afraid of the power you have over hers and your daughter's life that she might move further away or something. Maybe not. I don't know.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 06-Sep-13 13:08:21

OP, I'm starting to suspect a big black hole in your story. Your XP moved out spontaneously and is living 200 miles away, yet she holds down a job? Has she transferred to another branch of the company or something? She went to her parents' house first, yet took very few of either her belongings or her daughter's? Women only usually leave like this when they are afraid that the man they are leaving may become dangerous.

Zoe999 Fri 06-Sep-13 13:20:34

I've just read that you believe she is a fantasist.

Can I just warn you that that is massively disrespectful and a huge warning bell to me.

It's so text book it's one of the things my x accused me of.

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