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Terrified of ex-bf's lies to get more custody, advice needed :((89 Posts)
Previously posted about this in AIBU but it was suggested I posted here too, so I'll start from the beginning.
Ex-bf and I met at secondry school. We were both excluded from school around the time we first got together and were using illegal substances, I was living with him at the time after a fallout with my mum. During that time we had a child together who was sadly stillborn. At 16 I sought help and ended up in a private fostering arrangement, went back to school and stopped taking the drugs. I have a brilliant relationship with my foster mum and still live with her now. Ex-bf and I were on/off for a year or so after that, during which I had a brief relapse but stopped when I found out I was pregnant with our daughter- the two of us haven't been together since but have remained friends, and I've been completely clean. DD is now three and I would never do anything to compromise her wellbeing.
Until recently ex-bf hasn't really seen DD on a regular basis- for about 4 months he's been having every other weekend with her, those weekends he picks her up from preschool on Friday afternoon and brings her back on Sunday afternoon. This weekend was one of his weekends.
On Friday, one of my best friends who works at DD's preschool told me that when ex-bf picked DD up that day, he asked to have a word with her and said he had reason to believe I'm using again and is afraid for DD's welbeing. He claims to have seen me under influence herself- that is absolute rubbish. This weekend he's also texted me to say he's going to push for 50/50 custody as he doesn't think I can look after DD full time, he's also texted my foster mum asking if she's got any reason to believe I might have started using again.
He dropped DD home today 45 minutes late and said she was anxious about coming home and seemed very distressed- both my mum and I thought she was absolutely fine. According to DD, she had a good weekend but Daddy asked her some funny questions, like whether she'd seen me acting strangely or scarily, and how many times I'd been out after her bedtime recently
I'm absolutely terrified he's going to try and turn my past against me I'm seeing a solictor next week and having a hair sample taken to proove I haven't been taking anything, but in the mean time any advice/hand holding would be much appreciated.
I'll hold your hand and shortly wise people with experience of this sort of thing will come and give you good advice.
I saw your first thread about this. Of course you are worried but please don't worry. Whether your ex's fears are genuine or whether they are the first move in some 'game' he's playing, it is the way you parent your daughter that is important, not your past. And his past isn't that great either as I recall.
Keep calm. Your past is a long time ago and nothing to do with how you are looking after your DD.
Don't ask her questions about the weekend but if she says anything else spontaneously write it down, along with what she has already told you.
He may try to use your past against you but there is no reason to think it will do him any good.
Try not to talk to anyone socially about your fears because you don't want it getting back to him.
Hopefully you will feel better once you have had some legal advice. In the meantime keep everything business as usual.
Aside from the friend all this was mentioned to at DD's preschool, the only person who knows is my foster mum.
I'm going to tell the preschool tomorrow when I drop DD off that no one except me is to pick her up in future unless I say otherwise and I will let them know which Fridays ex-bf is due to pick her up -probably being paranoid but it'll make me feel better.
I'm so scared I'm going to lose her- I know it's irrentional but it probably stems from losing her sister
His past is in some ways worse than mine- he's done in prison for drug-dealing in the past couple of years and was expelled from school, though he's been a reformed character for the last year, up until now.
Also posted on your other thread but the addition of the further info leads me to believe he is setting you up for a take and not return then to request a investigation the clues for this are
1. Asking child leading questions designed to freak her out
2. Dropping hints to professionals involved at school
3. Txt to foster mum
4. Claiming child was distressed at having to return.
He is trying to leave a trail of him highlighting concerns so it looks convincing when he either refuses to return her or walks into SS.
By not taking any drugs I'm hoping that means any none prescribed to you drugs even cannabis?
As you've said drug test and legal advice, if it were my child I would want to protect my child from those sorts of questions because its not on and generally considered to be emotionally abusive particularly if he's also adding stuff onto these questions to imply to dd she should be frightened of you.
I would be cancelling contact until he was able to hold his tongue and desist in dishonesty because to me it would be a huge breach of trust as well as the embarrassment to you via the school and the potential distress to dd.
The steps he's taken so far are almost text book set up ones I'm sure your solicitor will confirm this and chances are they will also advise you to stop contact.
On the upside you live with your foster mum someone who ss trust and whose word would be considered to be safe and she has no concerns, he's shown his hand early enough for you to deal with it, you can obtain proof that you are not using and so far he's had limited contact.
Also if he's unemployed he won't be able to get legal aid after April.
Sockreturningpixie that's what I thought too Strangely reassuring to know it's not just me who thinks that. No drugs at all, absolutely nothing besides occasional pain relief, not since I found out I was pregnant with DD. It was a private fostering agreement rather than a ss foster placement, I don't know if that makes a difference to how much they would trust the word of my foster mum?
He is working although on a temporary contract which I think expires in June, why won't he be able to get legal aid after April?
The cynical side of me is thinking that if he's never been overly bothered by contact before and his work contract runs out in June he's seeing cash signs in thinking he can get full custody and therefore cb and ctc.
I'm assuming no legal aid as the new changes and government cuts all start in April and maybe that's one of them?
Good to see you've moved here Bri! Legal aid is being withdrawn for family issues like contact disputes from 1st April this year.
<*waves to yellow*>
Ah OK, so if only we can hold on until April he would have to pay for legal aid himself?
When I went back to school at 16 I was offered a small government grant as a vulnerable teenager returning to education, we were still together at the time and the grant was his only concern, so it wouldn't surprise me if he was after child benefit. I had thought he had changed though
Definitely not going to be allowing contact for the time being, he's freaked me out and DD seemed confused by his questions
I hadn't thought of that angle, that he is out for the money, that is repulsive if true. How horrible to use dd in that way, pumping her for info with no thought of how it would affect her.
From everything you've said you are in a far far stronger position than he is. Your dd is happy and well cared for, you are clean and stable with good support from your mum. As others have said (who've had direct experience) a court is not going to disrupt all that on the basis of the lying and conniving of someone with a far more unstable background than yours who has only recently been part of dd's life. In fact it will almost certainly work against him.
Good luck with tomorrow, you've got quite a to-do list!
Hold tight. He's been a total idiot and shown his hand very early - you are doing all the right things.
His background and his most importantly his recent background is FAR worse than anything you have done AND he's done all of this as an 'adult'.
He's had no contact with her for most of her life - YOU have brought her up.
You live with another responsible adult who can vouch for you - as can many others.
For whatever reasons (probably financial ) he's trying it on - he's not going to get anywhere with it.
Do everything you have said you are going to do - don't panic, play your cards close to your heart, don't talk to anyone other than your SM (& doctor/solicitor etc) about it - right now it's best not to even talk to friends.
YOU will 'win', please try really really hard not to worry.
Oh and as I said on your other thread - get a journal & a diary and get writing!
Yes he would have to pay for it,unless he's going to claim to be a victim of domestic violence.
When your friend told you what he said how did she say it?
Was it Im giving you the heads up this has been said and school are acting on it or was it you will never guess what that arse has said?
How did she take what was said were you able to tell?
I don't know how a private foster arrangement works long term so I wouldn't know but I'm sure she would be a good person to be on side.
Don't be to surprised if you get a letter or visit or contact from ss and when it happens be honest with them engage with them show them how well you are doing. Do not move out of your foster mums house because she will be your biggest asset.
Make sure your drugs test is done by a docter as home tests are not admissible in court and if needed and you can see if you can have a few over the course of several weeks,you may be charged for this but it will help prove him wrong try to avoid going out drinking enough to get drunk as that shows up on hair strand tests and you don't want to hand him a loaded gun.
Please let us know what happens. His behaviour is disgusting but professionals will see through it - get to your solicitor and tell them exactly what he is doing. NO contact with your girl for him - he is dangerous with his questions to her. What an idiot he is to think he can manipulate everything.
I'm going to tell the preschool tomorrow when I drop DD off that no one except me is to pick her up in future unless I say otherwise
Does he have parental responsibility?
If he does the pre-school are not allowed to prevent him from picking her up without a court order.
If he doesn't you need to make that very clear to them so they know they are within their rights to prevent him from picking her up.
He may be setting up some sort of scenario which he believes will get him custody. That's why you need to keep calm, make everything business as usual for your DD so she isn't unsettled and get some decent legal advice this week.
He seriously thinks he will get residence when he's been in prison for drug dealing recently?
He's been in prison for drug dealing recently, and he thinks he can use your history with drugs against you? He's not thinking straight.
I can see why you're concerned - anyone would be, but please be reassured that you'll be fine. It would be nice to hear how you get along - looking forward to hearing he's been vanquished!
A quick update: DD refused point-blank to go to preschool this morning which is completely out of character, she got all upset and I ended up keeping her off today, I don't know what that's about but worried it could be connected to the events of the weekend. I ended up having to vein her with me to speak to the solicitor as wanted to bring my foster mum for moral support, DD has been absolutely fine since I decided not to send her to preschool all very worrying.
Importantly does he have PR, I.e is he named on her birth cert or has a PR agreement been made?
Oh this is familiar. My ex followed a very similar pattern. Has he started questioning you over any little bruise or scrape that appears on your DDs body? If he hasn't, he will soon.
Expect a phone call from social services following an anonymous complaint about your parenting.
You, unlike I was, are forewarned of things to come. I wish I had mumsnet back then to tell me he was in the process of making a bid for custody , I just thought he was being his usual dickish self.
Hmm, if it was me I'd be worried that he's suggested to her that he plans to collect her from pre-school, or has been dropping hints to her that she might go and live with him and thats why she's reluctant to go.
He might not plan to carry it through but even conversation like this is designed to make her/you uneasy and scared of his actions. Its a control thing whatever he's up to
Has she been happy to attend every day previously?
I second that you ask your friend 'how' he made the remarks that he did on Friday. Also that you keep a good record of all of this.
Is he listed as dds father on her birth certificate? If so, he does have parental responsabilty and the pre-school probably can't stop him removing her - nothing to stop you changing pre-schools though and not telling him where she goes.
They can stop a parent with pr from removing a child if the child is unwilling to go and they believe the child could be at risk of harm.
Unfortunatly most won't as the don't quite understand what the rules are.
For a nrp with pr to take a child and not get problems as a result the child has to be calm willing and not placed under any duress or threat.
But he will try and use her none attendance against you.
Saying crap like you don't value her routine and education
Oh ok Sock, I wasn't sure of the re someone with PR 'removing' a child from pre-school (as opposed to usual collection routines iyswim). My dcs primary wouldn't 'let' anyone take a child who wasn't listed as collecting them that day. I'm not sure how they'd handle it if the person/unknown parent insisted on it.
Attendance is irrelevent at this age though isn't it? Surely OP needs her fears addressed more imprtantly than dd needs to be at pre-school at this stage? Especially as her dd herself was reluctant to go this morning.
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