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Problems with a seperated father

(14 Posts)
LeLune Mon 05-Jan-15 17:19:43

I'm not married to my child's father so he has access. He's domineering and intimidating, lies his way out of every situation leaving me looking like the guilty party. I'm frightened of him so can't take direct action as he'll just ignore me.
The worst thing now is he's brainwashing my daughter against me, I know because she comes out with some of the things he's said to her. I received a doner egg and once my child was borne his mother began saying to him 'It's your child' and leaving me out of the equation. His family is of foreign extraction and very clannish and unit against me.
I'm a lone parent and on a college course full time so have no choice other than allow him access for about half the week. I'm terrified I'll lose her and feel trapped in this terrible situation. I wish to God I had never conceived a child with him, my life has become a misery. Any advice please?

peachgirl Mon 05-Jan-15 17:48:21

sad I'm so sorry, what a horrible situation to be in. I can't advise I'm afraid, so I'm bumping this for you

Sophrosyne Mon 05-Jan-15 19:10:25

Seek legal advise now to see what you can do to ensure he doesn't bully you away from your DD. How old is she?

AcrossthePond55 Mon 05-Jan-15 19:11:05

It sounds as if you should be limiting contact, but that they are providing free childcare? You need to look around and see if there is any way you can make other arrangements. Does your college have a child care centre? I'm in the US so can't be of practical help there. If you are frightened of your child's father, contact Women's Aid. They may be able to advise you.

Frankly, if you were never married and/or there are no legal papers regarding access that require you to stay nearby I'd be making plans right now to quietly get the hell out of Dodge as soon as your course ends. Start looking for employment opportunities and living costs in another area, preferably one at the other end of the country! Or sooner if you have family to help you out away from him and you can pick up your course there.

How old is your child? What kind of things is she saying (if you feel comfortable telling)? Is it that you 'really' aren't her mother because of the donor egg? All you can really do is tell her 'that's not true' or 'they are wrong' and assure her that you love her and that you are her mum and will always be. Remind her that there are all types of ways to become a family and that whether it's donor, IVF, or adoption that every parent loves their child, no matter how they arrive!

LeLune Mon 05-Jan-15 20:06:16

Hi Sophrosyne, My daughter is 4 years old. I have sisters locally but they all work so can't really help all that much. I am more or less on my own with this.
Thank you all for posting.

LeLune Wed 07-Jan-15 13:55:55

I hate bumping a post but I'm still in doubt.

GinAndSonic Wed 07-Jan-15 13:59:55

Is her father on the birth certificate? Do you have a passport for her? Is there a court order for contact?

Starlightbright1 Wed 07-Jan-15 14:10:58

Speak to the college about funding for childcare.

I would use a free half hour free legal aid to be clear about your legal position.I would also get a passport to ensure he can't apply for one..I did this for my DS

AcrossthePond55 Wed 07-Jan-15 17:17:59

In doubt about what, love? If you are in doubt about the fact that what he and is family are doing is wrong, then I'll state categorically that it is TERRIBLE. No one should ever poison the mind of a child against their parent.

If you are in doubt about what you should do, then I'll state categorically that you should cut off or drastically limit contact, and should move away as soon as possible.

But as far as HOW you should do that or even if you can, you really haven't provided enough information for people to give you concrete advice. If there are court orders regarding access or if you were married to him at the child's birth and/or he's on the birth certificate advice would be different than if you were never married, he's not on the BC, and/or there are no court orders for access.

As far as childcare, do you have access to funds to help with childcare, or free childcare available at your college? Is there any way your sisters can help out even for a few hours or a day or two a week? Do you know any other mums who might want a few extra quid (if you can afford that) or some time-swapping? Can you swap a few hours of childcare with them for their children? Any time at all that you can keep your DD away from that toxic family is better than none. How much longer do you have on your course? If it's only a few weeks or a couple of months advice might be different than if you had 18 months or two years left.

If you are looking for advice to make them stop what they are doing, I'm afraid that there's nothing you can do about that. You can't stop people talking. But, if you truly have a fear of these people or the child's father, meaning a fear of assault or harassment, then contact WA or the police.

LeLune Thu 08-Jan-15 11:25:03

Thank you all for your suggestions. Firstly I have already seen a solicitor and had the free half hour. She sent a letter outlining what he should and should not be doing. This seemed to work for a while and he was subdued, but as time has passed he is getting braver and more aggressive again. The reason why I went to a solicitor was I had a female friend move in for a while and he had a disagreement with her and snatched the child for 6 days. My friend advised I should get legal advice and backed me up.
In answer to the passport question, as far as I know there isn't one with my daughter's name on it. He has relatives in Canada and it's a worry that he might just take her there., Christmas and Mother's Day cards without my name on them for instance. So I shall try to get a PP with both mine and the child's name on it. But as he is on the BC I wonder if he has also to be on it or even whether I could get one just for the two of us
I have custody of the child, another important point, she lives with me.
He obviously says things about me while my child is present because she repeats them, denigrating me as a mother mainly and my friend of mistreating my child, which she does not, she is very kind to
There are a lot of small things, apart from his mother saying it is your child and leaving me out of any conversations. Indeed the whole of his family act as if I do not exist and are very hostile towards me.
There is no court order in force about access, only that which was stated in the solicitor's letter.
While he has her she is not changed or washed and comes back sore. This is a regular thing even though I supply the clothes and necessary ointment she needs, they are just not used at all.
If he feels like it he will just go into the school and take her out and it seems as long as he isn't violent nobody can stop him. The school has kept these instances on file and they have been passed onto her new school.
All this has been going on for years, hostility and degradation towards me. This man lies repeatedly and is very difficult to deal with, especially as his family back him up. Because of this I am frightened that any action I may take will backfire on me and I may lose my child.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Jan-15 11:36:51

Please go back to your solicitor, explain that abuse it taking place and see what you can do. Talk to the school as well so that they know there is a risk of abduction & not to let him or his family take her out of class or pick her up at the end of the day without your express permission. Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 can also help given that you are being subjected to bullying and controlling behaviour - coercive control it is called. You also need to urgently find alternative childcare or defer your college course so that you are not reliant on him or his family for this service.

When he snatched your child after the disagreement with your room mate, was it reported to the police?

In the meantime, drop all contact with him or his family and keep your child at home. There is no formal/legal agreement in place that you would be breaching.

stubbornstains Thu 08-Jan-15 11:43:24

Your daughter is entitled to her own passport, all to herself (children did used to be included on their mothers' passports, but that was a long time ago). I think the issue is that whoever first applies for their child's passport can then keep hold of it, so has control over whether their child can leave the country.

Keep a diary of EVERYTHING he does that concerns you.

Starlightbright1 Thu 08-Jan-15 11:48:51

I think you need to post this in legal. If he is taking her out school..This is a real issue so you may be able to get a residency order

AcrossthePond55 Thu 08-Jan-15 17:29:58

Get a passport asap. Is she a dual citizen? If so, even getting her a UK passport probably wouldn't stop him getting a passport based on his home country. This may sound outlandish, but I would check with the possibility of you being able to get her passports for both countries, that way all bases are covered.

Diary everything, record DD if possible (discreetly, of course). If she comes back dirty or sore, take pictures. Again, be discreet. You need evidence. It doesn't have to be evidence that can be presented in court, just evidence that you can show police or authorities, even if they can't use it.

See another solicitor, a different one. You can get another free 1/2 hour. Discuss specifically the pros and cons of legal orders vs your non-formalized arrangements. Also, here (US) it is very common to have a 'non-disparagement' clause in a case like yours. Shit-talking legally results in stopping contact and the 'guilty' parent must go back to court to re-start it. Non-disparagement also covers extended family and it is expected that the parent will rein in other relatives or keep the child away from them.

There was a mother on another thread who was able to stop the father from picking up at school by telling the school not to allow it. She didn't have any type of orders. Talk to the school.

You may have to consider dropping your course and picking it up later if you truly have no other options when it comes to childcare. Again, to me it would all have to do with how much longer you have.

And finally, again, do consider relocating. I think you'd be better off surrounded by strangers and away from him/his family than surrounded by friends/family and having to deal with them.

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