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TOPIC: Child safety. Contact.

Child safety. Contact. 8 months 1 week ago #94828

  • papa25
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First off sorry for length of post, and probably how muddled it is.
At the start of the year the mother of our children walked out no goodbyes after I discovered she had been having a affair.she moved in with a bloke she meet on line 100s of miles away. few weeks later our 3 children (9,10 and 12) started to open up and become more relaxed and started to confine in me, their Mum would hit my youngest boy put him head locks and push him round, my youngest child has said she would drag her to her bedroom and put things in front of the door to stop her getting out, I informed the school of these issues. as well as other agencies,
I have tried to keep lines of communication open via phone calls she would often belittle them to the degree 2 out of 3 of them now wont talk to her at all.
In august we was struggling money wise so I contacted CMS who then awarded us support, I got a message off her fella saying I had just made my life complicated, 3 weeks later got our divorce papers through and it read like I was a pure monster, viloent and abusive, BUT she still left the kids behind with me when I was not even aware she had gone, it was only after the kids come to find me that I was aware she had left taking stuff that she could pawn as well as our food shopping money... SECOND TIME SHE HAS LEFT THE KIDS.
She has been seen self harming by the kids too and when they said what are you doing her reply was "Look what Daddy did to me"
fast foward to October and i have a message from the mother not asking but demanding that her and her advocate see the kids on halloween. They have said they dont want to see her, and now people around here her friends are saying I am alienating her, which is not the truth we have invited her many a time to join in with family events, but she always has a excuse not to attend such as the distance or the best one yet I cant as skint, but gotta hang up now as am out drinking. and keeps messaging her friends so I been told saying how our oldest is blackmailing her for money.
The kids have gotten into a few fight to as her mates children are calling me a wife beater, thankfully the kids know it was the other way around.
The kids have come on leaps and bounds since she left, all medical appointments are met with and school attendance is 100%
We have agreed to meet up in a cafe with CCTV (for my own safety as well as hers) but I dont know what to do for the best, seems no matter which way I turn I am going to look bad, one side is that yeah i am stopping visitation and the other is I am not protecting the kids, or possibly put them in a position that they are in risk....Please dont judge. I am not the brightest spark and my wording might seem off.
I dont quilify for legal aid and cant afford legal costs so any genuine help or advice would be great. Thanks.

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Child safety. Contact. 8 months 1 week ago #94833

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Hi, and welcome. First, don't worry if your post isn't word perfect, we don't worry about that, as long as you get the details down, that's what matters.

You have to get used to the fact that whatever you do, it isn't going to matter, she will always make out that you are the one at fault, to whoever will listen you her, You have friends and family who know what you are like, especially your kids, so don't worry about the opinions of those who obviously aren't interested in knowing what really went on.

I would say that your ex in no position to make demands - she should be asking, not demanding. I'll leave it for others with better legal knowledge to suggest what steps you are best advised to take and in what order.

I do know what it feels like to be in your position - I got custody of my kids away from their mother a fair number of years back, and she always made out that I was the bad one, but my kids also didn't want much to do with her, and even less so now that they are grown up and she still treats them appallingly when she can be bothered to contact them (in fact when they saw her last year for the first time in years, they came away saying they didn't want to see her again). At the age your kids are, their wishes are definitely going to be a factor in any decision by the courts.

Don't beat yourself up about all of this - you are doing the best for your children, and they obviously know and appreciate it. If mine are anything to go by, you are going to have an awesome relationship with them as they grow up.

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Child safety. Contact. 8 months 1 week ago #94834

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Thank you.

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Child safety. Contact. 8 months 1 week ago #94840

  • Mojo
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Hi there

I can understand why you feel pressurised, but the only voices you need to listen to are your kids right now, take no notice of her friends, of course they're going to take her side of things.

To be honest, I'm not too sure about this meeting you've set up, why would she want to bring an advocate, someone that's a stranger to the children, a person that will perhaps expect to assist her in securing her rights, again not really appropriate for a meeting with the children present, will she want to discuss contact etc in front of them, that just wouldn't be right.

You could email/text her and ask her who the advocate is and what role they will be playing, will they stay in the background, and what is she expecting from the meeting; explaining that any formal discussions about contact etc would not be appropriate with the children there. The first meeting should be kept light and pleasant for the children, it would not be the place for any adult discussion. Might it be better to meet her without the children present, that would be a compromise position... if she is prepared to discuss things in a reasonable manner, that would give you some indication that she's prepared to negotiate with you. If she's all guns firing, then you've probably got a fight on your hands.

You could rescind the offer to meet and propose that contact goes forward supervised in a contact centre to begin with, here's a link to the national association of contact centres, where you can check what is available in your area, there's also a helpline which you may find useful.

www.naccc.org.uk

Actd is right, she's in no position to make demands, that an indication of her mind set in my opinion. I think you should proceed with caution, don't be bullied and keep firm control of the situation.

I'm assuming there's no court order in place and that you're named on the birth certificates? Do you think she is likely to try and remove the children? If this is a concern for you, you can move to secure your children's position by making an urgent no notice court application for a Child Arrangements Order, for the children to live with you, and a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent them from being removed from your care.

An urgent application should be pushed through quickly, without the need for mediation beforehand. A no notice, or ex parte application means that the mother won't be informed about the hearing until afterwards. A date would be set for a second hearing, which she would be asked to attend, to put her side of things across. It's not a quick process, the court will want to order welfare reports and look at the situation in more depth.

The form that you would need is called the C100 form, both applications can be made on the same form and it would cost £215 to submit. If you're on a low income or receiving benefits, you may be entitled to an exemption from the fee, which you can apply for with form EX160a.

As there has been physical and emotional abuse of the children, it's advisable that you complete form C1a too, this is to tell the court about the risks to your children. If she has a history of drink or drugs you should mention that too.

Once you have the forms prepared, it's best to take them to your nearest family court and speak to the office staff in person. Impress upon them how the mother has turned up after 9 months demanding contact, that there has been previous physical and emotional abuse and the children are extremely distressed about seeing her, even refusing to talk to her over the telephone, and you are extremely worried that she will attempt to take them. If you get there at court opening time, they may be able to get you in front of a judge straight away, if not it should be pretty quick.

You might benefit from attending a Families Need Fathers meeting, where you'll get face to face advice and support from people that are in a similar situation. Here's a link to their website, where you'll find details of meetings nationally, hopefully there will be one near you.

www.fnf.org.uk/help-and-support-2/local-branch-meetings

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.

Last Edit: by Mojo.
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