Contact...hand holding and a bit of advice please!(25 Posts)
Long long backstory of dv and two years in court. Supervised contact granted for a few months then moving to unsupervised. DD attended a couple of the supervised and just one of the unsupervised. After the first unsupervised, she wrote to the judge to say they had been hit, dragged and spoken to badly during the contact and that she didn't want to go again.
Despite me taking her to the meeting point each week, she refused to go with exh. DS did go.
In court this week for enforcement proceedings. I have been told that dd is not old enough to make decisions, there are no safeguarding concerns and dd is to attend the full time of contact.
Contact has been changed from a meeting point to exh house, and I have been ordered to "leave her on the doorstep and drive off" if that what it takes to make sure she stays. DD reports she will run off and has also made comments about killing herself if I make her go.
How on earth do I even get her out of the car to leave her there? And how can I just leave her there knowing her concerns - what if she does run off, who will SS and the police blame then? I'm so concerned about her safety and mental health. She's never even been inside his house before. I don't know what to do.
How old is DD? I am genuinely shocked and appalled that any court would order you to 'leave her on the doorstep and drive off'.
I thought the whole point of the children's act, and the welfare checklist was that the child's best interests were paramount
Milton, it's sounds horrific, really it does. The problem is that your story is not a straightforward one at all and people here could give helpful "advice" that ends up further damaging your case.
She is 9. She has always maintained that she doesn't want a relationship with him because if all she witnessed an experienced. Because that was never proven she has been told to stop talking about it and if she doesn't then she will need to have counselling.
Because I have taken her each week and have done all I can do to make her attend, they say this is the only way of making sure she spends he whole of the ordered time with her father.
I know mine is a complicated case but I literally want advice on the issue of if she runs away or sits in the street all day, who will be blamed and what will happen to her? Or indeed any other advice on making a nine year old do what she doesn't want to do.
Can you be nearby? Or my first thought was a phone so she can ring you but would that be taken from her?
I'm worried if I will be nearby and she does run off, they will complain I have interfered.
I don't know anything about this area but your situ is appalling. Is there a charity you could turn to for help & advice?
I'm assuming the judge's ruling would be higher than any charity? I don't know.
I personally would be getting advice from SS , your sols. I do think the counselling will be useful for her though ..not so she can stop talking about it but to help her deal with what you she has witnessed. Women's aid may also be able to give you useful advise.
It sounds a horrific situation to be honest and I really can't see how this is in the best interest of the child.
i agree with getting advice from your solicitor and women's aid. I'd be wary of going to a charity or anyone who doesn't have the full details of the case. If you are seen to be interfering, and with a case as complex as yours, would you potential at risk of losing residency of her? Please tread very carefully.
Social Services NOT women's aid. They are often very biased in their advice.
I don't have a solicitor. He is fully legal aided. Switch of residency was suggested by the psychologist at the very start but he didn't want that so it was forgotten. They are saying community service for me at the next hearing.
I've just taken her. Took twenty minutes to persuade her out of the car and then I drove off, leaving her on the doorstep.
Please get social services involved, this is a child protection issue surely?
Poor dd what a horrid situation for her and for counselling to be used as a punishment should she try to talk! I am so on your behalf.
Cafcass have done their assessments and said there are no safeguarding concerns. They also tried to deny telling dd that no one will ever make them do anything they don't want to do. When I was insistent she said that, they said well that was at the start, it's changed now. The court has ruled that she is to attend. And even though the court order only said I have to make the children available, I have apparently broken the order and will be punished if it continues.
Do you have a McKenzie Friend or are you self representing? Have you had any counselling?
My experience is that judges are reluctant to take drastic measures like community service unless they truly believe you are putting the child at risk. You need help from professionals, not just random people on the Internet, and based on the entire reality of the case rather than just your perception of it. Making the children available is about more than just making them available. You have a duty to support your child's relationship with the other parent which means actively encouraging it and enforcing it, especially when the court is taking this position.
Your daughter is nine. You have to make decisions for her. The court has decided what is in her best interests and you are therefore bound by the court to make sure that this happens. What are you going to do when she's 13 or 16 and she's breaking the rules? You're a parent, you set the rules and you make her stick to them.
Tbh I would be concerned that she is picking up on either your reluctance for her to attend contact with her father or your "victim" position of "I don't know what to do". You need to be firm about this. There is no running off. She does as she's told and she goes in his house. Don't wind up in a position where they take her off you.
teach dd where she should go and what she should do if she is ever "lost" where to go to get help, how to use a phone box, where and how to cross roads, where to go to ask for help. while you must not encourage her to run away, she is at the age where she needs to know these things anyway. she is also at an age where you may not be able to prevent her doing so.
Can you get her some counselling at school so she is telling someone independent of you what the hell she is being forced to do and how unhappy she is about it
Is this affecting her school life, get letters from teachers.
Take her to gp & get counselling for her, letters from GP / counsellors will be support.
Ring women's aid.
Ring child line, cannot believe her being hit and dragged is being ignored (actually I can).
Ring SS, altho my experience was that if the matters in court SS don't want to step in.
Teach your dd as a pp said to use public phones and what to do in an emergency.
If he hits her during contact, go to the police.
She needs counselling now.
get her referred. Via go.
you mentioned ed psychologist tho who was that ?
How is she at school ?
Doing ok ?
Gp to refer for counselling via camHs.
Telling her not to talk about something sounds wrong.
At 9 you want to make sure she has gone in the house surely ?
He is doing brilliantly at school. The psychologist was ordered by the courts as part of the initial assessment. She agreed the children and I had suffered abuse.
I had to drive off otherwise it would be seen as further interference from me. As it was, she stood in the street for about an hour. Then went in and sat on the doormat.
Your first duty is to look after the best interests of your DD. While she is in his care, he is responsible for her.
There are a couple of things about your posts that stand out to me.
Firstly, you say `she wrote to the judge'. Was this ordered by the court? Or does she know there is a court case about this? I don't wish to sound critical but if this is the case it is possible the court will see a 9 year old girl being involved in a dispute with her parents - with her mum and dad trying to use her against each other.
The important thing in court is not what you do, but what you're seen to do.
The narrative you are potentially painting is that she is being involved in a court case, being told she doesn't have to go and being encouraged to write to court. This will likely ring alarm bells...and unfortunately diminish the strength of your case.
Secondly, you say you have been `ordered to leave her on the doorstep and drive off'. I am assuming this isn't in the order and more likely something that was said off the cuff by someone...who? The judge? The ex's representation?
The only thing you need be concerned with is the wording of the order. If the above isn't it (and I am pretty sure it won't be...) please don't be worried about it.
At the age of nine your DD's point of view will be taken note of, but it will not be determinative. Even were she, say, about 13 and said she didn't want to see her father the court would, whilst not necessarily ordering contact, want to explore this reluctance and to look for solutions that work.
That said, it is clear you are in a really hard situation and it is easy to type at a computer compared to trying to facilitate contact for a determined child. Your case isn't as complicated as it seems however - it's a fairly standard scenario.
I am one of those McKenzie Friends HeadDoctor mentions - I've helped in a few cases with very similar situation. Hope this has helped. Give a shout if you want a few pointers about your options.
She knows about the court case, cafcass told me to explain it to her. And the guardian has been very open to dd with comments about what the judge said and "mummy will be getting in big trouble because of you" etc.
Yes, leaving her on the doorstep isn't in the order, but was clearly said by the judge.
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