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38 replies

choccybickie · 08/04/2007 18:12

Hi everyone.I've posted about this on another thread but was hoping some more of you would offer advice if I started another. I had my son in December and he's 4 months old. His father and I were never a couple but I tried my hardest to keep things amicable for DS sake. However, when he was 5 weeks old his father decided to come and pick him up with a car full of his friends (they are all 19 years) and I said no. Since then I have been bombarded with threats that he is going to get him off me so I had to get a solicitor. She proposed that he have contact once a week for 3 hours, as DS is so young, his solicitor however proposed every wednesday OVERNIGHT and for 10 hours every sunday. This week I've been told if I dont give him that much contact, I am being taken to court. Its so upsetting and has ruined DS first months for me. I'm on tablets for all the stress because I believe its best for my son to be in his own home, where he feels safe and the surroundings are familiar, in the comfort of his routine with his mummy at 4 months old. I just don't know what to do. Any advice would be great x

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ChipButty · 08/04/2007 18:14

This would make me very uncomfortable. Are you able to insist upon visits in your own home? Does the father have any childcare experience?

tortoise · 08/04/2007 18:15

I very much doubt he would get that sort of contact from courts.
Are you breast feeding? No way your ds can be away too long if you are!

Good luck. Hope its all sorted out soon.

choccybickie · 08/04/2007 18:19

I was so soft when I first visited my solicitor that I agreed that he can take him to his house for contact so that he can also see his auntie and grandparents whom he lives with, as the father is only 19 (im 26)it does make me feel slightly better that his parents are there.

Unfortunatley I stopped breastfeeding because my baby wanted more than I could produce

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ChipButty · 08/04/2007 18:25

Seek a second opinion. Is this man's name on the birth certificate? If not, I think I am correct in saying that he has no formal rights over the child.

choccybickie · 08/04/2007 18:34

He is on the birth certificate which I did for the sake of my son. Unfortunately this trouble started the day after he was registered

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gigglinggoblin · 08/04/2007 18:42

on the one hand i do feel dads have as much right to see their kids as mums, and i think you should keep in mind how you would feel if you only saw ds for 3 hours a week. i dont think you can use the excuse that dad doesnt know him, cos the only reason he doesnt is that he doesnt see him enough. however it isnt really practical to share custody usually, and i would not have been happy with the car full of mates (tho you would probably think it was ok if you went out with your mates and ds).

i think at this age little and often is best. you dont say if either of you are working or how close you live. would it be poss to take ds to his house for an hour every other night? then he gets to know his dad and will be better prepared when he does spend longer there on his own (its fairly inevitable if dad keeps seeing him).

if you can avoid court, please do. its necessary if you have been fighting a long time but its expensive, takes ages and you will prob end up hating each other.

i know the first bit is preachy, but lots of women seem to think their kids are just theirs and dads have no rights. this is really unfair on the kids aswell as the dads. i dont see why it is soft to allow your son to go to his fathers house, it seems perfectly normal to me.

choccybickie · 08/04/2007 18:46

Yeah I agree that my son has a right to see his father, not the other way around. We unfortunatley live 20 miles away from him. but like I've said Im not trying to stop him seeing him, its all the bullying and threats I'm getting that I don't want. As I've said Ive offered to allow him into my house whenever he wants to see him, bath him, put him to bed etc but he refuses to take this opportunity

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choccybickie · 08/04/2007 18:49

.....also its him threatening to take me to court, its obviously not the road I want to go down, but my son needs a stable routine and environment at 4 months old. its his age that is the issue, had he been old enough then I would feel fine about him staying overnight

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gigglinggoblin · 08/04/2007 18:57

if the offer is there then he is being an idiot and the court will see that. i have been through court a few times with same x, its not great but they do listen to sense so carry on being reasonable and they will listen to you. my x dreamed up some ridiculolus contact schedule, i asked for something sensible and they just went along with that. im not saying thats what always happens, but it did for me

are you sure it is him pushing for contact or could it be his mum? would it be worth trying to get on her good side? if there is something you could do near his house for a few hours then you could call in so she sees her grandson. xmil was the one pushing for x to go to court, i think cos she wanted to know she woulod not lose contact

Judy1234 · 08/04/2007 18:59

IN a number of countries even for babies the assumption if 50% of time with each parent and a lot of mothers fight very hard in the UK to get their other half to see the children at all so in a sense you're lucky and it's nice for the child he can bond with and love his father. The more regular the contact the easier it is for a baby to get used to that other person, granny, father, nursery or whatever. He's likely to win contact in court, isn't he? SO you're going to have to agree to something reasonable. What if you were asking for contact and the father had him - just put yourself in his shoes - how much contact would you want? Also won't it really long term help you in terms of your work and finding someone else if the father sees his son? In a way the younger he bonds with his father the better.

FairyEdwards · 08/04/2007 19:01

have you got a solicitor?

that is the first thing you should do.

choccybickie · 08/04/2007 19:02

I actually think it is his mum. Thing is I before solicitors got involved, I asked her to come and see him. her reply was 'its not the same'!!! It just makes me think that he's a toy to them, if they were that bothered, every chance to see him that I offered they would take surely? I feel like nothing is good enough for them if it is my idea or my terms not theirs

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choccybickie · 08/04/2007 19:03

Xenia - I DO let him have contact he takes himaway 3 hours a week and he can come here anytime he wants

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FairyEdwards · 08/04/2007 19:08

look he has a solicitor you NEED TO GET A SOLICITOR ON TUESDAY. They will know how these negoitations work - maybe it is like buying a house and he starts high and anticipates being argued down.


choccybickie · 08/04/2007 19:09

I have a solicitor don't worry. The contact he has now was legally arranged

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EllieKthePA · 08/04/2007 19:15

let him take it to court, your son is young enough that he won't remember it, and when i was in a similar situation i was advised that very rarely do a court award overnight access visits for a child under 2.

I know it's lots of stress for you but i'd be inclined to think that if you go down any other route you'll find he threatens court again next time he (or his muum!) wants something you won't agree to x

monika11 · 08/04/2007 19:17

not to have contact with father is difficult, having contact is difficult.
it is because they are thinking first themselves.

gigglinggoblin · 08/04/2007 19:21

my ultra controlling xmil used to say she had not seen ds if i was around, she had to be in control and she saw me as competition. if you are on speaking terms with his mum i would try to appeal to her. explain that in a few years ds will be old enough to ask to go and see her and you want to be able to take him there if he does. or you want to be able to pop round if you are in the area, maybe even call her for babysitting sometimes. dangle as many carrots as you can, it cant do any harm. then add that you know someomne who went through court and you know how hard it was and how everyone ended up not speaking to each other which was not only really bad for the child but also meant that all the things most kids take for granted like those just listed could no longer happen (make sure it doesnt sound like a threat). maybe even arrange to do something near their house so she can have ds for an hour every now and then, so she knows you are willing to make it work. it is so much easier if you stay in control of the situation rather than having it all dictated in a court order.

choccybickie · 08/04/2007 19:21

Thanks EllieK. Thats why I knew mediation wouldnt work. I actually went to his house myself and sat and discussed when he could have him, 2 weeks later he said he was staying overnight and I couldnt do anything about it, thats why I got a solicitor. I agree that if it doesnt go to court, this will just go on forever x

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choccybickie · 08/04/2007 19:25

Thats some really good advice gg. I work with his sister (im her boss) and when I go back things are going to have to be amicable between us. Unforunately the letter I received from his solicitor this week stated I have 14 days to give him the contact he proposed, no less or i will be taken to court. There was no room for negotiation

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gigglinggoblin · 08/04/2007 19:30

court proceedings can stop any time, right up to the final hearing. so if they apply to court it doesnt mean you have to go all the way down that route. i would say they are trying to scare you, dont let them. have just read your other thread and my xmil did the clothes thing aswell. they used to spend £40 on shoes which would be worn a couple of hours a week, then take them off when the kids got home cos they didnt want me to have them. pathetic, but not worth getting worked up about. if you think you can negotiate better without the solicitors then go ahead, it takes months and months to get to a final court hearing and little is likely to change before then so it might be better for them if they dont bother

EllieKthePA · 08/04/2007 19:33

i'd be tempted to think that they'd drop out of court proceedings, once they see you won't be pushed arouund, and may try harder to work with you, if not, you've got a solicitor on your side and all of Mumsnet for support x

choccybickie · 08/04/2007 19:34

thank you gg. its such a comfort to get advice from someone who has been there and understands. at the end of the day its the welfare of my son that is my priority. thank you again

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choccybickie · 08/04/2007 19:35

thanks ellie too, i feel much more positive

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EllieKthePA · 08/04/2007 19:40

I'm 25 and my ex is 27 but behaves like he's still a teen sometimes! like you, we have not been a couple since just before i found out i was pg, and i had the threaat of court etc.

it was entirely fuelled by new gf and mil and as soon as i stopped letting him shout and make me cry, saw a solicitor and got a letter sent to him, they changed attitude entirely!

it lasted all of 2 months (when ds was same age as yours) and since then he's been an excellent father, sees ds at least once a week if not more, and once ds was 2 i asked him to start having him overnight occasionally.

this may not hppen for you but i just wanted you to know that it doesn't always end badly, you can come out the other side

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