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Any advice ?

(19 Posts)
happyfaceschildcare Sat 04-Oct-08 14:10:24

I split up with my abusive ex over a year ago my dd has never had any relationship with him he never wanted a girl, already had 2 boys from previous who he worships and always put her down and belittled her I finally got the courage to leave when his abuse became worse towards her and violent towards me she has never wanted to see him since we split up but being intimidated by him I used to feel she should go cos he is her father but she makes herself ill over it and cries for days before going and when she comes home she says he has been moaning at her, she only ever goes for a few hours once a month but she really doesn't want to and I hate seeing her so upset she has always been my life and always will be today she maid herself so upset I told him she wouldn't be coming and he became very abusive again threatening me with all sorts and is now saying he is going to go to court and get a court order for her to go to him and stay over once a month she has not stopped sobbing what can I do she is nearly 9 years old has anyone been in a similar situation ? would the court allow him to do this as he has such abusive tendancies ? we are divorced already on the reasons of unreasonable behaviour where he has signed the papers to agree that he was violent towards me and abusive to my dd so the court would have this on record, I would never stop her seeing him if that was what she wanted but she really doesn't want to go I know I really need to go and see a solicitor but can't really afford one.

mumoverseas Sat 04-Oct-08 14:33:50

hi happyfaceschildcare, so sorry to read about your problems and hope I can offer some practical advice.
If your DD does not want to go then please do not force her as that is the worst thing you can do. You will have to explain to your ex that she is upset and doesn't want to go.
The only course of action he has if he doesn't accept your (and your DD's) decision, is to make an application in the County Court for a Contact Order. If he makes such an application you would normally receive notice of a first court appointment approximately 8 to 12 weeks after he makes the application (if varies from court to court depending how busy they are as childrens says tend to be only once a week). At that first court appointment (you do not take your DD) you and your ex will talk to the CAFCASS officer (formerly called the court welfare officer) an officer appointed by the court to attempt to resolve issues between you. You and your ex will both go into the meeting (without solicitors even if you have instructed them) with the CAFCASS officer and your ex will no doubt rant and rave about you refusing him contact. You will then get your opportunity to explain why you are refusing contact. It is often quite common for agreements to be made for interim contact whilst with the CAFCASS officer but in your case it sounds unlikely. You would therefore then go before the District Judge (with solicitors if you have them) and you would again explain your reasoning. It is highly unlikely given what you've said that the Judge would order that there be unsupervised contact at this time although it may be agreed/ordered that there should be supervised contact if appropriate. This could either be supervised by a family member or friend or perhaps at a contact centre. What is likely to happen then is that the District Judge will order the CAFCASS officer to prepare a detailed report into your case. He/she will normally visit you at home (possibly on your own and with your DD) and will meet with your ex. Sometimes, it is considered appropriate for the child involved to be interviewed but given your daughters age it is borderline whether they would However, given what you have said about her being so upset, she may well be talked to informally. The report is usually ordered to be prepared and filed at court (and served on both you and your ex) within about 12 weeeks but invariably it takes much longer due to a shortage of CAFCASS officers.
Please do not worry about being bullied into agreeing to contact if you are not happy with it. Usually the reasons for the divorce do not come into it but if he has previous for being abusive and violent it will of course come up. I would advise you to keep a diary from now on of any incidents and try to document any other previous incidents that you can so that you can provide this to the Court should you need to.

Good luck x

happyfaceschildcare Sat 04-Oct-08 15:25:10

Thank you so much for your information this has really helped, it is so difficult to know what to do for the best I have had family tell me I shouldn't try and stop her seeing her father so I always feel I should try to make her go, I don't ever force her in the sense of saying "you have to go" I just try to incourage her and he will normally talk to her on the phone and kind of bully her into going I know that sounds harsh but he will put a guilt trip on her and threaten to have a go at me so she goes to keep him quiet but when he picks her up and she says goodbye I see the tears in her eyes and it breaks my heart, I am glad today I put my foot down and stood up to him and now with your advice I feel more confident in telling him no she will not be going again.
Thank you

mumoverseas Sat 04-Oct-08 16:43:12

It is a difficult situation and I don't envy you. Yes, you should encourage your daughter to see her father but at the end of the day, if it is really upsetting her, you have to put her first.
With regards to contact between children and both parents, the starting point is that the child should have regular contact with both parents. However, if there is a particular reason why there shouldn't be contact (ie her really not wanting to go) then this must be taken into account. If your ex is not happy then perhaps it might be sensible to write him a letter explaining that at this time she just doesn't want to go and becomes very upset just before she is due to go. Make it clear you are not totally withdrawing all contact, but you need to put her first. Perhaps they could have indirect contact, ie speak on the phone once a week and he could write to her? Keep a copy of the letter so that if he does make an application to the Court, you can illustrate that you are not withdrawing contact out of spite or any other reason, you are just putting your child first. At the end of the day, if the matter goes to court, the Judge's paramount concern is the welfare of the child.
Hope all ok but I will keep an eye out for you on here should you need further advice

quinne Sat 04-Oct-08 23:45:09

I don't know anything about the procedures but mumoverseas idea sounds good.
It makes more sense to say "not until she's happier about it" than "never" and it makes an awful lot of sense to put everything you want to say to him in writing.
Every time you write to him though think of it as if you are writing a "Dear Judge" letter. The point of the letter is not for him - it is for the judge to see that you are a reasonable person, looking out for your daughters best interests and not trying to influence her against her father at all. Leave out any personal spiteful messages and it will all be so much better for you in the end. And if you include a plan to rehabilitate your DD with her father then maybe the judge would be inclined to go with your plan rather than your husbands?
The thing to remember is that the people who make the decisions will only know what they are told because they don't know any of you yet, so here is your chance to influence them positively.
I'd keep the diary too, particularly recording contact from your ExH and your daughters reaction. e.g. "3 days since the last phone call and she has calmed down at last..."

I wonder what would happen if you asked him in the letter if he can shed some light on why she is so upset to see him (so that together you can solve the problem?) Maybe other mumsneters might know how this would go doew with the decision makers.

happyfaceschildcare Sun 05-Oct-08 10:00:36

Thank you so much that is such a good idea I am going to do a letter today and send it recorded delivery so he can't say he never received it.
I do have some incidents recorded already and so does my mum so I'll make sure I keep that up to date.
It's really nice to know that I have support thank you x

mumoverseas Sun 05-Oct-08 10:08:01

hi happyfaces, hope you managed to get some sleep last night and weren't worrying too much about this. Glad you are doing letter, its a good 'arse covering' exercise just in case he gets nasty. Good luck x

happyfaceschildcare Mon 06-Oct-08 10:22:04

Am not sleeping to well cos on top of things I am a childminder and one of my parents is just not paying me and I am really struggling ( but I have drafted the letter getting my mum to read it over before I send it to him, but he hasn't bothered us since saturday he hasn't called me or dd (she has a special phone which is just for contact from him)and normally he hassles us all the time so hopefully he'll just stay away but I'm sure I'm not that lucky ;o)

mumoverseas Mon 06-Oct-08 11:30:30

ref parent not paying, you are not a charity, if you don't get paid, don't look after the child! They will soon pay up!

happyfaceschildcare Mon 06-Oct-08 12:22:51

As you can probably tell I do tend to let people walk all over me ;o)
I tried putting my foot down and said I was going to re-advertise the vacancy so she told me she'd asked her dad for a cheque and I would have it today so continued minding for her and today still no cheque she says it must have been delayed in the post.... do I tell her to stuff it or wait and see if it appears tomorrow ?
You are like my personal fountain of all knowledge is there anything you don't know ;o) thanks again

mumoverseas Mon 06-Oct-08 12:36:06

hi happyfaceschildcare,
I wouldn't go so far as to say I know everything, far from it! I just know a bit about family law and common sense. Am just wondering what my DD's nursery (or my mortgage company!) would say if I said that payment would be delayed as the check is in the post! Call me cynical!
Personally, I'd give her one more day then seriously think about saying no to looking after her child. You should think about getting payment in advance from people who have payment issues! I have to pay my DD's nursery fees a month in advance and my other DD's private school fees a term in advance. Pretty sure they'd sling her out of boarding school if I didn't pay!

mumoverseas Mon 06-Oct-08 12:37:15

ps, your ex is stupid, how can any man not want a girl? My DH and I are expecting our 2nd child together (I have 2 from first marriage) and he is desperate for another girl! fingers crossed til my scan in 2 weeks!

happyfaceschildcare Mon 06-Oct-08 13:36:12

O wow congratulations good luck with the scan keep me posted it's been great talking with you xx
This woman is so cheeky payment is supposed to be in advance but she doesn't see why she should pay in advance when she is paid in arrears and is dragging her heels, she says she can't see how I don't have enough money to pay my council tax as I have other kids I look after....surely it shouldn't matter what I'm spending her money on the fact is we have a contract and she has agreed to pay me a month in advance so she should be sticking to that - like you say another day and then enough's enough - all this stress right on top of christmas too ahhhhhhhhhhh ! at my scan when my ex found out it was a girl he said "trust you" and stormed out ( I foolishy worked so hard to keep us together as a family thinking things would get better and thinking my dd needed her mum and dad together and I think I've done her more harm than good it's her I feel sorry for in all this she doesn't deserve it and all I want is to give her a special christmas and now I'm lacking money to top things off !!!! moan over - for now anyway )

mumoverseas Mon 06-Oct-08 13:51:19

OMG! cheeky bloody bitch! What the hell has it got to do with her how and what you spend your money on? I'm sorry but I'd tell her to sling her bloody hook! I'm so angry for you!
Are you able to take on other children? If so, take one on and let her find someone else to sponge off. there was a thread recently about someone paying their DC's nursery fees late and the general opinion from us mums is 'you know the rules so pay'. People seemed quite annoyed that this woman was taking the p*!
You are lucky to have your DD and she is lucky to have you. Little girls are so precious.
good luck tomorrow and lets hope the tight bitch pays up! xxx

happyfaceschildcare Mon 06-Oct-08 14:44:00

Ah you have made me smile ) she makes me feel like I'm in the wrong for wanting to be paid it's madness and I feel sorry for the mums that are paying me it's not fair on them. I have started re-advertising already would love to take on a new child and get rid of this parent ! so if you here of anyone needing childcare in Kent think of me ;o)

mumoverseas Tue 07-Oct-08 05:35:35

Go girl! Kick arse! (lets hope she is reading and recognises herself!)

quinne Tue 07-Oct-08 12:14:19

write your contracts so that there is a penalty payment when money is paid late (4% over prevailing HSBC rate for example). You can always informally waive it if you want to. Also write a clause that makes them pay your legal expenses if you have to take legal action to get your money (that speeds people along too). I deal with a lot of contracts so I can give you the wording if it helps...

That is for new parents though (and this one when she has paid up and you are restarting the relationship). Meantime I would ask her to sign a letter acknowledging that she has not paid for the period <dates> and guaranteeing payment within 48 hours in cash!

happyfaceschildcare Tue 07-Oct-08 17:39:54

Have you seen my latest post it's in the childminding section - things just get worse and worse don't know how much more I can take (

mumoverseas Wed 08-Oct-08 07:52:35

ooh, don't normally look at that one. will have a look

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