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help needed - can Ex take the kids?

(130 Posts)
woollyscarf Fri 13-May-16 18:16:50

I need some advice. H and I have split up. He left 3 weeks ago, though he'd been threatening to leave for the previous 3 months.There's another woman and she seems to have been very controlling so far. They work together and seem to have done quite the job on me implying that I am unstable - and perhaps I've been acting out of character but I was never like this once in the previous years we were married. I have been really angry with the way the whole thing has happened - I even think H has been exhibiting emotionally abusive behaviours and there's a touch of gaslighting I feel. It's been a total rollercoaster. Anyway the night he left he told me that he wanted the house and the kids and wanted me to leave. Anyway, a few days after he left he rang (seven times) and when I finally spoke to him, he said that he 'He didn't want to put the wind up me' but that he was going to take this to the family court to get proper access arrangements.

I know I sound totally paranoid, but I don't trust him. All my trust for him has gone.

I'm petrified that he's going to take the children and force me out of the house.

Any advice from anyone?

LittleNelle Fri 13-May-16 18:18:25

Who is the children's main carer at the moment and before the split?

Mishaps Fri 13-May-16 18:18:58

You do need legal advice - please go to CAB or to a solicitor.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 13-May-16 18:19:59

Get legal advice ASAP you need a good lawyer. And I'd go for a prohibited steps order so he can't remove the DC from your care.

The house you can sort out in the divorce ie sell and split the proceeds, stay until youngest child is 16 (or whatever) then sell and split proceeds.

Make sure you have a good lawyer this is very important. He sounds like ime he's going to be very nasty.

woollyscarf Fri 13-May-16 18:22:40

I was at home for 10 years and started working in September. He changed his hours to take the DCs to school and to pick them up a few days a week and my DM collected them a few days a week. Now I'm on my own I do all the childcare (they go to breakfast and after school club).

He's never been horrible - but it's like he's been brain washed and I don't recognise him anymore.

woollyscarf Fri 13-May-16 18:23:49

He keeps saying I'm making it nasty. Ironically, he works with perpetrators of DV, so I guess he knows what he's doing.

Hissy Fri 13-May-16 18:37:56

He works with perps... Well that doesn't surprise me.

Lawyer up love, he won't win, but he's probably had his brain melted by the monsters he works with (who are incurable btw, they choose to abuse, they could stop if they wanted to, but that's it, they don't want to, they are entitled to abuse)

He's a wannabe. He's probably hidden who he is until now. Who you see now is whe he always was.

woollyscarf Fri 13-May-16 18:51:46

The scariest thing of all, Hissy is that I think you're right. All his work colleagues believe that I am the devil incarnate, too.

Offred Fri 13-May-16 18:56:57

If he has never been solely responsible for the children before how likely is he to carry out the threat to 'keep' them?

Don't leave the house and get legal advice ASAP.

You can call the Coram helpline -

woollyscarf Fri 13-May-16 19:03:06

What? Never leave the house?

Offred Fri 13-May-16 19:20:13

Ha ha! No, don't move out even if he tells you to.

woollyscarf Fri 13-May-16 19:21:19

Oh. Phew! grin

CommonBurdock Fri 13-May-16 20:10:31

Start writing everything down. Records of what was said/done and when, who's the primary carer, who does what around the house, threats he's made, everything. Get to a lawyer 1st thing on Monday morning.

Above all stay calm and do not engage in discussions with him. Tell him calmly that it'll be dealt with thru lawyers from now on and he should speak to them not you.

And as PPs have said, do not leave the house. If he's threatening or difficult then call friend neighbour or family for backup, if it's possible to have other people around then do that whenever possible. Get as many people on your side as you can. You're going to need RL support.

But remember the mother has no more right to primary custody than the father, that's an outdated assumption, painful though it is.

Stupendouslyshit Fri 13-May-16 20:12:40

Do not panic.

You have the kids now and are coping in excruciating circumstances - hold your head up lady! I wasn't married; my lawyer was going to get me all sorts in property etc. if I'd wanted to go that way as my ex was also making threats as he was and remains a nasty sod.

The best he'll get is 50:50 access without good reason. As someone here once said, even Paul McCartney with all his fancy lawyers and money only got 50:50 access.

Your ex is going to go and get access sorted, but in my experience you'll have to try mediation first anyway and he will be told this by his solicitor. They are trying to keep it out of court where separation can be settled with mediation.

Get legal advice and Women's Aid are brilliant.

Let him see the kids when it's practical in the meantime and try to rise above his words. They flick the switch when they go and you are looking at a different man to the one you knew.

I can promise you, once you have legal advice, you will feel better. Do it as soon as you can.

I am two years down the line, we have a co parenting routine and I'm a happier person for not being with a control freak. I have a lot of fun and a second crack at life. It doesn't feel like it now OP, but this will work out. Good luck.

Froginapan Fri 13-May-16 20:14:40

Lawyer up now and if you can prove DV all the better since it's basically the last way to get legal aid for children's act proceedings.

It's hard but right now try to tell yourself this is all bluster (because it generally is)

Stand your ground, hold your head up high and let him carry on talking (via email/text only) to give him plenty of rope.

Hissy Fri 13-May-16 20:17:18

I spoke at a conference about dv, as a former victim, we answered questions.

After the break a poster boy for a perp programme spoke.

His was the best the programme could send. He was apparently a mentor.

Even years after his wife had left him, years after his protamme, years after he's held up as an example to the other perps, his speech was FULL of minimisation, denial and blame.

There is NO curing them. There's nothing "wrong" with them, it's who they are.

I got applause after my speech.
He got tumbleweed.


Hissy Fri 13-May-16 20:21:18

He will throw at you his worst fears

Just roll with it and ignore. In fact if you return them he will wince, but beat not to engage at all. Be non commital, don't give immediate responses, say you'll think about things he demands and say you'll let him know.

If he pushes say "I said I will let you know"

Flat bland responses, stay calm. Breathe before answering. Breathe.

We are here for you love.

fryingtoday Fri 13-May-16 20:38:34

As has been said, start taking notes of all he says and does. No need for lawyer yet - he will need to try to get you to mediation before he can go to court.
But most lawyers do offer a free consultation - just wait until he plays his hand first.
You don't need lawyers for all this but if can afford, do speak to one.
As has been said, 50/50 is the best he can get but unlikely.
Good luck, keep strong

summerwinterton Fri 13-May-16 21:03:25

They often threaten to take you to court as a continuation of their abuse - in my experience they will use this against you to terrify and belittle but won't actually do it. But heck, it has worked and sent you into a pink spin.

I had similar threats 5 years ago, am still awaiting the court papers or for him to actually bother trying to see his DC. Doubt it will happen now.

Froginapan Fri 13-May-16 21:10:20

Mediation is not recommended for abusers

Herald Fri 13-May-16 21:21:47

Just an observation the OP hasn't mentioned any DV in her relationship and to suggest she should 'prove' DV to get legal aid seems wrong ...he deserves to still see his kids on a 50/50 basis.....

woollyscarf Fri 13-May-16 21:28:59

There have been things he has done that could be emotional/psychological abuse and, because of his job, he knows it. His new 'partner' has called abuse on her partner and recently left him round about the time he discovered his feelings for her. His behaviour has been weird, alternating with me between being affectionate and then cold then affectionate again. He's been slightly editing events and my reality. He's been spectacularly lying to me.

I have someone picking up my legal bill - money is no object, so I can get the best lawyer I need, thankfully.

Herald Fri 13-May-16 21:46:45

Some of the posts above are made up of some big assumptions not based on what you have said , to suggest he has had his Brain melted by the 'perps' and he has been hiding who he is for years is absolutely ridiculous. I Hope it all works out for you OP and you make it work on your terms ....

Stupendouslyshit Sat 14-May-16 02:04:21

Froginapan, it's down to the mediator to assess whether you are suitable for mediation. I can assure you, my ex was violent to me and is still abusive when he thinks he can get away with it. But we got a good mediation agreement drawn up with a private mediator.

I saw a lawyer first because I needed sensible direction. She then told me mediation was the first step. She also laid out what she would be prepared to fight for in court if necessary.

Lawyers are for when it can't be resolved without court but should always be a first port of call. Plenty do a free first consultation.

OP, considering he works with DV Perpertrators, you think he'd know the legals around it a bit better and I think it's further proof to you that he's trying to scare you with bluff.

With that in mind, quietly get yourself armed with info. The best advice I was given was get the financials sorted as soon as you can, what's he willing to pay you until the formalities are done etc. And also, don't leave the house. You can't stop him coming into the house if it's joint property so don't change the locks or anything. If you want to stop him coming into the house, it requires a court order.

CAB website had a lot of really useful information that reassured me at 3am when the threats had been coming in thick and fast.

Hold your nerve. Best wishes

goddessofsmallthings Sat 14-May-16 05:06:36

he said that he 'He didn't want to put the wind up me' but that he was going to take this to the family court to get proper access arrangements

Smile sweetly and tell him to bring it on you'll be consulting a lawyer with a view to divorcing him for adultery and naming MsControlPants as co-respondent.

This should serve to put the wind up one or both of them as, if they don't get it, no doubt their colleagues will be falling over themselves explain that this means she'll be liable for a share of the court fees. It'll also serve to scupper any plans they may have for her to be rolled out as an 'independent' character witness for him in any childcare proceedings, or some such stuff of their shared fantasy that he can oust you and install her in your home in one easy movement. As if!

It could also be that the organisation they work for has some rule or other relating to 'office romances', so to speak, as their professional standing will go down pan suffer if word was to get out to the clientele that, in the vernacular, MrWoolly is a legover merchant who's been having it off with MsCP. shock

It's the old adage. Give some people a little power and it goes to their heads and he no doubt fancies himself as a force to be reckoned with on the strength of his futile dealings with thugs who beat on women. Stupid twat!

With regard to lock changing, t'internet is full of helpful guides to removing and replacing lock barrels. Of course this would be a necessity if you were to lose your entry door key(s) and it may be some time before you came across the spare(s) that you carefully put somewhere safe to give to him in due course. wink

It's time to play poker, woolly, and you can rest assured your dc won't be going anywhere because you've not only got the winning hand, you've also got a full pack of aces up your sleeve the combined wisdom of mumsnet dealing the cards. grin

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