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Paternity leave dispute(11 Posts)
Hi, new to this but needed some advice. Bit of background.. me and my ex split when I was around 6 weeks pregnant as he told me to consider 'getting rid' of the baby. This wasn't what I wanted and we split up, a few weeks later he wanted to come back but due to a number of reasons (related to the how relationship was) I have said i dont want to take him back, initially he said he would do anything to get me back and prove he wanted to be there for his child.. this didnt last long and quickly went sour as he wanted things his way and I said no I didn't want to be in a relationship with him but I would never stop him being a father.. fast forward to being 34 weeks pregnant and we have barely any contact. I have been in and out of hospitals with complications but he hasnt been around, he's been to the scans (12wk, 20wk, 34wk) but nothing more. We generally don't speak unless its solely about the baby which isn't very often.
So this is where I need advice..
Hes messaged me about his Pat leave wanting to stay over at my house for the 2 weeks he is off as his mum lives an hours drive away and around 2 hours on public transport.. I have said no there's no reason for him to stay overnight but he can come as early and stay as late as public transport allows him to (he said he was learning to drive for babys arrival but never did) he thinks this is unreasonable and has resorted to calling me vile names most of the day because I've moved to a 'rubbish place' and transport would mean he wouldn't get a lot of time (which isnt the case, it would take him 2 hours to get here and then 2 back.. which would have been the same if i stayed where we both lived together or he can have a lift from his parents or i suggested a nearby hotel). He has been telling me that he should be there the whole time for his pat leave including overnight and he will be getting legal advice. My question is.. am I being unreasonable by saying that i dont want him to stay overnight and can i legally say this? I don't feel comfortable having him around through the night and dont feel that its necessary hes there overnight when I have said he can come all day and night if he wishes I just don't want him to stay over as he's emotionally abusive towards me trying to manipulate me. He has never lived in this house and it's not normal for me to have him around, after everything that he's put me through I would prefer for him to have as little time as possible but I am fully aware he is her father and he has every right to be a part of her life. He hasnt been involved since he left at 6 weeks except from coming to the scan appointments, I believe I have been more than reasonable by saying he's welcome to come as much as he likes on his pat leave but I don't want him to stay overnight. I just want to know if legally I have to allow him to stay for his pat leave and if he was to take me to court I would look like I was being unreasonable?
No court in the land would say he has a right to stay in your home. You sound like you've been reasonable enough with acknowledging he will want to visit. Keep repeating what is acceptable to you, and stay calm. Hopefully he will resolve it.
Further down the line he may get a court order to cement access so be prepared that he is likely to be granted that and that he will be able to take your child eow at some point, and perhaps during the week.
I am happy for him to have access to her and have never stated otherwise, I do have concerns about his level of care for her (from seeing how he was with his other child when he was young) but I am giving him the chance to prove that he is capable of looking after her properly by having him come to my house at first and then build it up to taking her out for a while then having set days for her to go to his once we both feel comfortable with it and by all means he can have the access as he wishes once thats been proven. Its just all his way or no way and if I give valid reasons to why i don't want something to happen he turns nasty towards me. I was unsure of whether I was being unreasonable by saying I don't want him to stay over at my house. Thanks for your reply
He has no "right" to visit at all and you might not want him there all day, never mind all night.
I would prefer for him to have less time during them 2 weeks so that I can also establish a routine and bond with my daughter too. But he doesn't see that from my point of view, whenever I say something he disagrees with I just get abuse from him and end the conversation, I'm at a loose end as to where I go and where I stand. I have left the choice up to him and stated he is welcome the to come as he wants to but also mentioned that I need my own space and I will also have appointments to attend and family who will want to visit so it won't solely just be me and him. He's very controlling and doesn't deal well with things that don't totally go his way. I am going to be reasonable as much as I can be but there's also only so much abuse I can take before enough is enough
If he starts harping on about legal rights, don't worry. You've been more than reasonable allowing him into your home for so many hours.
You are being reasonable so don't doubt yourself, as he will keep pushing you to cave to all of his demands. Perhaps set out a few dates and times that are acceptable to you and have someone come over to be with you and make sure he leaves when the agreed time is up.
He has to understand you have the right to bond with your child too in those first few weeks and it's your home, he has no more power or rights than I would to be there, just because you share a child.
He sounds like the kind of man that kicks up a fuss when he feels his 'rights' are getting hypothetically trampled on, but doesn't do very much when it actually comes down to showing up or putting your money where your mouth is.
I wouldn't be surprised if you got quite a lot of that 2 week period to yourself, which from what you've said sounds like a bonus!
Congratulations on your impending little baby
It's not his rights that are important, its your baby's rights and what your baby needs is a calm and contented mother, especially in this initial stage.
He sounds abusive to me, but maybe that is a lot to say from just the few lines you have written. But personally I would not put him on the birth certificate until he proved himself to be more trustworthy and considerate.
My dd's father isn't on her birth certificate, but I never barred him from seeing and having a relationship with her, I just was able to know that if he turned out to be toxic and damaging to her, I could have the final say.
He doesn't have any 'right' at all to be in your home whilst on paternity leave. You will be in a fragile and vulnerable state having just given birth and may want some time alone to bond or possibly establish breastfeeding, if that's your plan. Paternity leave is optional. I would speak to your midwife about the pressure and emotional abuse as she will be able to offer you advice and stop him from attending the birth or harassing you afterwards. I would tell him that once you are home and settled you'll be in touch to let him know you are ready for a visit and then allow him to come every couple of days, only if you feel comfortable and only when other people are present or can pop around at the end of the day when it's time for him to leave, you can just have a few hours at first and build it up gradually. Newborns sleep, a lot, and you may want to sleep when baby does so it really won't be appropriate for him to be there all day. This could form a natural break for him to go. You'll have health visitor and various other appointments which are important to have alone or with a supportive family member present so you can discuss worries or concerns openly. Legally there is nothing any judge would ever do to force a woman to have an abusive ex in her home, or allow a newborn to be taken away from its mum, so let him rant about 'court' all he wants! Once baby is older if he went to court he would be given access but it will be outside of your home and appropriate for the age of the child. Usual practice for babies is building up contact gradually for short periods over many months, so an hour a few times a week ect. Please don't allow him to threaten you in to having him around, it's your decision. He won't even have PR until you register the baby which you can wait up to 6 weeks to do.
I agree talk to your midwife . I also would not debate overnights . When he threatens legal advice let him . He has no legal rights of entry into your home whether his baby is there or not . Also tell him your home is where dc where the baby needs to feel settled and if he cannot behave reasonably at your house he will be asked to leave . I would also give an earliest time he can visit and put your phone on silent at night.
Do not have him as a birth partner as you need someone there for you and ensure you give baby your surname
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