DDs Overnight Contact with their Father - bad!(21 Posts)
Sorry if this is same or similar to any existing threads.
My dd's have alternate weekends with their Dad since the court order was served back in November last year, for child contact arrangement.
We split 3 years ago now and they are 7 and 4. It was a split spurned from DV, worsened by him stalking and harassing me which resulted in a restraining order between he and I which is over in two weeks to give yout a little context.
Naturally it gets messier than that, but to bring this to present day and what is happening right now:
During their stays with him, they are being forced to sleep in inadequate beds: our 7 year old is in a toddler bed and our 4 year old is in a cot. Either that or he is co sleeping with them in his bed when he has two couches to sleep on himself and plenty of spare duvets. This concerns me greatly.
There's more: he sleeps in until late in the morning and our dds frequently get left to their own devices, plonked in front of the TV and don't get breakfast or even supervision until near lunchtime. Other than that he feeds them pizza, pizza, takeaways, more pizza and frequently sends them back on a Sunday afternoon famished and tired. It transpires that most Sundays he can't be arsed to feed them lunch, bearing in mind I pick them up at 3pm.
That's not the worst, but we're getting there: when our dds return to me from him, they smell. When I say smell, I mean it literally stinks as if someone has emptied an ashtray into their hair. They frequently tell me that he has no toiletries there for them and often doesn't bother to facilitate, supervise and ensure that their personal hygiene is attended to.
Our 4 year old has been nappy free for a good few months now, using the toilet both day and night and he insists on putting her back in nappies on his weekends, which is hindering her progress at this crucial time as she prepares to start school in September. All because he can't be arsed to get up at night and help her to the toilet. From a selfish standing point, I'm getting sick and tired of having to retrain her every time she comes back from his and the preschool have also noticed that her accidents are becoming more frequent and note that this is usually following a weekend with him.
Not to mention the fact that his place is absolutely filthy, he doesn't bother to make sure that their stay is a pleasant experience and they are getting increasingly anxious every time they are due to go. 7 year old tells me she doesn't want to go and 4 year old tells me she is scared of him.
I'll elaborate: during their last stay there was an incident where his rough "play" resulted in two bruised wrists for our four year old.
Without meaning to sound like a bitch: he's never had any interest in actually caring for our dd's. Without a shadow of a doubt, he dragged me through court because his witch mother was in his ear about it and I'm certain he thought the whole "shared care" scenario would relieve him of the obligation of supporting them financially, which he always manages to avoid in fairness.
I've had it. It kills me hearing all this from our dd's who are rapidly becoming confused, aggravated and generally upset by the whole situation. I've attempted numerous times now to keep an open proactive parental dialogue but he ignores me and continues to neglect them.
I have been documenting everything over time and the school have noted that this is a safeguarding issue and I will be in touch with the social services in a bid to withdraw the overnight arrangement in exchange for supervised contact and not at his place.
He's meant to be having them this weekend, but my plan is to get the girls myself, safely back home as because of the restraining order, he can not come near our home.
This is 8 days a month where our children are malnourished, largely unsupervised, not sleeping, uncomfortable and not looked after. This is neglect. The only reason I send them is because the law has told me to. What else can I do?
I would apply to the courts if you can for something that can amend your current set up. If your child has used the phrase I'm scared this will be taken into account. While you are there see if you can get an extension on your restraining order? X give women's aid or rights for women a call and see what they suggest. And in the meantime give your concerns to children's services. They can intervene if they think they are in danger. Good luck
I am no expert but i think it is worth as mentioned above contacting children's services.
crazy, apple: thank you both for your input. It's all pointing one way really, sadly.
crazy, do you have any more specific info on how I can apply to the court to change the order for contact?
apple: I agree.
Doesn't sound ok at all but sounds like a frustrating situation, as due to you having been through the courts it's not as simple as just refusing access. I wish I knew more to advise! But SS for advise for sure. It's bordering on neglect. Must be such a worry for you
Exactly, apple. It is making me sick to the point of not sleeping. 😢
Literally that second when they come home to me, I'm disheartened (and so angry, I want to tear him a new one) knowing what they've been experiencing during the time spent with him. 😢😢
Relieved - because they're home safe.
But helpless at the same time, because of the court order and as you rightly point out, it not being a simple case of refusing access.
I'm going into the school again tomorrow to put further urgency on the situation, and I will be on the phone to SS right after I've been to my 4 year olds sports day.
I hate this!
I was thinking cafcass too. Although when we went to court, they were pretty dismissing towards me despite my efforts to inform of his previous history of neglecting them. This has happened before, sadly. 😕
I would ring and make an appointment with the judge. I'm new to all this court malarkey but they may be able to do something for a short period and give your ex X amount of days to sort.
My son said he was scared of his dad. He said a few other things to the school that concerned me.
There was abuse to me also. I got a non mol with the children added on
However there are no contact arrangements in place.
I would seek legal advice.
Have the school reported anything to social services?
The court won't care about the pizza. They probably won't care about the beds. They're unlikely to care about them not having a bath if they're only with dad Fri-Sun. If the bruises were an accident, they're unlikely to be bothered about that either.
The things you've written are obviously upsetting and worrying but really don't sound like the sort of thing social services would get involved in and definitely don't sound like the sort of thing that would encourage the court to switch from unsupervised overnights to supervised contact away from his home.
If you want to apply to court you need to fill in a C100 form. You should be able to skip mediation on the grounds of the non-molestation order. It will cost £215 and the hearing would normally be in the next 6-8 weeks.
If your court is close you can pick up all the forms you need.
foursome the won't care about their bed? I find that hard to believe a 4year old in a cot and a 6 year old in a toddler bed that's not providing adequate furniture age approiate. Not washing is a form of neglect aswell.
I've never been called that before!
I wasn't saying it was right or that it isn't a concern, just that its probably not enough for the court to make significant changes to the current arrangements. At best he'll probably just be told to provide more suitable bedding. Fairly sure my DSS's (same ages) sleep on toddler beds at their mothers. One was in a cot with the side off until late last year.
Sorry it's my phone it's on predictive text.
He ordered bunk beds! Arriving next weekend. Cleaner place this time, report the girls. Still eating crap, but Mumma Bear can fix that ;) Thanks for your advice all. It helps so much and I have and will continue to stick to my guns.
Pleased to hear your update, OP :-) hope it continues to improve
I'm afraid the family courts really don't care very much about anything, apart from process and protocol. What you describe is clearly detrimental to a child yet there is nobody to actually deal with it. Womens Aid are running a campaign to ensue the family courts do take notice of children. Perhaps join their campaign?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.