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Fathers contact

(10 Posts)
Elfdoor Sat 11-Jul-15 18:08:25

Looking for people's views on if they would allow contact or not given the issues over child safety in care of dad.

Year into divorce that's now being dealt with by court due to ex spending money he should have given back to me.
We have 4 children all under 10 years, father refused to have them overnight for almost a year, had contact for 8 hrs each weekend, he started up a mid week tea time contact which lasted about a month then he claimed he had a medical appointment so could not make it one week, that week a letter came saying he did have a medical appointment but it was not on the day he had kids and he had cancelled it anyway. I knew at this point he had been to see his then girlfriend so had dumped the kids to see her.
I stopped contact as I was very angry as he did this loads of times before when we had split up.
By Christmas I let contact start up again but he assured me he would not do this again, we were going to mediation in January so I thought we could sort it then.
We did go threw mediation and he refused still to have them overnight at my request, he also said he wanted them mid week but not every week just when he please, the mediator said no to this as it was not fair to the kids.
He agreed to have them for some times overnight in school holidays, and dates were set.
Then he found a new girlfriend, he introduced the kids and she was with them the whole time, also he had moved and told the kids they could stay at his new house (never spoke to me about any of this).
I asked him to confirm pick up times for the week of half term, he replied changing the dates from a week to 4 nights. I let my solicitor step in, and I pushed for overnight contact every other weekend, he agreed but still changed the dates of the half term contact.
He had the kids and on there return the kids told me, the youngest age 2 had wondered off and got into a strangers car, story goes daddy had gone to the shop leaving all 4 children playing in the street, his girlfriend was in the house but not watching them, the youngest wandered off got into this unlocked car (it looked like mummy's car) the eldest 9 went after the youngest and sent the other kids to get the girlfriend of dad to help, she refused to come help and my child age 9 had to pull the little one from this car and carry him back. Dad didn't even tell me about this!
The 2 year old also came home with two new phrase "naughty boy" and "bad boy" . I stopped contact due to this as I feared for my children's safety in his care.
Other issues are daddy has drink/alcohol issues he has done other things that make me question his skills as a parent, hair straighteners as a gift for a 6 year old (I sent them back), he got them very badly sunburnt one needed time off school as a result. He also slags me off to the children lots, mummys fault for this mummys done that, this kids now know far too much about the divorce because he tells them stuff I have to explain.
I also discovered the reason he had changed the half term contact dates was because he took his girlfriend on holiday asked her to marry him (we are still not divorced) so once again the contact was changed to suit him.
He didn't bother to send even a card for our 5 year olds birthday but has sent a note to the 7 year old since however he was calling me in it so I had to give it to my solicitor to return to him with warnings.
Now he has sent a letter saying he wants to see the kids and he will take me to court if I don't let him.

My question is only in the respect to would you as a mum let him see the kids even though you don't feel he will care for them or keep them safe, ask for supervised contact or parenting classes?

I do think my kids are more emotionally stable without contact with him but I also wanted them to have a dad in their lives.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Sat 11-Jul-15 18:11:40

Make sure you document everything.

Fiddlerontheroof Sat 11-Jul-15 18:18:51

From bitter experience, I'd stop arranging contact for him, leave him to sort it out...and take you to court if necessary. I fought for years for my kids to see more of their dad.. He just wouldn't co operate...so after much heartache....I stopped contact, which finally forced him at least to arrange dates...though they are completely when it suits him, the whole thing sucks...but I'd back off and leave it down to him....he'll either step up, or I suspect just won't bother. I would certainly have concerns about him having them if his level of care is that poor. I don't ever obstruct my ex seeing the kids, but I leave it to him....it's shite, it means we are at his whim....but there really aren't any other options, even if you take him to court, no one can force him to have them xxx

Frankly, I'd let him take you to court, and get something concrete in place. Xx

BlackeyedSusan Sat 11-Jul-15 20:00:09

stop chasinfg him. document all the times he has put them at risk. (sunburn leaving two year old unattended) you may not be able to stop contact but you can postpone it until the children are a bit older, a bit more verbal and able to look after themselves and each other a bit more. keeping each other safe.

Elfdoor Sat 11-Jul-15 20:04:34

I don't sort contact for him anymore, I wait for him to ask but I will not have it on a ad hock when he feels like it basis.
I have a right to have my own time and be able to plan ahead.
I'm quite happy for him to go to courts in fact I want him to do that so he can not change his mind as the wind blows.
I want the children to have contact with him but knowing how bad he is at looking after them I don't want to live to regret giving my permision if anything happened to them. I was lucky to get them all back in once peace last time.
I'm torn between the need for the children to have a dad, my need for my own time, and the safety of the children being at risk with him.
The children's saftey comes first for me but I also fear that my view is not a fair one or is tainted by the fact he has been a total SOB over everything with the divorce.
He is not a good dad never has been, he called our eldest son names like Richard head and knob jockey when we were together, stuff such as this made me kick him out. His view was its a joke, but it's not right to call a child names.
All the kids are more stable not seeing him.

Elfdoor Sat 11-Jul-15 20:08:19

I have everything documented, took pictures of sun burn at time.
I just wanted to get the views of others who don't know me, to ensure my refusing contact was understandable and fair, in view of others who are not going to take my side as they are family or friends.
Such a difficult situation, if only he could be a better dad!

Starlightbright1 Sun 12-Jul-15 18:05:24

I think you need to seperate the issues out here.. Your right to your own time... I agree yes you should however you need to arrange this without relying on ex. I do imagine babysitting is hard to find with 4 children though.

Your childrens right to a relationship with there Dad..Reading this post you seem to be pushing and pulling. You think it is unsafe then push for overnight and holiday.

I do agree contact needs to be regular. I think you need mediation though to look at the safety issues.. As you have no documented evidence I beleive it will hold little power in court.

I do understand the wanting it documented as I wanted this with my ex however you have a court order and it doesn't seem to have changed anything

Elfdoor Mon 13-Jul-15 00:45:39

I do have a baby sitter, so when I can afford I get the odd night out.

I didn't think it was unsafe until he did have them overnight and the youngest got into a strangers car, yes I was aware of issues with his parenting skills before that but whilst the kids had returned safe after visits I was not in a position to prove they were not safe, I had to trust him as a father to look after them, other issues are considered low level and wouldn't merrit ending contact for saftey of the children.

The court will take the evidence re the child getting into the car as its accounts from the children and there is no reason to disbelieve it. All other evidence is documented, civil court has a burden of proof "on the balance of probabilities" so they would look at the likely hood of the children's account being fact or fiction.

We did mediation before, he still changed contact times to please himself after he agreed to stick to them. Whilst mediation is very useful it will not make him grow up and be a responsible adult. We did agree to every other weekend but the issue now is, are the children safe in his care?
Would any mother take the chance that because of lack of care to ensure the children are safe, the children may come to harm or be killed in his care....

How easy could my 2 year old have been hit by a car whilst walking the street on his own, taken by people or persons who would do him harm.

I wanted my children to have a father in their lives and the push and pull you talk about is because I'm torn between ensuring they have a relationship with daddy and ensuring they are safe. I don't want to be that "bitch" mother who keeps a dad from his kids, but I don't want to be that mother who has a knock on the door from the police to tell me my child is dead because he didn't look after them properly.

As it stands we have no court orders for the children only for financial stuff.

As I have had time to think this weekend and read others story's, I feel the only way forward is threw the courts, involvement of cafcass is needed, assesments of his perental skills (mine as well if then need) then they can make a decision of if the children should have unsupervised contact with him.

Thanks for the input, it's helped me get my head straight about what is needed for my children's best interests.

Starlightbright1 Mon 13-Jul-15 07:22:55

I can completely understand what you are saying... You are right when you hand your care over to someone esp a pre school child you need to know they are been cared for ..You need to know they are safe.

I find the they should have a relationship with their Dad just seems to guilt mums. A guy once said to me you never here a man saying I don't see my kids because I don't bother or I was unfit to look after them.

Good luck with moving forward on this.

Elfdoor Mon 13-Jul-15 11:19:34

Yes very true they all claim to be hard done to and it's never there fault.

It is very much a rock and a hard place situation.

I have given his letter to my solicitor this morning and I was reminded that we sent him a letter some weeks back telling him why contact was stopped and that we were willing to talk about other methods of contact for him and the children.

The battle will continue probably in court ��

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