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I Feel I'm Loosing My DD

(22 Posts)
justmustard Sat 01-Aug-09 13:30:35

o.k. I have sat back and watched this site for over a month now without comment but now feel it is time to talk and ask for help.

The long and short of it is that i feel i am loosing my dd.

I, like so many others of you on this site, am also going through a nasty seperation. Yes there was dv mainly verbal but mostly in front of dd and yes i did go down the ex parte route, got dd in to my care, got supervised visits a non molestation order and a prohibited steps order to not allow dd out of my care.

I have also since been back to court and am now on unsupervised visits despite everything that i have logged, recorded and been able to prove with evidence (not he said, she said) and i am now worried sick that if the judge doesnt belive me with all that proof what the hell are cafcass going to think?

Am i going to loose my daughter because i am not as good a liar as the ex?

I am sick of having my dd gripping to me with tears streaming down her face at every hand over. I feel useless and powerless to protect her. He (ex) just rips her out of my arms and tells her to stop being stupid and stop crying then off he trots with her like evrything is ok.

I am at my wits end! I just feel that i am going to loose her. If i cant convince a judge then how can i convince cafcass?

GypsyMoth Sat 01-Aug-09 13:38:26

oh dear,theres alot going on here isn't there!

how old is dd....what level of access does he presently have and what does he really want?

justmustard Sat 01-Aug-09 13:44:33

dd is 2.5 years old. Ex currently has 21 hours split up over three days but no over night stays at all.
Everytime we go back to court he is going for a full interim residency order and while he is not being granted it the access times he has are just extending more and more.

GypsyMoth Sat 01-Aug-09 13:52:43

are there any welfare issues? without those then cafcass maybe won't get involved.

what are his reasons for wanting full residency?

try there is a section on child residency in the forum,with lots of very knowlegable people on there.

justmustard Sat 01-Aug-09 14:01:13

O.K. Cafcass are now involved and have said that they will be in touch shortly to meet with us both seperately. Ex has a drink problem but he accusing me of being the alcoholic!
He would not allow dd to be potty trained and on many occassions i would come home to find her in a nappy scaverging around on the floor eating lumps of food. DD has been fully potty trained since 16 months of age but he couldnt be bothered to take her upstairs to the toilet as he was always too busy watching the telly. So he used this as an excuse.
He would not allow me to tidy the house as he said that there was nothing wrong with it and for over two months we had no wash hand basin, shower, bath or working toilet and he would not allow me to get a plumber as he said no other man was allowed in the house.
He is also saying that he was the primary carer as he did not work and i work full time.
He refused to work and i had no choice as other wise we would loose the house and face repossession.

GypsyMoth Sat 01-Aug-09 14:09:33

sounds like a section 7 report has been ordered then?

cafcass will go to him too. i'm at this stage now,but my ex won't comply with meeting cafcass so they have recommended it be dismissed from court entirely.

however. keep a diary,mention it all to cafcass. all you can do is be honest with them. don't slag him off,and keep everything child centred.

its the childrens act they are trying to implement....your childs right to a relationship with BOTH parents. what contact do you think would be best? ideally,that is,what would you see as being best for your child?

justmustard Sat 01-Aug-09 14:23:34

Yes your right, it is a section 7 report. I forgot what they called it.
I dont know what contact would be best as if i thought she was happy with seeing him it would change my view slightly. The fact is she is crying when she leaves me and comes back to me with big bruised eyes where she has obviously been crying while she is with him.
The one thing that i just can not tollerate at the moment is over night stays. He drinks to excess, he is even more abusive with the drink and he is verbally abusive to her. He lives in a three bed house with 4 adults living their already and dd has never ever spent a night away from me.
With me she has her own room, a much older sibling that loves her aswell as me. I have family supprt down the road and my parents are fantastic with her. I just dont want her hurt any more. Its heart breaking.

justmustard Sat 01-Aug-09 14:27:11

My ex has no income, no proper home, no clothes, toys nothing. He cant drive so i am always do the picking up and dropping off. He tells dd that mummy doesnt love her so that i can hear it. Oh my god, i could go on and on.

GypsyMoth Sat 01-Aug-09 14:29:11

i think,to be fair,alot of kids cry at handover. however,keep a note of it. cafcass may want to see her with him,watch how they are together.

the drinking. it needs proving,somehow. unless he's going to be honest with them.

i doubt he'll get overnights in a shared house.

all of this will be assessed in their 'welfare checklist'. you can argue that he has no suitable premises,etc. but you can't just speculate. and insist they visit him in his home to see the set up for themselves. let him shoot himself in the foot that way.

i know its hard,but try not to worry.

justmustard Sat 01-Aug-09 14:41:10

Thankyou for listening to me. I thought for a moment that my thread would be un noticed.

The shared house is with his mother, brother, brothers girlfriend and himself. He says he will sleep on the setee when dd stays with him and will then gain suitable accomodation. He cant afford accomodation so unless he gets made homeless how is he going to get a home? If he does get some where through the council this may take him further from her nursery and dd's family and he does not drive.

With the drink, a hair strand test has been mentioned. How does that work if he is bald buti have hair down to my bottom. Surely this is an unfair test as what is being done to me should be done to him also?

I do drink but very, very rarely to excess. I never go out so only have a drink if my parents comes round to see me when the dd is in bed. Even then i have never drunk spirits and rarely wine. It is normally just a beer. I dont think that makes me an alcoholic?

GypsyMoth Sat 01-Aug-09 16:36:00

Not alcoholic , no. Any decent judge should see it's just tit for tat type of stuff. A test on him could still be done tho, surely he's not first bald man!

Hope it gets answered by others with more advice!

justmustard Sat 01-Aug-09 16:39:24

Me too but i am thankful for yours also.

GypsyMoth Sat 01-Aug-09 18:40:26

bumping up for mustard!!


maggievirgo Sat 01-Aug-09 23:23:29

justmustard, 2 yrs ago, my x went out of his way to torture me, trying to have me charged with 'abducting' the children. ALthough unlike your x, he does hold down a good job and have a nice house of his own, he actually can't cope with too much childcare. So after an initially VERY VERY stressful period where I had the threat of court cases looming over me, and a lot of hatred and anxiety going on, it has actually calmed down a lot. He now comes to see kids about once every 8 weeks. My solicitor told me to 'not obstruct him' and it turned out to be good advice, although unbearable at first. Knowing that he can come whenever he likes, it turns out, that that is only once every 7 or 8 weeks.

Anyway, I know this is JUST my story, but I thought I was going to die of stress and anxiety and anger and upset 26 months ago, and things have settled down.

maggievirgo Sat 01-Aug-09 23:24:22

ps, my x was physically agressive to ME and verbally abusive and controlling and basically a total bastard, but I'm as sure as I can be that he won't treat the children like he treated me.

Spero Sat 01-Aug-09 23:35:36

I've been working in this field for over ten years now. I know nothing about your circs, other than what you have posted, so i'll just stick to general principles

The guiding principle of the Children Act is that the welfare of the children is paramount. the assumption is that the child's welfare is met by promoting a safe and healthy relationship with both parents. This assumption can be challenged if a parent can be PROVED on the balance of probablities to be a danger to the child, either physically or emotionally.

If one parent is violent to another or bad mouths the other to the child this is seen as a failure of parenting and would count very heavily against a residence or contact order in favour of that parent.

Courts generally don't order hair strand tests unless there are serious worries about the drug/alcohol use of the person to be tested. These tests are not cheap and will not be used as a 'tit for tat'. Pubic hair can be used if no head hair.

CAFCASS are usually pretty good - i would say I have only had two duff reports in ten years. If the report is crap, you or your lawyer can challenge it and cross examine CAFCASS if necessary. CAFCASS should always visit each parent in his/her home and talk to the child if old enough. Generally over 7 is seen as sufficiently mature.

Judge is not bound by CAFCASS decision but will almost always respect it as CAFCASS are independent and not promoting one parent over the other.

the final decision is in the hands of the Judge. I have only a handful of times even considered appealing against the decision of a judge in a contact/residence dispute. And I mean by that that all decisions have been based on the available evidence and with the welfare of the child firmly in mind. Even if the decision went against my client I could understand the judge's reasoning and probalby agree it was the right decision.

So what I am trying to say is that if you have evidence that your ex is unsuitable in any way, the court will listen and be concerned.

In my personal experience, I have found that in the majority of cases, the criticisms each parent have made against the other were born out of bitterness over the split, rather than being based on solid grounds.

I'm not at all saying that is the case for you, but just to emphasise the point that concerns need to be validated by evidence. Mere assertions are not enough. The standard of proof is only balance of probabilities so it shouldn't be too difficult to convince court/CAFCASS if problems are real.

justmustard Sun 02-Aug-09 10:16:55

O.K. he advice is good and very much needed so thank you all for your help.

I do have proof in the forms of photographs about how ex made us live. For eg. I have pictures of dd naked with just a nappy at the age of 2.3 years old. DD has been potty trained from about 16 months. I also have pictures of how we used to have to live eg. Toys stacked so high from the ground to the cieling so that dd could not reach them and even if she could they would tumble down and hurt her, a pic of the microwave with a hole burnt in the bottom, pictures of bathroom with concrrete floor (no carpet) with hole dug out and water flooding floor, clothes thrown all over the living room floor the list is enless.

Will these count for anything if i produce them? Ex wouldnt allow me to tidy up, cook any meals or replace anything that was broken. He controlled everything.

Just worried that by producing these i look petty?

Any opinions?

maggievirgo Sun 02-Aug-09 20:49:21

Well, I had pictures of my blood-shot eye, all the other injuries were hidden (ie a sore neck, where he'd pulled clumps of hair out but there was nothing to see). The police said that his solicitor could say that that photo was taken after I left, or that it wasn't my eye, so< i got the police to verify (stamp and sign a printed photo) that they could see from my mobile phone that it was taken the morning I left.

What the police advised me to do, was to write up (do it on the computer), all the abuse, diarised as MUCH as you can. With approximate dates where possible. REally, really, hard to do, but after 'working' on my *testimony, I found I was able to think, well, that was before I was pregnant but we were just back from sainsbury's which had only just opened so it must have been JUly 05. So although to start with, I thought I couldn't put a date to anything, in the end, I was able to put at least a month to most of the incidents.

I found it really hard to do. I found that I only remember AFTER I had left him, that he'd tried to strangle me. I remember all the minor non-life threatening shoves and punches and so on, but I'd actually blocked out that night when he put his hands around my neck when we were in bed and squeezed and ssaid, you've no idea how much I want to kill you. He had flushed my phone down the loo and I put the date of that down. I had to get a new phone soon afterwards and that would be on record. Also he kicked down a few doors, and I imagine the door frames are still damaged and locks show strain.

So..... it was HARD to do. But i have it - 8 pages of what he put me through. Edited, honed, as succinct but as articulate as I can make it. He knows nothing about that, as in the end, I didn't press charges against him.. Every situation is different, but I was living far enough away from him that I thought making him angry would do me more harm than good. But, I know it's there, my 'account'. I am happy now, and I have moved on and blocked it out thank god. I want to forget it, but I'm glad I have it written down. IN fact, writing it down made it horribly real, but it gave respect to what I'd been through and helped allow me to start properly forgetting. IYSWIM

So, what I'm advising you to do is to think really hard about what he put you through. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, unreasonable behaviour, controlling behaviour. Where possible, put in the dates.

About looking petty; any one incident on its own might be petty, but it's not one incident alone that made you crack, it's years worth.

When you write up your written 'testimony' try not to be too emotional. Keep it as factual as you can.

Good luck. It's an incredibly hard time.. That first year after splitting up with a mad man. Be strong and take care of yourself and your dd. She's always going to love her Mum. My children spend time with their Dad, but they're always happy to come back to me. I am number one. And as time goes by, I think I could live with him being more important to them in the future, I will always have my unique relationship with my children, and his relationship with them will be separate and will not have the power to spoil mine. I hope that helps a little.

justmustard Mon 03-Aug-09 10:27:35

Maggievirgo, thank you for the advice. The one thing i do have is my phone. I have text messages and photo's with date and time stamps. Your right, it is an incredibly hard time. I feel like bursting in to tears but then that will make me weak and i have been weak for long enough.

I am a mother and a protector to my dd and without me who is going to protect her from that monster. It is certainly not the courts who fall for fake smiles and cries.

I am going to start tonight and try and draw up a time line. I know what started all the abusive and that was ex being made redundant. I beleive he lost all his self respect and felt like less of a person so he began to persecute me. If i take that as my starting point then i am sure that i will be able to piece together the jigsaw.

Will they take my account in to consideration? I am just worried that it will be a he said she said do da again?

Tinkerbel6 Mon 03-Aug-09 18:45:53

justmustard stop the drop offs and pick ups, if the ex want access then he should do the running around, you might even find that he won't bother some of the time, having you run around for him is part of the control that you need to break away from.

Spero Mon 03-Aug-09 22:22:31

justmustard, mv's advice is spot on. If you are alleging violence/abuse, it really helps to have a time line and some dates. What is even better is if you can link those dates in with hospital visits/police reports/photos of injuries etc.

a lot of time I read statements which say 'for several years now he has been violent and abusive....' and my heart sinks. What can i do with that in court?

but if i read 'On June 8th he punched me in the face, breaking my nose. I attach as appendix I to my statement the hospital report of my attendance and treatment' then I know I'm onto a winner.

Of course, I appreciate it is not always so easy to provide clear evidence to back up what you say, but whatever you can come up with to show this is not just a vengeful ex making up stories will help.

Spero Mon 03-Aug-09 22:23:38

PS I'm not so sure about the photos. That sounds like a concerning environment for a child. You will need to explain how it happened and what you did about it, or why you were prevented from doing anything about it.

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