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Advice needed pls! Does this open an unruly can of worms?

(24 Posts)
Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 15:22:36

Ex has gone to solicitor for child contact. For many reasons, I have concerns re his behaviour/parenting. In my response to correspondence, the advice is to mention this or it will be too late to bring up later. Will this lead to an unsavoury retaliation?

Friendlystories Tue 27-Oct-15 15:39:16

Even if it does your child's safety and wellbeing have to come first if you have concerns about his behaviour/parenting. What are your concerns? What kind of 'unsavoury retaliation' are you worried about, is he abusive?

Seeyounearertime Tue 27-Oct-15 15:44:37

If he's gone to a solicitor for contact I'm I tonthinknyoure withholding contact? If so then that reason is the primary response and then go into all other issues as a secondary point.

ChocolateBreeze Tue 27-Oct-15 16:11:14

Definitely mention all concerns now. It doesn't mean it will be listened to (depends what the concerns are) but it means it'll be on record. The earlier you do it the better. It also creates a trail should anything happen later down the line.
He is entitled to apply for contact though.
As for retaliation, yes it could happen. My stbxh made unfounded allegations against me for instance and it's very stressful - and I hadn't even attempted to stop contact. Have you got a solicitor? Are you worried about anything in particular?
If he is abusive it'd help to consult solicitors with understanding of these issues or contact WA for advice.
It'll make things worse if you don't express your concerns now.

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 16:11:31

I'm not withholding contact.... He's never been alone with DC. He was absent and then returned so time is being built up. He wanted to go from nothing to wanting DC alone- DC young.
Concerns include- shouting/screaming/ not putting DC first (as demands always centred around himself and extended family and their rights)/ no sense of routine or what DC needs.
It would not be true but I'm worried he will make up lies about me and say I'm bad. He's manipulative and emotionally abusive.

ChocolateBreeze Tue 27-Oct-15 16:14:21

Make sure you keep a diary of what goes on if you haven't already.

Have you spoken to anyone about the concerns? Health visitor, GP etc.

tornandhurt Tue 27-Oct-15 16:18:47

What about perhaps just acknowledging his solicitors correspondence and stating that you have no intention of withholding contact, but that you feel that for all concerned this needs to be a gradual process built up through your trust in him and your DC being totally comfortable and secure and that you would welcome mediation in order to explore an agreeable solution!

That's keeping it to the point, polite, stating your dc's welfare is priority but hinting you have some reservations and above all, the suggestion of mediation is key.........he cannot apply directly to court without attending mediation or having a good reason as to why he refuses. The fact that you are the one suggesting it implies you are very reasonable xx

PotteringAlong Tue 27-Oct-15 16:20:39

If he's never had them alone how do you know he wouldn't put them first?

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 16:38:46

I do understand that DC needs time alone with him. Him and his family are awful.. Children come last to them and they should just fit. The wants and needs of the adults is paramount, children have no routine and there is no sense or right or wrong... The rule is that the elder is always right even if they lie!!

DC is very young and I'm not sure that it's the right age for overnights to be honest.

Solicitor says that if not mentioned now then it's too late to bring up concerns later.

In what basis could he refuse mediation?

Thank you x

tornandhurt Tue 27-Oct-15 16:50:58

To be honest that was my point.......he doesn't really have grounds to refuse without making himself look like an idiot and I would think any good mediator in their right mind would agree that slow is best for a period of time, particularly where there have been times he's been absent!

Have a look at the link below - I know its divorce aid, but this section is all about children and access.

www.divorceaid.co.uk/legal/children.htm

I'm assuming that's his solicitor saying you must mention now?? if thats the case state in your response that due to previous periods of absence, you wish to build contact slowly and gradually and that you welcome mediation.....this leaves it a little looser I would think.

xx

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 16:56:36

Thank you so much. It's mine saying to mention this as it would explain why I have concerns

tornandhurt Tue 27-Oct-15 17:00:13

Ah ok if its your solicitor then, he/she should be able to help you put forward that you do have concerns, but in a non-aggressive way if you explain you are worried about the backlash etc.....alternatively, I'd be inclined to see a mediator yourself as I felt they were a little softer (less aggressive) in their approach, which may make your xp see more sense and be reasonable. x

Marilynsbigsister Tue 27-Oct-15 17:17:27

I think you posted about this a few weeks back OP. You told us then that he has been seeing your son for a few months but you always 'supervise' because you think he can't do it on his own or will involve his family who you dislike intensely. Am I right ? I think you will have to accept that as a parent he had the right to parent his child unsupervised by you. I know he may not do it to your liking but I am afraid that unless he is abusive to his child he WILL be awarded unsupervised contact and overnights very soon. The best you can do is try and work with your solicitor to make this happen rather than look for a way .not to allow it. I know it's hard when you don't like his family and you know that he will take him to see them the minute he is awarded unsupervised contact, but I'm afraid your child has the right to unfettered contact with his Dad and his dads family

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 17:29:05

Yes that's right. I understand unsupervised contact but it's the overnight at such a young age which is the problem. DC does not remember us living together and when asked, does not want to say elsewhere And cried a lot when this was mentioned.

I am worried that if I mention behaviour and concerns about parenting, he will
Be nastier. Equally if I do not, my concerns are not heard

Shutthatdoor Tue 27-Oct-15 17:35:41

I don't actually think that any of the concerns that you have said here would stop contact or overnights being awarded.

People parent differently as pp has said.

As long as he isn't abusive to your child, which you havent said he is I can't see it not being given.

TooSassy Tue 27-Oct-15 17:56:43

Homely.

By all means put your concerns in writing. If you are going to raise them now is the time to do so. You won't be able to bring them up at a later date. Re the retaliation of course it is a possibility. However that should not be something that stops you.

You've been posting about this for a good few weeks now. How's it been going? Has he had any unsupervised contact yet?

I think a few of us have posted similar responses before. Nothing you have written about how he parents rings zero alarm bells for me. It's a different parenting style and a different parenting style will not stop him getting unsupervised and overnight access. Courts would need to see real evidence of risk of harm to withhold either.

I think your point about overnights is valid and he should build up to it. I'd focus on that if I were you (and am basing that on what you have posted, obviously am not in your shoes)

Final point homely, are you getting RL advice and support? I get that you feel your DC is young but across all your posts, your concerns haven't moved on/ evolved. You don't seem to be coming to terms with the fact that he will get access and it will be overnight. And your DC will very much benefit from contact with the wider family.

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 18:22:07

Thank you so much. He has not even though it's been offered. He rejected it and said that he wanted more. I do have support; I do accept the unsupervised but it's the overnights that worry me.

Could he retaliate by saying I'm a bad mum? There is no evidence for that. What would that involve, worst case scenario?

TooSassy Tue 27-Oct-15 19:05:01

So he hasn't seen your DC at all???

He could retaliate of course he could. However I am sure there are many people who would provide clear evidence otherwise.
Also, if you're such a bad mum, how has he allowed your DC to be with you for so long? And is only asking for DC on weekends? Don't worry about that, IMO that's just noise that would most likely be viewed as vindictive behaviour by the courts.

In your response I would be very clear on the points you want to achieve and reasons why.

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:06:27

He saw DC supervised.. I offered time alone and he rejected asking for more.

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:08:12

He is the sort of person who has an answer for everything and that makes me this timid, scared thing. The most obvious, simple thing he can reject, making others convert to his way of thinking! Manipulative.

ChocolateBreeze Tue 27-Oct-15 19:09:29

I haven't read your other threads. I totally agree with tornandhurt post made at 16.18.

If there is no abuse toward the child you cannot stop overnight contact being introduced, however upsetting it is for you. Are you having counselling to support you? Mine are probably older than your child but I sympathise, it's hard to let go. But it's necessary in the long run. And it can be reviewed too.

You seem quite frightened of your ex and what he might do/say and this is why I suggested WA (Was he abusive towards you?) This is also why I say to keep a diary: to record every single bit of messing around, ie record what you suggest, what he does or doesn't do. Also make sure all is discussed in writing (emails). That way you cover yourself if he ever accuses you of withholding contact.

He will need to go through mediation in the first instance.
Remember also that he can't just 'say' you're a bad mother. Well, he can, but he will be laughed off unless there is documented evidence. Courts need hard evidence. So do please mention all your concerns now. Don't feel frightened.

ChocolateBreeze Tue 27-Oct-15 19:12:56

Is it possible he's doing all this to get to you but has actually no interest in seeing your child?

Atenco Tue 27-Oct-15 19:31:36

With very little to base myself on, OP, but assuming from what I have read that he will get your child overnight, your child will be a lot happier about it if you treat it as perfectly normal and fine. If they see that you are ambivalent, they will be really frightened. It will still happen but be a traumatic event.

Homely1 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:46:39

Thank you. He has been emotionally abusive. He could be doing this just to get at me....it is possible. He is heavily influenced by those around him too. Diary and WA are great ideas. I have a diary but I think I need to amend it.

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