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TOPIC: OK, i messed up, how much punishment is legitimate

OK, i messed up, how much punishment is legitimate 4 months 2 weeks ago #98080

First of all, I’m so pleased I found this place.... I tend to bottle things up which then in results in making bad decisions, which has a knock on effect on me, the wider family ... basically everyone !I will keep this short (try to!) And to the point, hopefully not too blunt and all the while know I accept what I did was totally WRONG

1. Mum & Dad split up in 2015, after having daughter in 2013
2. Break up final straw was an argument (which I admit to pushing her from the bed) to wake to find police.
2. Arrested - let off with NFA (no further action). Mum was keen to point out afterwards, she said she didn’t want to press charges, but in these cases its irrelevant; if a Mum makes an allegation and its substantiated, irrespective of what mum wants to do or not it’s down to Police & CPS to decide to press charges or not.
Abhorrent behaviours from me, but made me realise we were not happy for a while, any small argument about the washing up, she would take my daughter; and mum and Lily (daughter) would stay with her partners 30 mins down the road/, for the weekend or as long as it took for me to apologies. This would invariably happen on a Friday, so that at weekend I was alone in my house.
4. In Police cell i was angry, as well as sorry for what i had done, but decided to move on, advertised on spare room and moved a lodger in.
5. It all worked out v well. Mum got nice new flat, benefits paid montly which easily covered null and more, I found Mum a perfect job where she could do her 16 hours from hone and still look after Lily. Of course it stull hurt I was not living with my family jut I justified it by lots of fathers work hard / or work far away, so they also don’t see tehri kids Mndasy to Friday.
6. Each weekend, i visited my daughter and stayed over at Mums, so that we could do family activities, and show a united parenting front for Lily, There was no intimacy between Mum & Dad.
7. We agreed Child Maintenance, loosely based on the CM Calculator - i was aware I was paying slightly under but accepted the additional adhoc requests for money during the month which would usually balance out the £100 short fall. At one point we agreed to up initial montly miantennace paymantem a further £60 which we all agreed to no problem. These paymnetrzs wer maxe regullary each month to Mum, in addition to ad-hooc reqests from Mun
Anyway to now, we fell out big tine. She became aware that I had used drugs from n a new friend I was having coffee with. Plus, i recently lost my job also to having illicit drugs in my system. I was suspended on full pay for 2 and 1/2 months, then they dismissed me - I I knew tgis was coming so have my CV in reasonable shape.
In feb, although Maintenance was still due (technically suspend on full pay I was still employed) i stupidly cancelled Standing Orders, but immediately called up and paid it from my accunt. Mum confirmed she incurred no extra costs or penalties by funds being 1 hour later than normal.
Unbeknownst to me, she then registered a claim at Child Maintenance on ten 10th March, I was summarily dismissed on the 15th March - basically meaning no PILN,
Also, she contacted an agency - think called connected who are linked to west Sussex local authority and the people she is dealing with are FSW - Family support Workers.
What Mum has said is the following:
I cannot see Lily anymore unless via a Contact Centre and this will only be relaxed once 6 months clean urine samples are provided).
Whilst im getting on and finding contact centres, I’m trying to establish if a Family Worker has the authority to implement these rule, pus who is providing the urine tests. As it happens, as I address my drug use / Issue i fortnightly go and see a drug counsellor to talk through why i have used in the past etc and every now and then - I’m talking ad hoc could be once in 4 months, i may be asked to take a urine test. In any event the 2 agencies (mine in Redhill, a drug rehab centre nationally linked with NHS and govt approved (i-Access) and an outfit of FSWs (Connected) that there is very little info about although they are i believe affiliated with West Sussex local; authority.

So i have a couple of questions:
1., Surley Dad needs to be assessed for his risk to his daughter before they apply any draconian rules? I have regular been with Lils’ since she was born and whilst Drugs full stop are sooooo inappropriate, I never used whilst with Lily or around Lily, it was usuaky after a noce weelened away anss on returnrign ine to an emoty bhousem the temptation to use , crept in, Whever I was wit Lily or taken Lily to my folks ofr didters it was never an issue. Either way drugs are wrong and I am taking action to address these issues.
2., Secondly, I have not received any written advice from “connected “ or West Sussex local follow and Authority explaining who they are, what rules / regs i must follow and under what autgrtoirty they are issuing these guidelines rules and until when they are in place and can be relaxed. All the info is coming from Mum, so I have no idea what she is saying to “connected” Maybe a SAR to West Sussex>?
As a side note, Mum and Dad originally agreed family based Child Maintenance but because of the failing out them CMS are now involved officially, I have since received letters asking me to pay £499 a month with 1st payment due on 1st May. Clearly there are issues with their calculation as this was based on last year’s tax return and has not taken into account the fact I am now unemployed since 15th March and not claiming benefits as yet. SO my point is, now the CM authorities are involved and are telling me what I must do and how and when to pay, I must follow their guidelines. Meanwhile I have Mum asking or £zx amount as a favour. My understanding is that it doesn’t work that way, anymore, we did have a Fam based arrangement allowing an agreed or adhoc amount but also allow for propensity to agree additional amounts for school clothes etc. Anyway , my point being is Mum seems to want to cherry pick the best bits of both; the higher amount from CMS, or the more genial approach of being able to send monies as an when on top of the agreed maintenance payment. I appreciate this is harsh, but by informing the CNMS without my knowledge I must now do all things by the book and only do what CMS tell me to do. In the meantime, they have asked for a copy of the dismissal letter, I think a couple of the CMS staff didn’t believe I when I said I had lost mt job, So Once this proof is in, and it conforms I have zero income regrettab.e rhere will be zro mainttane available, Whilst Im keen to get back to work as soon as possible, I just need advise as to am I doing the cprrect thing ?> Or shod I pay an adhoc paymswnt to my ex ppartenr out side of the CMS, even though she has initiated the claim ! Surely you cannot have your cake and eat it >? Please would you let me know your thoughts?

Kind regards and thank you in advance if youre still awake!

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OK, i messed up, how much punishment is legitimate 4 months 2 weeks ago #98091

  • Mojo
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Hi there

I think recognising you have a problem and seeking help is a good first step. Well done for getting help.

As far as I am aware the Contact Centre would need a court order before facilitating any kind of drug or alcohol testing. You can speak to them about their rules about this.

It doesn’t always follow that the local authority Children Services would write to you to confirm any meetings they’ve had with the mother. If she has spoken to them they can give her advice about how best to safeguard the child, but I doubt they would have gone as far as demanding regular testing over a six month period... they may have suggested it to her informally.

You could ask her for the name of the FSW so that you can make contact to discuss ways forward. You are holing your hands up to your drug use and actively doing something about it.

You could try mediation to try and get some agreement with the mother, it is a requirement before a court application can be made for a Child Arrangements Order anyway. If she won’t agree, you can then make an application, but bear in mind the courtwill take a cautious approach and may not agree any contact until they have a detailed welfare report about your situation.

The child maintenance situation is entirely your decision, as you can prove you’re unemployed I think you'll only have to pay a minimum £7 pw, paying any more at your discretion, but doing so might help to repair a little of the recent damage to your parental relationship.

Best of luck

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

OK, i messed up, how much punishment is legitimate 4 months 2 weeks ago #98108

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with regards to maintenance, you are only obliged to pay what the CMS say you have to - you can of course pay additional money on a voluntary basis, but that's entirely up to you. You will be assessed at £7 per week once you start to claim benefits (assuming you do) but that's it - as you say, it was her choice to go down the enforced route, so she must be prepared to accept their rulings.

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OK, i messed up, how much punishment is legitimate 4 months 2 weeks ago #98120

Thank you both for your measured calm reply, this is all in the interests of lily so it’s good to know it would appear there’re is no official sanction or even a social worker file open, however, at this stGe, I need to de escLTe everything and prove, I’m seeking help, getting help and getting better, irespetive if what else goes on aro7bd me,

It was nice an reassuring to hear mature responses that said in a different tone or manner may have received a different outcome, we are all weird beats.

Funnily enough, since re quests from mum re money which I have flat bagged and suggested we wait until the professionals decide, she has toned her correspondence much down ..... daughter has been agreed to go with my mum, dad, sister, brother in law And cousins all next week and naturally I wasn’t invitited although to be fair, I did not ask, as did not want to seem to. Push it. It’s only that my mum and dada have returned from ho,i day so it would be lovely for us all to catch up next week" ... perhaps thi is one for s conversation with the FSW and to also, (depending on how things go) just establish which author tut suggested the contra centre and are there papers confirming the outcome which is I usually made by court order.

Many thanks for your help
SJ

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OK, i messed up, how much punishment is legitimate 4 months 2 weeks ago #98130

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We don’t judge here SJ... we’re all in favour of the child’s best interests and helping where we can.

...that’s a good sign, at least she hasn’t blocked your family from seeing your daughter... small steps.

It’s quite common for ex partners to exaggerate and claim that they have contacted Social Services, who have then laid down conditions, generally the advice Social Services would give, when told about safeguarding concerns, is to suspend contact and seek legal advice.

All the best

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

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