Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
exP bringing new girlfriend to contact visits with DC - what to do?(33 Posts)
I need some advice and an outside perspective on this. I'll give a condensed version of recent history.
Last year (almost to the day) exP choked our eldest DC, myself and younger DC witnessed it. I phoned the police, they came soon after. He denied doing anything but unfortunately this was not an isolated incident, just the worst one. Social Services were involved 6 months previously when DC1 reported to a teacher that the cut on his face was from a punch from daddy. Denied by exP, no witnesses but I believed DC1. I tried to protect them from his angry outbursts but I know now that was never possible.
I left with the DC that day. I got an interim Protection Order then a long term Safety Order when it went to court some months later. I returned with the DC to the shared family home and he rents not far away. I'm in the process of buying him out of his share in the house.
The social worker for the DC has said that all contact with the boys must be supervised by me but he and his parents have constantly tried to undermine me and deny this is necessary. Quite simply, if I do not protect the DC, knowing their dad's history, I risk them being taken away from me if there are any more incidents of abuse.
He has never admitted doing anything wrong or apologised to anyone for what he has done. Apparently I am the one to blame for breaking up the 'happy family'. No matter, life goes on without him.
He visits the DC almost every weekend in our home and the boys are genuinely happy to be with him, usually a few hours of play time with his undivided attention while do all the cooking, cleaning discipline etc. They're young and still very confused as to why daddy can't come back and live with them. They forgive & forget so easily.
So last Sunday he was due to arrive at 3pm to be with the DC. He walked in the front door unannounced (he still has keys) with a girl he introduced to the boys as his friend but who is very obviously his girlfriend - a distinction they wouldn't have a clue about as yet. He then told them they were all going to the zoo together and it was clear to me that he had no intention of including me in his plans, didn't even bother to ask if this was ok.
I didn't want to upset the DC by questioning his plans in front of them. I was pretty sure they would have a great time with their dad on best behaviour with his new girlfriend but still felt what he did was wrong.
So today when he came to see them (alone) he tells them he has tickets to go to a roller skating disco tomorrow (Sunday). Again he makes it obvious to me that I'm not included in the plans, without the DC knowing. I didn't challenge him on it as the DC would only get caught in the middle of any discussion.
I sent him a text saying I will be going with the boys tomorrow. He replies that he won't be alone, I don't need to go.
I replied that the person is a stranger to me and the DC and is not appropriate for supervised visits.
I got a couple of PA texts back from him but didn't respond.
I actually don't know what is the best way for the DC of dealing with this. I don't want to spoil their fun but cannot be lax in supervision as from a previous incident he has shown that he cannot be trusted - a 'fight' broke out between him and DC1 when I was upstairs, back in Feb.
Advise & opinions please.
1) change the locks
2) arrange for contact to be at a contact centre. Ss can insust contact has to be supervised that should not and canmot insist it is you that supervises it.
3) get advice from WA.
4) he is pushing your boundaries. I know it is hard but you canmot ket him take the kids out of the house without you. If he trues to, phone the police. If he makes plans on front of the kids to try to manipulate you, tell him you will cancel his next contact pending advice from SS.
It is better for your kids to be dusappointed, than taken and not returned or throttled or otherwise hurt.
Sorry your ex is such a privk it must be hard for you and the kids.
You really need to go back to SS with all this. It's not right and it's not safe.
Sorry for typos. It's late.
Ps. You can always tell dcs daddy was wrong to say he will take you to the zoo/skating etc. And tell them you will take them instead.
If you are going to let them go you need to go as well.
Next week as mink says .
Sorry he is being like this
I dont see that the girlfriend matters at all, your focus is off. You were told to supervise all contact and him bringing someone else along has no bearing on that, you are no longer supervising contact if you are letting him take them out. Either continue with visitation at your home (and you can either let her into your house or not, up to you) or sort out proper supervision from outside agency.
How old are the dc? Has a social worker been assigned to them/their case and do you have what the social worker who said all contact must be supervised by you in writing?
I agree with Uretha the issue here is you allowing any unsupervised visits. You need to show social services that you can protect your children from harm so you cannot allow them to go without you.
I think supervision in your home is unworkable long term and very unfair on you. Contact social services and ask about them organising supervised contact.
Thanks for the replies. It's good to know that I'm not unreasonable in 'enforcing' the terms that Social services have given. I'm still made to feel like the one is wrong and spoiling everyone's fun.
He (and his parents) thinks that his girlfriend/parents are sufficient substitute for me in supervising contact.
They are not, and I will continue to block all attempts by them to change this.
Their social worker has signed off on their case as she sees them as no longer being at risk. DC are 6 & 4. DC1 is to be given counselling but this has been a long time in the pipeline. He, not surprisingly, has a lot of anger/aggression problems.
I have scanned and emailed the doc from the social worker to him & his parents. It clearly states that I must continue to supervise all contact.
I agree, you must change the locks. The "girlfriend" is not able to supervise the visits, YOU must still do it since his parents seem to think he doesn't need supervising.
If anything were to happen to your DC while out with their "father", you do know you would be held responsible, yes?
So you have to take charge here. Plus, even though he has keys (which, once you change the locks, he won't) and pays into the house, it is no longer his HOME. As such, he has no right to bring random people into your HOME. So he can fuck off with bringing her along!
IF he wants to see his children, then he does it under YOUR supervision, whether it continues to be in your home, or preferably not. Somewhere else. Somewhere public, preferably.
But she's probably one of those who's fallen for the whole "evil exW" spiel, and she'll think the OP lied to SS to stop him seeing his children
I never know why women fall for this shit, I really don't.
Of course you're not unreasonable enforcing ss' s rules. They are there to protect your children.
It doesn't matter what he/his family think. If he was an appropriate person to safeguard the children, his contact wouldn't need to be supervised would it?
Contact your children's SW and tell them what he is doing. See how he likes it when contact has to take place in a contact centre and be supervised by a contact worker. They only think the children aren't at risk because they think you're supervising contact.
He doesn't have the power here, you do.
But ss would take an extremely dim view of you letting him take the children out without you, so you must not let that happen again.
As an aside, what kind of woman dates man knowing he has to be supervised when he spends time with his children?
Oh and supervised means you have to be there all the time, even when they're in your house. You can't make yourself scarce and go to another roon even.
You must actually supervise.
I'm a social worker. Sorry for the long post.
You must MUST MUST ring your social worker first thing on Monday morning (or the duty social worker if you don't have an allocated social worker) and tell them all of this. If you don't and someone else reports it you are likely to be in a big old mess - and you would be surprised how often in these situations the ex themselves (or their family) report it under the guise of "she can't do this can she" and the person with the kids ends up having their abilities to protect the children investigated. What the social worker needs to see is that you will notify them of any issues like this - and you MUST
Explain to the social worker that:
1) he is refusing to comply with you supervising the contact
2) That his parents say they can supervise the contact but you are concerned about this as they do not see the need for it to be supervised
3) That he is promising the children that he will take them places that are not an option under the terms of your agreement and that this is distressing the children
4) That he is letting himself into your family home and bringing strangers in with him
5) He send you passive aggressive texts when you remind him of the contact terms.
Ask the social worker to contact him again - in writing copying you in - to remind him of the terms of the contact. You also need to get the social worker to move contact out of the family home (if that's where they have said it has to take place; if not you could do with them backing you up in saying that it must no longer take place there) To be honest I'm astonished, given the circumstances, that this is where the social worker agreed that contact could take place. This is where incidents of child abuse have taken place - including ones that you have been unable to stop just by being in the same building - it is where you and your children are most vulnerable. It is also confusing for the children and terrible for their ongoing sense of security in their home. For all of your safety you MUST get the contact moved to elsewhere
The social worker also needs to be aware that he has a girlfriend. If she has children they will also need to be in touch with her to ensure that they are protected.
You should also see a solicitor about whether or not you have the right to change the locks - but in the interim fit security chains to any external doors and use them when you are in, and if you can afford it get a burglar alarm and use it when you are out.
I am horrified that you are expected to entertain this monster in your own home - who thought that was a good idea?
Contact centre only, change the locks. No exceptions.
Please talk to WA.
I had a "managed exit" from my marital home with the help of WA and neither me nor DC were suffering the way you were.
WA were absolutely adamant that his contact should NOT be at my home because boundaries can be blurred and it's very easy for him to push your buttons within your four walls - and psychologically your safe sanctuary is not safe - because the fucker had a key!
Please please please do contact via a centre and of necessary with SW supervision. WA will put you right.
So sorry to hear you're suffering. X
Marmotte How did it go today? Hope you and DC are all okay!
We're all grand, no visit from exP today. I'll update properly when the DC are asleep.
So exP sent a text at 11.30 this morning - 'You explain to the DC why I can't go to the mini disco this afternoon with them'. I didn't respond because it's a really pathetic reaction. I didn't stop anybody from going, just said I had to be there to supervise.
I didn't reply to him and the DC weren't bothered coz my DB & SIL arrived with their 2 kids. We all went off to the zoo and the DC loved it, despite the rain. They hadn't seen their cousins in a while.
They did ask later if daddy was coming soon to bring them roller skating. I just told them he sent a message to say he couldn't go, no reason given by him. He's not going to succeed in making me out to be the baddie, stopping their fun.
I can't change the locks as yet, I haven't bought him out of his share in the house yet but this should be sorted in the next few weeks. There is a dead bolt on the front door which I had been using constantly to avoid him just waltzing in whenever he felt like it (just forgot that day). He doesn't have a copy of the key to the back door so I had been using this to exit the house instead, knowing he could no longer get in while I wasn't there.
I will be in contact with the social worker tomorrow, she is lovely and has been as kind & helpful as possible. exP refused to respond to her letters & phone calls, pretending that he didn't hear her or understand English - he's from another European country, so luckily his parents still live there. They have been trying very hard to guilt me into letting the DC fly over with exP to them. DC love their GPs, who are very good to them, but ultimately don't have their best interests at heart. When I took out the Protection Order last year they said I was 'condemning him' by taking him to court and that exP would be ruined forever as a result.
Thanks for your advice Anon4Now2015, after he signs the title deeds to house over to me & my solicitor, 10.30 tomorrow, I will acting on your advice.
I will talk to WA again. I talked to lovely lady there who gave me excellent advice and the number of a lovely solicitor/barrister who made my court appearance so easy and sorted it all out for me, including court mandated maintenance for the DC.
I must go and sort out insurance docs for the house but will be back again.
Thanks for the replies, it helps me to refocus on what is best for the DC.
Join the discussion
Please login first.