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Ex taking me to court for child arrangements order. Advice needed(19 Posts)
Having some issues with my ex and wanted people's advice/opinions. I'll give the back story, so it's easier to understand my situation.
I split with my ex over 6 years ago, due to his bullying behaviour and the fact that he was having an affair.
We have 2 children together.
Over the years he's seen them on average 4 or 5 times a year, on his terms. There has been some emotional abuse of the children and a few episodes of physical abuse of my son, whilst in his care.
He refuses to speak to me, so communication is via text.
After not seeing them for 9 months, I get a text from him (end of April), asking to have them on a specific date in August. I told him we'd be on holiday on that date (this is true), so he sent me an abusive text saying he was going to "put his foot down".
A few weeks ago he invited the children out for lunch. My daughter (9) refused to go as she is frightened of him. My son (11 with SEN) went out for a few hours with him.
My son comes home announcing his Dad is getting married and he is going to be best man! The date is when we're on holiday (the date he'd asked to have them in August)
Obviously I'm pretty annoyed that he'd invited my son, knowing we'd be away. Also my son does not have the emotional maturity to understand what being best man entails. His dad has buttered him up saying he'll buy him a suit and that Best Man is an important job. I'm also pretty peeved that my ex hasn't even discussed it with me. I also find it odd that my kids have never even met his fiance, so would be meeting her at the wedding!
I have explained again to my ex that we will be on holiday, so they can't come. He ignored my text and called my son saying he'd pick him up from our holiday the day before the wedding (It's a 6 hour drive). Again no discussion with me about this. This would mean my ex would have to care for my son (who has ADHD and autism) for 3 nights until I get back from my holiday. He has only ever stayed with him for 4 seperate nights in his whole life. My ex's response to my son having a meltdown is to shout at him and hit him. Obviously I would not be happy allowing my son to stay there, so I texted him again, saying my son will not be going to the wedding and explaining why.
My ex completely ignored my message and called my son saying he is taking him to buy a suit. I have told my son he can't go to the wedding and this is obviously confusing him.
I have messaged my ex asking him to communicate via me, not my son, as it's upsetting him.
So last week I received court papers through the door. He is taking me to court to try to get the judge to allow the kids at his wedding. He's also saying that I refuse to let him see the kids (which is not true).
I can't see that a judge will force me to cut my son's holiday short and make him stay somewhere where he's not safe? There is no way my daughter will go, she is petrified of him.
I'm really worryied,as he is very manipulative and I'm concerned he'll make out it's all me.
I'm waiting for CAFCASS to call me, so I'm hoping I can get my views across and they'll believe me.
No advice but just wanted to offer you
Do you have documentation to prove physical and emotional abuse .
Carcass like facts . I would also block his dad’s number on his phone
Did you call the police when he hit your son?
If you don’t have any evidence then I’m afraid it is highly likely your ex will get access.
Even initially it may be supervised but still......
I dont have any experience of court but wont it take longer for this to get to court? By that i mean will the wedding date have passed before it gets to court.
He does not sound like he has the childrens best interests in mind. It sounds all about what he wants.
I don't have any evidence (only what my son and daughter told me). I definitely believe them. I have spoken to the police about his behaviour towards me and the children (and have a crime ref number), however I didn't want to make a statement due to the nature of his job. I am very frightened of him, which makes it difficult for me.
I would be ok with supervised access. I just don't want my children physically or emotionally abused any more.
Also, if your ex is getting married, I assume he will spend his wedding night with his new wife. So where will your ds be? Or is your ex expecting you to collect your ds after the ceremony?
I would collect together all the paperwork to show how long the holiday has been booked. Keep all the texts, showing that his original request was after the holiday was booked. Also showing his abusive response. And your repeated requests to communicate with you, which he has ignored.
Cafcass aren’t daft. He could have consulted you on holidays before he booked the date but he didn’t.
I think you’ll be fine.
I would get back in touch with him - and in writing - ask a number of questions over how it would work.
Propose plans for at least 2-3 meetings for DS with his wife-to-be ahead of the wedding.
Ask what the plans are for DS care during the wedding ceremony itself, and the wedding night itself. Suggest a practise overnight with the person who would be looking after DS on the wedding night, and subsequent nights.
Ask for clarification re your DD. Is he also keen for her to attend the wedding? Again, propose plans to introduce her to new wife.
I think if it is his wedding (and it is going to Court) you need to appear keen to support attendance, but it needs to be done in a way that is child appropriate. You could point out your disappointment that he only a few weeks ago let you know it was actually his wedding, not just a specific date for another reason.
Ideally you would have a loyal friend back home who would be prepared to facilitate (eg have DS to stay, and be there as standby on the day itself).
Ideally it would be someone he really didn't like getting involved.
RebootYourEngine, thank you. That's exactly how I feel. He just wants them at his wedding to make it look good, he's not thinking about what's best for them at all.
Thanks for your replies, they have been helpful. Sorry, but I can't work out how to tag someone in a reply!
Seniorshoolmum and anappleadaykeeps, I have messaged him asking how he proposes to look after my DS etc, but he just ignored me (this is usual behaviour from him). To be honest I would not be happy for my son to stay with anyone he doesn't know well. He is highly anxious and if he kicks off, I dread to think what would happen. I'd be a 6 hour drive away and I don't have anyone back home that could be on stand by.
I have kept all of the texts between him and myself and have my holiday booking info. Just waiting for CAFCASS to call me now.....
I think if you don't follow through by making a statement about physical abuse of your child it's unlikely it will be believed or taken seriously by a court. I do so understand being frightened but why is your ex's job such a concern that it prevents you getting abuse properly documented and therefore keeping your children safer in the future?
Good luck, I'm sure from what you've said it will be positive for you
If your ex is so keen maybe he can reimburse you the costs of the holiday.
Likely gonna do that??!!
Write down a timeline of when ex has seen dc /let them down etc.
Does he fully understand the needs of your dc? Especially ds.
That's good you have a solicitor. Cafcass in my experience, ask questions so you don't lead the dialogue but they have been very good and fair (though I know it's the luck of the drawer).
Write down bullet points. Focus on your child and his needs, rather than just ex and his behaviour.
Also write a timeline. Solicitor will probably ask for this anyway but again be factual. Split up x date, divorced x date, ex saw kids x date, booked your holiday x date, ex's emails etc.
How did you get on OP hope all went well
Today went well, thank you.
The Solicitor was brilliant and I feel much less worried now
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