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My daughter's dad has become very abusive,please,I really need your advice!

(23 Posts)
tetti Sun 17-Aug-08 11:19:15

Me and my 5 year old girl's dad separated last yeat after 12 years together(we never married)
It was a horrible relationship and he was very verbally abusive.
I moved to a house with my girl,work from home(so I can fit my work in around the schoolround,looking after her),and I am the sole provider now,her dad only pays £40 every other month or so.
We verbally agreed that he'd have her every other weekend.

He hasn't been the greatest dad,from when she was young,he never took much interest.
He even said(infront of her) that he wasn't sure if he loved her or not until this year(!)
She has also seen him screaming in my face a few times.

For a while things went better though,and he seemed to take an interest.He hasn't got his own home,just rents a room as he's deep in debt,so he takes her down to his parents when he has her.

Yesterday however,things turned very ugly.
He was supposed collect her at 12-12.30,he never turned up.
So I txt'ed and rang,no reply.Tried again,and he shouted-Shut up and let me f**ng leave,I'm on my way!

He turned up,and flipped that she had 2 bags(she always has a lil bag and a rucksack with her crayons).He proceeded to empty them on the floor outside,and I told him to stop it.He started shouting-If it goes tits up with my girlfriend it's your fault,cause she wonders why you called me this morning!
I told him he'd need to put his daughter first,but he tols me to stop being so f**ng selfish and not put MY boyfriend first!(for the record,he doesn' live here,my daughter completely adores him,and I'd NEVER put ANYONE before my child!).
He then threatened me,saying he'd take me to court and take her off me!
No grounds for that as I am the sole provider for her,I provide her with a home,food,clothes,and the love he doesn't give her,I don't go out drinking,unlike him,who sometimes cancels weekends as he wants to go surfing or go out getting drunk with his mates,he also puffs.
I told him to stop it,and my daughter started screaming-Leave my mummy alone,I don't want to see you no more!
He started shouting right in my face again(his face almost touching mine),and some decorators outside started picking up their phones,presumably thinking about whether to contact the police.
I told him I'd call the police on him if he didn't stop,and he went absolutely nuts,and started to walk off,saying he'd never see her again.
I ran after him,don't ask me why(maybe I just thought he shouldn't get out of his fatherly duties THAT easily).
My daughter kept screaming-Mummy,be careful!
I managed to talk him down a lil,and eventually they went to her grandparents.

In hindsight I shouldn't have let her go,but I just couldn't think straight.I went straight on the phone to his parents and told his mum what had happened.
She promised to talk to him,and make sure he brought out girl back.

He now insists that next time her has her,she'll have to stay where he lives,in a rented room in a house where EVERYONE smokes,she is asthmatic and I will not allow anyone smoking near her!
But,he says I've got no say in it,he can do what he likes when he has her!
He also says that from now,he will never come and collect her,I'll have to bring her to that house at 2pm every other sat.

I'm just sooo scared I dk what to do!
I really do not think it's in the best interest of my daughter to see her dad anymore.He frightens her(I know he'd never hurt her physically,but his outburst against me does terrify her)

I am petrified at what effect this may have on her short term,and long term,and I really don't think it's beneficial for her to be around him no more.
I always felt I had to do whatever I could to keep their relationship going,have never badmouthed him to her,have been flexible when he keeps cancelling his weekends with her and re-arranging the dates,even listened to him wallowing about getting his girlfriend back!(even though I felt like telling him I an't blooming interested in what goes on in his life)

But,what can I do now,can I stop her seeing him?She doesn't want to see him anymore,and she doesn't want to go and stay at his(the house where everyone smokes,plus,the characters living there aren't exactly those kind of people who you'd want a young child to be around)
Haven't I got any say in this?
I refuse to let her stay there,but I dk what steps he can take if I do?

I also am thinking about (finally) taking him to the CSA as he just don't provide for her,anything she's got,I've bought,her clothes,her toys,her bike,her shoes,he contributed nothing,only £120 over the past year!(and he does earn alot!He may be in debt ,but he goes out twice a week and spends about £100,spends money on weed,on cigarettes,on surfing trips!)

My head is just a muddle,I am petrified about seeing him today,my boyfriend is coming over to make sure that he doesn't hurt me,or upset my child any further.

Please,I need your advice,what can I do?????

AvenaLife Sun 17-Aug-08 11:31:17

By the sounds of things he's volitile so there's a risk that he could get nasty if you contact the CSA. If you can get away with not doing this until you get specialis advice then don't. It's not worth your safety.

It sounds like tou need professional advice about this. You should have a law centre that does work pro bono (for free) or find a solicitor that offers a free initial appointment.

In the mean time, don't let this man into your home. If you wish for him to continue seeing your child then try and find a contat centre near where you live and arrange for him to see her there. They will be supervised and any outbursts/failure to turn up will be recorded and you can use them if he tries to gain custody, which is very doubtful that he will,even if he tries. If his parents are supportive then you could arrange for her to go there instead. If you took her and collected her then you wouldn't have to see him, you could just hand her over to her grandparents. If you refuse to let her stay where he wants then he'll more than likely take her anyway.

beanieb Sun 17-Aug-08 11:33:46

Why is he unable to take her to his parents house? Cou you call them again and ask them to speak to him?

crunchynutter Sun 17-Aug-08 11:41:43

go to the police. Get full custody and restraining order. He sounds unstable and if he is scaring your daughter she is better off without him.

If you think this is a little extreme then you could legAlly arrange controlled visits ie in a neutral place always accompanied by somebody you trust and he will not be allowed to be alone with her. It really is your call. A friend of mine had a bad experience with her x. Even had his new gf attack her in front of children and her oldest came home one day having been at the hospital all day cos 'daddy had hit' new gf. *in from of the children* he now has no contact and the kids are much happier. They used to get quite distressed about visits but now seem to have erased him from their lives. They were young though. If you leave it too late you don't know what emotional damage he could cause to your daughter. Good luck xx

edam Sun 17-Aug-08 11:42:44

That must have been a horrifying experience for you and dd.

Agree with Avena - you need legal advice PDQ and definitely before the next contact visit. IF he can be bothered to see his dd a contact centre does sound like the way forward. But to be honest, I'd be inclined to refuse contact until he can show he is a responsible person capable of looking after dd like a grown up.

Freckle Sun 17-Aug-08 12:12:54

Does he have parental responsibility? If not, then you should just write a letter, setting out clearly and unemotionally all your reasons for stopping contact and asking him to suggest how he would like to handle contact in the future. Make it clear that you have no wish to stop contact, but that in future it must be conducted under controlled conditions, such as a contact centre, for the sake of your dd.

If he does not have PR, he will have to apply to the court to obtain it before he can do anything else. If he does have PR, then he can apply to the court for a specified contact order. I strongly suspect that he won't take that trouble.

neva Sun 17-Aug-08 20:54:28

Also try calling Rights of Women; difficult to get through but keep trying and you should received some helpful advice.

tetti Mon 18-Aug-08 08:18:22

Thank you so much for your advice,it really is greatly appreciated.
I'm feeling lamost physically sick with worry of what's gonna happen now,I hate this feeling,but I'm feeling scared of him again,and am afraid of what he might do(nothing physical,but there are plenty of other things he could do to make life very hard for my little girl and me)

He did bring her back yesterday,2 hrs late.
He saw my boyfriends car in the drive,so was hiding,just waiting to see that our daughter got in before he left.
Me and my bf took her for a meal and played with her,just to distract her a lil bit from what had happened,before having a talk(just me and her).
Now she is terrified that her dad will try and take her off me,he also told her she'll have to stay around his this weekend,but she's seen the place once,and she refuses.
She even went to take all the pics that she has of him to throw them in the bin!(saying-I'm sad that I don't have a good dad,I will never let daddy shout at you again,he hurts my feelings!)

He sent me a few txt's over the wkend(as I sent him one telling him this had to stop for the sake of our lil girl),the reply was-F off!
Then he sent another one-You have no say in what I do with her when she's with me,and where we are!
I replied saying that yes,I actually do have a say,I'm her mum,and I will not allow her to stay with him and be subjected to passive smoking,the reply?Leave me alone and never text and call me again!(Eh,ok,we actually have a child together!!!!!!)

I dk if Gingerbread perhaps would have any advice on where to turn for legal advice?
I really dk what to do.
I did send him an email last night,saying that our girl does not want to stay at his this wknd and that I will NOT force into doing something she doesn't want.
I said she could stay with me,or he can take her down to his parents,but she won't be staying at his(he''l prob go mad when he sees this!)

Hir mum rang me yesterday,the kindest thing she had to say about her son,was that he needs shooting(!),she is absolutely disgusted at his appaling behaviour.
She tried to get through to him,but then he threatened to take our child and go back to London(surprise!)
His mum has said though,that no matter what,they want to keep contact with my daughter,so,if her dad should just disappear(he has said that in a years time,he'll move abroad to ,ahem,surf,and then he will not be in our daughters life anymore,yup,this is the man who threatened to take her off me!),then they still would be more than happy to have her 1-2 wknds a month.
I think that would be fantastic as I was close to my won grandparents,and think that my daughter would really benefit from having that regular contact with them(don't think they should have to suffer because of their son's actions)

Just can't believe what a mess it is,I have never done anything to rock the boat,have always tried to keep things nice and sweet,just for the sake of my daughter's welfare.But now I just feel such panic inside,just want things to be ok...

Jackstini Mon 18-Aug-08 08:38:35

What a nightmare Tetti.
Think you should get some legal advice asap. Most solicitors will give you the first half hour free and help you see what options you have. I would not want my ds anywhere near this man. Keep all the texts and emails too for evidence. Once you know where you stand, and preferably have a restraining order, report him to the CSA - your dd deserves financial support - goodness knows she is getting sweet fa else out of her father.
Great that you are in touch with his parents and they will still have a relationship with their gd. Good luck.

Traineetoddlertrainer Mon 18-Aug-08 09:17:38

Tetti - this sounds like a complete nightmare. You sound very scared. Firstly, try not to panic. You have a LOT of rights in this and, hard as it may sound, don't let him get to you.

I'm going through something similar myself, so hopefully I can be of a little help. Firstly, keep a log (and supporting info: eMails/texts) of all contact. Also log when he is late with returns. Secondly - see a solicitor asap - as said above, many of them do a free 1/2 hour. Just find a local one in the Yellow Pages, ring and ask - they are used to people requesting a free half hour - don't worry.

And please, please also talk to the police. They are also great and are very happy to help.

With regard to your Xp's flat, I can't really comment for all cases, but in my case I am refusing overnights until an independent check (independent Helath Visitors can do this/as well as a Cafcass report if it ever goes to court) is made of my XP's flatmates/living conditions. My XP isn't happy, but that's not my problem..the wellbeing of my DS is more inmportant.

Good luck

tetti Mon 18-Aug-08 15:10:37

I have saved all the txt he sent me,including one hwre he talks about him smoking weed(which would hardly work in his favour)
He hasn't replied to the email I sent yesterday,so I def think he is up to something,and I dk what!
I also will have to get the locks changed as he has a spare key(he looked after our house when I took our daughter on holiday last year).As I'm renting that'll be a pain,but I'm scared of him using it,either when we're in,or when we're out(and then I'm pretty sure he'd smash the place up)

I def have to seek legal advice,about his visitation rights,and also think about maintenance eventually.

I'm just feeling really scared at the mo,am really worried what he'll try to do,he'll prob try and come up with lies about me being an unfit mother(which anyone could testify to that I am certainly not!)
I am pretty sure he'll try and take me to court for custody,but,he shouldn't have a leg to stand on as there are no grounds whatsoever for them granting him that.
I dk,but I know he can be very nasty,and I'm just praying that this mess will be sorted soon!

bluebell1 Mon 18-Aug-08 18:56:17

Oh Tetti you poor thing.He sounds very similar to my ex.First thing i would do is change the locks.Do this before anything else.Then i have to say i agree with crunchynutter get legal advice and try to get a restraining order.If you still want him to see your daughter then i would try to arrange contact through the courts.No way would he get custody.Once you have sorted the legal advice contact csa because if he cant look after his daughter in other ways like a responsible adult the least he can do is provide financially.I hope things get better for you and your daughter

tetti Mon 18-Aug-08 19:27:59

Thank you for your very kind words:-),I just feel like I've got the biggest knot in my stomach,just worrying myself sick.
My daughter said today-I have crossed daddy out of my heart,he's not in there anymore,I felt so sad at hearing her say that.
Sad that she's had to see all this,and that she hasn't got the father that she deserves.
What gets me is WHY???Why on earth does he behave in this way?It's like he has got no control over himself whatsoever.
He did attend anger management last years,and went for counselling,but that has clearly not achieved anything.

I am def calling a solicitor tomorrow to get some advice.I just cannot approach him personally anymore,you just cannot reason with him at all,he just loses it and refuses to listen.
I just hate being scared of him adn feeling like this,and today my daughter told me that she was scared of him too(I have still not badmouthed him to her,regardless of the contempt that I feel for him,he's still her dad),but,she's made up her own mind..
I aasked her why she is scared,and she said it was because of the way he shouted at me the other day.
Last night she was crying in her sleep,and it just broke my heart,I can't let him upset her anymore,her happiness comes before everything else.

Am a lil bit scared of approaching the csa,but I know it's something I will have to do.He did say in the past though that if I ever did that,then he'd resign from his job and go on the dole!
Just wish we could move away,somewhere he couldn't find us,but we have our life here,my daughter is settled at her school,we have a lovely home,our life is here,so I'm not going to run away.
I just have to try and sort this mess out the best I can,and hope that he'll stay away.

bluebell1 Mon 18-Aug-08 19:52:03

Its hard taking the first step to changing things but you cant leave things as they are.I took ages to get where i am now and im still not completely free of my ex.I kept giving him chances thinking he would change because i felt that i owed it to my two ds to make sure they had a good relationship with their father.The thing is my ex will never change and i fear yours wont either.You have tried to be reasonable but now i think you need to take the next step and get help with the situation as you and your daughter are clearly unhappy.Let him go on the dole if thats what he would rather do than support his own child it will just prove to you even further that you did the right

tetti Mon 18-Aug-08 20:35:38

You are very right.I am very fortunate that I earn enough to support my daughter myself without his help,so she won't go without,even without his help.
What you said about"he'll never change" is very true also,he hasn't so far.
And I would find it a little bit ironic if he now suddenly would take a great interest in our child,as I have had great discussions(or shall we say arguments) about him saying that he intends to move abroad in a year or so.I aksed him if he had considered the effect it would have on our daughter(as she's used to seeing him every weekend),-Nah,she'll get used to it,I'd end up hating her if I had to stay in the country just because of her!
When we split,he told me to take our girl and move back to my native country,as I'd be irresponsible bringing her up in the UK(!).
Basically,he just wanted no parental responsibilities,so I think that if he does try to seek custody(which as I said,he could never be granted,no way),then it would only be to spite me,not because he loves his child.Don't ask me why he's got all this hatred towards me,I never cheated or treated him bad,I was just his doormat who put up with his bullying for years...I'm not gonna be bullied anymore,he's not gonna have any hold over me..

I just really hope that my daughter can maintain the relationship she has with her grandparents when it all kicks off(which it will once I get legal advice and get everything moving)
His mother has told me that I have her support,and that he'll deserve what's coming to him.

Please keep your fingers crossed that in the end,all goes well,just want my lil girl to feel safe and happy.

LittleBella Mon 18-Aug-08 20:54:18

If the courts knew that your XP's house was full of drugs, they wouldn't force you to send your DD there. But the police would only raid it and therefore provide a record that it is an unsuitable place for a child, if they thought a dealer lived there and was dealing Class A drugs. Some police forces have special phone in lines for people to tip off the police anonymously. You can find the numbers on google.

I merely mention that FYI. grin

tetti Mon 18-Aug-08 22:05:12

Thank's.However,I think he could probably prove that it's for his personal use only.
On the outside he's a very respectable person,manages a very large office,a very friendly persona to those who doesn't know him,they all think he's a good guy.
But,those who really know him knows what he's really like(he's brother's exactly the same,even though,looking at their parents,they have no reason to be that way)

He stays with a family,the couple longtime friends of his.They both chain smoke,their teenage sons all smoke(not strange as their parents has always smoked infront of them) and do gear in the house,the house is,and I know that for a fact,infested with fleas(as they don't treat their 8 cats),and it is a tip,I have never seen anything like it!
I had to go round there some months ago as my daughter locked us out(she shut the frontdoor before I'd got the keys,uh oh!),and as I knew he had a spare key we went round there.
The state of the place was appalling,and his room,well,he sleeps on a mattress,and there's where he'd expect our daughter to sleep(!).
He also once mentioned to me,and get this,that he'd NEVER consider taking our daughter around there as the couple's youngest son has got a mental disability,he's basically a teenager,but with the mind of a 5 year old!he said that that boy could never be trusted around our girl,as he shows an unhealty interest in younger girls.
Apparently,he has now forgotten all about that,and is more than happy to let her stay there.

My daughter begged me yesterday to tell him not to take her there(he told her that she'd be staying there next weekend),and as I mentioned earlier,I told him this in an email(that he of course has not responded to)
But he could not actually force her to go against her will,could he?
I'm sorry if I sound a bit clueless here,but I am totally new to all this,I never thought things would go this far...
I certainly will call a solicitor first thing tomorrow to see where I can go from here.
Just afraid that he'll turn up sat,and just take her!

possiblymaybe Tue 19-Aug-08 00:35:17

He can't just take (he cannot even enter your property without your permission) he will have to go to court to do it.

As his place sounds completly unsuitable for a small child staying over I doubt if any court would grant him weekend visits without him getting his own place first.. But I've not personal experience of it

Best thing to do is to get some legal advice asap

AS his change of behaviour is so sudden, do you think that maybe someone gave him a 'friendly' advice that his maintenance will be lower if he'd had your dd regularly stay at 'his' place?

possiblymaybe Tue 19-Aug-08 00:37:50

take your dd

tetti Tue 19-Aug-08 10:52:46

I think the sudden change in his behaviour was down to his girlfriend(!)
They had been separated for 5 months,and just got back together.
Apparently she was with him on Sat morning,and I just think he didn't like the fact that he had to interupt whatever he was doing,to come and get his daughter!
He did say that if everything went tite up with his gf,it'd be my fault as she wondered why I called him(que?We do have a child together that he was supposed to collect at the agreed time!)

Have looked into legal advice,but can't get to see the solicitor until next weds.
I'm not entiteld to any legal advice,and am really worried about how much it all will cost,it's all turning into a complete nightmare(!)
I also have to get the locks changed,but I can't afford a locksmith,so I just have to do it myself.
Spoke to his mum today,and even she told me to change the locks,and seek legal advice asap,at least I have got her support which means a great deal to me.

For those of you who's been in the same boat,what happened after you sought legal advice,did it go to court,and how long did it all take,and how much did you end up paying in the end?

SilverSparkle Tue 19-Aug-08 11:41:41

Hi Tetti, just read your posts and i have to say it sounds as if your ex is unstable and volatile.

Is there a neighbour or family memeber who could help you change the locks?

Also, i would not let him take your daughter on his own. Your daughter doesn't want to go so please don't make her go. Try and get supervised visits if possible, but if not, then let him take legal action if he can be bothered but i wouldn't put my daughter through that. If you feel threatened and frightened by him imagine how your little girl must be feeling.

Reassure her that you'll keep her safe with you.

Best of luck.

Traineetoddlertrainer Tue 19-Aug-08 11:46:09

Tetti - please please don't let this man get to you. He is a bully, pure and simple. It sounds like you have the upper hand in all this - you are a good mum, you are the sole providor and you give her a good home. What happens to him is NOT your fault - I know it is difficult, but he is a complete a**e who is just trying to bully you as long as he can get away with it. At least his mum is on your side - that's great & really good for your DD.

You may not be entitled to legal aid, but you can get your free 1/2 hour. It is pretty likely that will be all you need at this moment. In my case, my solicitor has been great and not charged me at all yet, for about 1 1/2 hours of advice (I think I have a good one though!). But you will probably find that when he realises he can't verbally bully you anymore then he'll back down. What else can he do? He'd have to pay to take you to court (and if he gets legal aid, he'd have to go to mediation before that..) and to what end? You have been really reasonable/allowed access/provide a good home. He lives in a shared home/has been verbally abusive and your daughter doesn't want to see him. He won't have a hope in hell of "taking her off you". I do so sympathise - my XP is exactly the same as yours (apart from he can't even hold down a job!).

possiblymaybe Tue 19-Aug-08 20:50:24

Hope you and your dd are feeling a little better tetti..
Did you manage to see a solicitor?

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