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Daughter does not want to see Dad, many issues. Now he's taking me to court. Please advise!!!

(53 Posts)
SarahMac30 Tue 17-Feb-09 20:51:18

Such a long story. Some of the background is here on this thread please read it.
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/lone_parents/642398-5-yr-old-Daughter-won-39-t-see-or-speak

I don't know what to do now. Since I last posted she has become more afraid of seeing him and has decided that she does not want to see him under any circumstances. The last straw was him gouging her ears with cotton buds and hurting her. She had only gone there for tea so there was no reason for him to do this. Before then I had done my best to persuade her to see him as I thought it may all blow over and that he would see that he needed to address these issues. But now I have finally taken heed of what my dd says and have told her if she does not want to see him then she doesn't have to. Overnight she has returned to being a carefree and worry free child.
Today I got a court order from him. He is taking me to court to get access even though he has refused to address any of my concerns and my dd's issues. I offered mediation yet he refused.
I am baffled that he had gone so long refusing a defined order yet now he has applied for one himself just when she has decided she does not want to see him.
I am shattered by this. What do I do? What happens if the court is deceived by his charms and decides she must see him. Do I make her go kicking and screaming and not trusting him not to either hurt her or worse not to bring her back (as he has threatened in the past). Will the court listen to her? She is nearly 6, I really don't want her to be put through courts.
Sorry for such a ramble but I am at a loss as to how a man can be so cruel to a child and then try to be a hard done to father. I am so afraid that this will further disrupt her and he just does not care as long as he is the one in control. It's a big game to him with winners and losers and not at all about his child.
Please help if you can.

Janos Tue 17-Feb-09 21:00:19

I really feel for your SarahMac30 and remember your other thread. IMO there's a speciasl place in hell for people for treat their children like this angry

Anyhow, what you need is evidence of his behaviour. Has anyone else witnessed his cruelty, for example?

Also, are you keeping a record of his unreasonable behaviour.

Janos Tue 17-Feb-09 21:01:22

Aaargh, bad typing as usual. I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying!

Littlefish Tue 17-Feb-09 21:05:56

Link to thread

edam Tue 17-Feb-09 21:13:32

Keep notes. Write down every problem you can remember - what happened, what you saw, what your dd told you. What you've done to encourage dd to see him, what you've done to try to address her concerns with him, when you suggested mediation, how he reacted, detail his refusal of a defined order. Then get yourself to a good solicitor (CAB might be a starting point if you don't have one already, or try Gingerbread the single parents charity). And get yourself a good solicitor.

mamas12 Tue 17-Feb-09 21:15:18

So sorry for you and your dd, what a terrible situation. Now as I understand it you are to make your daughter available for visitation rights is that right? So would the following sceniario be of any use/help?
When he calls for her open the door and invite him in then sit at the table. He is then to be responsible for encouraging or inviting her out of the house, even if he outside in the car beeping do not go outside, the open door is making her available, if she runs away, do not go after her and force her, be passive/aggresive if you like. Do not help her out of the house at all, if she sits on your lap, let her, calmly without frightneing her or holding onto her, just try to be 'normal'. This will be soooo hard but in this situation you are making her 'available'and not helping him, but to your dd you are not forcing her to go with him.
Do you think he would actually drag her out of the house kicking and screaming? Can you have an independant witness to this to actually stop the distress to your dd. To even tell him that this is not the way and to go to a contact centre.
I don't know what else to suggest apart from filming it. But that doesn't stop it happening to her though does it.
Sorry.

Janos Tue 17-Feb-09 21:30:43

Excellent suggestions from edam.

Write down EVERYTHING.

Oh, and I second (third) the advice about getting a good solicitor!

SarahMac30 Tue 17-Feb-09 23:03:00

Thank you all for such sound advice. I do have a solicitor who I will go and see.
I have been really stupid though as I called him this evening to see if I could actually get through to him to see it from her side. All he managed to muster is that I am mentally abusing her not him and that it is I who has somehow planted these feelings in her and that is mental abuse. I am now more wound up than before. Just how could he reach that conclusion when I am the one feeling guilty that I have made her go there and see him only to be subjected to his bullying. How on earth do I even start to get this through to the courts. I am guessing that they will want to speak to her. Will she have to face him in court or will they talk to her on her own. I want them to perhaps do this without me present too to prove it is NOT me making her say things. Can I ask for her school teacher to be there as her support.
I should ask the solicitor all this, but if anyone has had a similar experience I would appreciate some advice.
I feel like just moving away with her but that would be so unfair to her to leave her school and friends and family and where would we go?
I will compile all the emails and notes I have made and take them to the solicitors. They also have a note of the time he threatened to take her away so I guess that would help.
Does anyone know if I am able to apply for an injunction against him at the same time as him applying for this order???
Thank you all and again sorry for the ramblings. I am so angry and in complete dispair of the situation. It is all about him and not about what DD needs at all.

Janos Wed 18-Feb-09 07:38:12

No wonder you are upset but please don't contact him to discuss things hoping he will be reasonable cos he just won't.

He will really enjoy the fact he has got to you, just don't give him the satisfaction.

I know it is hard because you want to do it for your DD and nothing is more important.

It sound like her school teacher is supportive, could you apprise her of the situation and ask to her to make a note if DD says anything at school etc.

I'm in Scotland and not sure where you are - law will likely be different if you are in England/Wales/Ireland. I really would advise getting a solicitor asap. Depending on your income you might be entitled tolegal aid.

HTH.

SarahMac30 Wed 18-Feb-09 20:20:46

Hi Janos. Well, I am feeling much calmer and more positive this evening. I will be seeing the solicitor next week as well. I am unlikely to get legal aid as I work full time despite the fact most of it goes on the debts my ex husband ran up on my credit cards then walked away from. Her school teacher is incredible and is very supportive so that helps. I will keep you posted.

solidgoldbullet4myvalentine Wed 18-Feb-09 20:27:48

Yes keep records of everything - if you have nasty letters from him keep those, if you have friends/family who have seen him bullying her or taking stupid risks with her ask them if they would be prepared to make statements etc. Bear in mind that bullies like him frequently claim that the law is on their side when actually it isn't.
Good luck. He may back down when stood up to.

Leslaki Wed 18-Feb-09 22:50:33

Oh My god sarah - you are describing a situation like mine. It is ahellish nightmre i can't get out of. my kids are so screwed up by him, whenever they come off the phone to their dad (they have to phone him) they are upset. My x os now threatening a court order against me re the kids cos I won't sell the house,pay off HIS debts, and make his kids hoemless!! he refuses supported contact through a contact centre yet is 'wonder dad' i his letters. he threatened me again today and I' going to see my solicitor agian tomorrow - any advice i can pass on to you I will. You take care. L xx

cestlavielife Thu 19-Feb-09 12:33:41

let him take you to court - get a good solicitor, keep records and offer supervised contact at a contact centre because of your concerns.

they seem to put an age of eight or nine for the child actually going to court - so she would not have to attend the hearing herself. but would have to be interviewed by cafacass but this i asusme can be done at home or at court family room.

the court will likely want cafcass to write a report with recommendations.

my oldest is concerned about seeing her dad my ex p (mental illness, violence, anger etc) but has accepted idea of a contact centre with another adult present. if you state you have concerns - but would accept supervised contact sessions so that professionals can view the situation then you are showing willingness.

however, in my case ex is refusing the contact centre offered (he is willing to do "anything" to see the chidlren -except cash in his £5000 premium bonds to put up the 700 for teh contact sessions --there are cafcass centres which are free of charge btw if ordered by the court....) and so they are not having contact at present.

still now sure how this will pan out with cafcass report. we have review hearing date end april.

first court hearing the (male) judge was very sympathetic to my views; second hearing famale judge was ready to discount my views! does depend on judge but if you have good solicitor they can make sure judge sees things... i certainly know what you mean by putting on the charm...

SarahMac30 Sat 21-Mar-09 19:00:34

Thanks everyone for your advice.

So....we went to court and the outcome is that Cafcass have ordered a report as his behavior is concerning to them. I welcome them to come and talk to my DD on her own as he is trying to say that I have put everything in his head...although he did admit to Cafcass that he HAD used his mobile while driving with my DD in the back, something he had denied and said she was making up...in front of her as well. So basically he insisted she was a liar which as so upsetting for her. I actually think he has now lost his license in any case.
He tried so many games in there but I did find a brilliant solicitor who really knows what she's doing. She could also see right through him as well...and I think Cafcass could too as they made the order for a report to be done. In the meantime he is only permitted indirect contact with DD. He can send her a postcard every 2 weeks and is not allowed to put anything like 'Daddy misses you lots and lots' and it has to be sent in a sealed envelope so I can vet them first. He is also not allowed to contact me by phone, email or text nor is he allowed to show up at my home. Such a huge relief as I have now been able to inform school of the order (they have never met him and she has been there for 2 years) He had prevously threatened to take her from school whenever he wanted to!
We will have a review after the Cafcass report at the end of July so I feel the pressure is off until then. My DD is relieved and back to being a carefree and happy little girl.
Cest La Vie...please let me know how you get on in April. Best of luck to you.
xxx

mamas12 Sat 21-Mar-09 22:32:44

I am so pleased to hear that you and your dd are happier, now you can relax a bit . Well done

SarahMac30 Sun 22-Mar-09 10:52:02

Thank you Mamas12. I am worried it will become more complicated as we go on though. I have just read a thread where Cafcass have done a bum job. We'll see what happens. I'll keep you posted.

Janos Sun 22-Mar-09 18:08:49

That sounds like a good result for you SarahMac. It's so stressful going through all those court proceedings but think of the benfits in the long run...less stress for you and your DD.

Sounds like the folk who matter have the measure of him, that can only be good. And excellent that you have a solicitor who is on your side and gets where you are coming from.

cestlavielife Mon 23-Mar-09 16:59:05

good news sarahmac, pleased for you.

we now have a CAFCASS officer appointed i will see her next week.

when i spke she ahd just spokent o him onphone she said - oh your version is very different from his...but by p.m. she has spoken to my social worker and i think was then more clued up.

SarahMac30 Sat 28-Mar-09 20:18:44

Ahhh thanks all! The order was for indirect contact so he could send a card or something every fortnight. He knew this when he left court well over a week ago (12 days now) and he hasn't sent anything yet. If he was all that bothered surely he would have made the effort to send her a postcard....or I am now being pedantic. I'm not sure how she would react to him sending something anyway.

piratebunnywunny Sat 28-Mar-09 22:04:33

hi sarah, just wanted to offer my supprt and say welldone at the court outcome.

I have been going thru similar the past 2 yrs, with dd not wanting to see him.

i eventually stopped forcing her.

N1 Sun 29-Mar-09 15:31:11

The ex can send a post card every 2 weeks, is there any expectation for the child to reply back?

SarahMac30 Sun 29-Mar-09 21:11:30

Thanks piratebunnywunny (great name btw). You do get to the stage where you know that by forcing them or coaxing them to go that it will do more harm than good. My dd told my Mother that she was seeing Daddy because it made Mummy happy but that she really didn't want to go! I feel so guilty that I put her in that situation and pushed her into going to see him. I hope it all settles down for you.
No....not expected to send messages back unless she wants to. Still not had anything in the post. I would have thought he would have written her a post card or something straight away if he really wanted to maintain contact but of course it is all about control to him and not about his daughter.

N1 Sun 29-Mar-09 23:16:44

Thanks for the reply. I thought it might be a case of there being no expectation for a reply - which is almost a "set up to fail". The child having the option is (in my mind) a bit of a wild card.

If the Dad sends nothing, the situation is fairly obvious. It's easier for the child to consider responding than for the child to initiate communication. Keeping in mind that the child is just 6.

If the child chooses to send nothing and after 6 months, is still choosing to send no response, and the dad is sending the post cards, then questions are raised about how much encouragement the child is getting. If any encouragement is given, keep a detailed record. Also keep records of what the child's reaction to getting cards is.

After 6 months, CAFCASS may want progress. If there is little response from the child, CAFCASS may expect you to push for a response.

If that fails, I would expect CAFCASS to ask for a psychological make up of the family and the profiles of parents and child. Make sure that you are very involved with the questions going into the letter of instruction because the Judge will be expected to move towards making an order. The Judge will need advice from a medical expert about what order to make.

There is an option of a guardain appointment. Presumably not a worry at the moment.

piratecat Mon 30-Mar-09 12:43:34

sarah, ignore N1, he has hijacked my thread about my dd and the letter, on loneparents.

xx

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 30-Mar-09 13:18:36

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