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Hand holding needed: final court hearing with abusive ex

(43 Posts)
Mumptywumps Sat 16-Dec-17 19:11:57

This year has been dominated by my ex taking me to court to try to get contact with our kids. I was in an abusive relationship with him for nearly a decade during which he lied about literally everything and stole thousands from me and my family, among other things. We broke up in 2014 and until May 2016 he continued to come to the house to help with the kids a couple of days a week. I had been having concerns about his behaviour towards them and finally cut him out of our lives completely when I discovered he was using my name and address to commit benefit fraud.

I learned in February that he is taking me to court to get contact with the children. Everything has gone as badly for him as possible in court. He has lied to the court (in really obvious ways, so the magistrate clearly knows he's lying) and not done anything they asked. CAFCASS were involved (the organisation that gets involved in cases where there is abuse and makes a recommendation to the court about how much contact the kids'should have with the absent parent) and have recommended that he has no direct contact with the children - this sort of recommendation is almost unheard of, and my solicitor said it's the first one she's ever seen.

The final hearing is almost certainly going to be an open and shut case, with the court ruling with CAFCASS for no direct contact between the children and their father.

So ... why am I stressed to the point of feeling physically ill? I even started researching CFS/ME, wondering if I have that. I have horrible dreams. I have developed a terror of men (I'm waiting to be assessed for PTSD). I keep grinding my teeth so much that my face aches. I feel constantly exhausted but also can't sleep well (unusual for me!). Yesterday I phoned my dad to ask him if he would drive up (180 miles) and come to the hearing with me, but he has a bit of work on so he can't. Family is trying to be supportive but seem to think that because it's so unlikely that ex will get contact, this is no big deal. Which I guess it shouldn't be - I don't understand myself why I'm so stressed!

Welshmaenad Sat 16-Dec-17 19:23:57

Court is hideously stressful. I've recently been through it, with issues in no way as severe as yours, as the stress was overwhelming.

It is very rare for courts not to follow Cafcass recommendations. If Cafcass are saying no direct contact, that's a very strong message indeed.

Where in the country are you and when is your hearing? If you are near me and I'm able, I would come with you. I know what it's like to be alone in that situation.

MakeItRain Sat 16-Dec-17 20:21:26

Court is so stressful because you have to go through all your memories of the abusive relationship again and relive that horrible stress. Just rereading through court documents can be so upsetting. As well as that you're going through the hearings which are nerve wracking anyway.

Also, there is never 100% certainty so you will be worrying underneath about the possibility of it not going your way. It would be surprising if you weren't stressed about it.

Just keep going. You've nearly reached the end of this process and once it's finished you will be able to finally give in to the relief of it all being over, hopefully in your favour, and let yourself relax. flowers

Queenofthedrivensnow Sat 16-Dec-17 20:33:08

Can't read and run blimey cafcass never recommend that he must be grim. I reckon judge will go with cafcass in this case as I assume it's unsafe not to. See if you can get a no further applications order it's a section 91 something

BubblesPip Sat 16-Dec-17 20:34:49

How shit to have to go through this to protect your dc. I hope all goes well flowers

Mumptywumps Sun 17-Dec-17 11:55:54

Thank you everyone xxx Less than 24 hours to go. I'm hoping my ex might not even turn up given that he doesn't have a case ... but I've had the same hope for the previous 2 hearings too and he's been there!

lovewatchingrainfall Mon 18-Dec-17 09:42:09

I hope all goes well today. thanksthanks

PeppermintPasty Mon 18-Dec-17 09:50:32

Oh you poor thing. Listen, I'm a solicitor and I still get nervous about court!! You will be fine once it gets going, it's the old thing about the waiting being the worst.

Well done on being so strong, your children are lucky to have you.

OnTheRise Mon 18-Dec-17 09:50:33

Good luck for today. I hope you get the result you need to make a happy life for you and your child.

Gilead Mon 18-Dec-17 11:11:55

Good Luck! flowers

Liz38 Mon 18-Dec-17 11:20:28

Good luck flowers. Hoping it all goes well for you and your children today.

Welshmaenad Mon 18-Dec-17 13:44:39

Hope all goes well today x

user1494409994 Mon 18-Dec-17 14:05:11

Good luck.

daydreamnation Mon 18-Dec-17 14:07:13

Good luck today! Fingers crossed you and your dc get the outcome you deserve thanks

IPokeBadgers Mon 18-Dec-17 14:19:21

Hope it goes well for you flowers

drinkswineoutofamug Mon 18-Dec-17 14:20:46

Hope you and your children get the outcome you deserve

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 18-Dec-17 16:18:58

Hi OP,

Just wondered how everything went today? Hope the stress starts to ease now. flowers

SunshineHQ Mon 18-Dec-17 16:27:55

Hope you are ok. I was where you are now earlier this year, and the stress was horrendous.

NettleTea Mon 18-Dec-17 17:12:26

I hope it went OK

laurzj82 Mon 18-Dec-17 17:25:59

Hope it went ok OP flowers

Iooselipssinkships Mon 18-Dec-17 17:29:45

Court is traumatic in any case. I too developed PTSD from the abuse and it was certainly exacerbated by the trial. I often look back and think I found court just as bad, if not worse in some respects, than the abuse.
I'm the most crappy weak person I know so if I can make it through then you will.
Get some immediate counselling for the aftermath, gives you space to discuss and explore those confusing feelings.
I'm assuming it's finished now and I hope it went as well as could be.

LazyDailyMailJournos Mon 18-Dec-17 19:20:00

Another one hoping that it went OK. Your symptoms sound like those of extreme stress - your body has spent a prolonged period in 'fight or flight' mode. Hopefully the resolution of the case will help.

Mumptywumps Tue 19-Dec-17 09:00:19

I came to provide an update in case anyone was still reading, and am really touched to find all these lovely thoughts and good wishes - thank you so much all of you! 💕💕💕

He tried to get the hearing postponed because he hadn’t submitted the evidence he was supposed to provide (no doubt because he’d lied about it in the first place and because it would have cost him money - he hasn’t spent a penny on this case). The court’s response was basically ‘lol no’. Apparently it was my solicitor’s fault that he hadn’t done what he should have done. And also, it’s CMS’s fault that he hasn’t been paying maintenance. He is a mess.

Anyway ... my brilliant solicitor persuaded him to withdraw his application. He won’t be allowed to submit a new one without a ton of evidence that it will be a big effort for him to provide (sorry to be so vague here, I’m trying not to out myself). In the mean time the final order is for him not to have direct contact, and he is allowed indirect contact twice a year with each child (basically Xmas and birthday cards).

I will no doubt be thrilled with this result once my brain has caught up! 🎉🎉🎉

Mum4Fergus Tue 19-Dec-17 09:11:21

Great news OP thanks

Natsku Tue 19-Dec-17 09:15:42

Wonderful news OP!

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