Where to start
Hey there new to the forum. Will have a topic on divorce right after this too. As the title says I’m kind of in limbo at min and don’t know where to start. I’ll try and keep this as focussed on the kids as possible to not complicate matters.
for a little background my ex wife has always been controlling. She will escalate to levels I am not willing to go just to get her outcome. Previously this has been displayed in situations like lying she had money for a dog purchase then a few days later after buying it she didn’t and used her wages so I had to foot the bill. In another when I tried to divorce her a few years ago she created a group between my girls (now 12 and 16) where she said I had an affair and they would have to get used to a new mommy. All unfounded and not true just a way to get at me. Additionally I have a 19 year old boy who now lives with her parents, I am on great terms with him but she is not. He left to escape the crazy but I’m aware he is fully on his own decisions regarding protection etc given his age.
as I said I’ve been trying to divorce her for a few years but I’ve always let it slide because she escalates beyond what’s reasonable including hurting the children which is where I have always submitted.
now and maybe poetically it all kicked off ten minutes after new years 2024. I was out with my son. We were meant to celebrate new years together with girls but she refused to collect me and argued over msg from around 9pm. However she turned up at midnight and in the five minute journey home she hit me twice. I refrained from saying out. Soon as car stopped on driveway I got out and went to leave. She proceeded to attempt to run me over then when I hid behind cars she turned round and drove her car into our home. My girls where in there at the time.
since then she has been added for mental health and there is still an active criminal investigation against her. During this time she has been malicious as u can imagine to me but that’s for the divorce section. What worries me is she is doing the same to the girls. To my 16 year old she has sent pictures of her cut wrists (graphic but clearly not more than just effect. Ie not serious enough to actually cause harm. She sent these to other family members too). To both girls when they wouldn’t talk to her she removed all internet data from their phones (so I got new contracts which she is yet to know the numbers too).
I personally have protection via bail conditions that she is not allowed near home or me. However bail will only last until April 1st or until they charge or release her for any charges they will bring.
as I mentioned she has been harassing the girls and emotionally damaging them first through phone but since through Facebook messenger with various this. Cut writs probably being the worst but not the only thing.
my 16 year old created a police report over harassment as I was advised by them she would not come under child protective issue given she can choose who to stay with.
I have a none molestation order in progress via victim support and I believe my daughter does too however haven’t received paperwork for yet. The police are slow as [censored] and I’m worried she gets discharged from mental assessment soon and I don’t have anything in place to protect them.
I have been to solicitors but as you can imagine I have a hole in my house and a car I’m paying for she has destroyed. Car I definitely have to pay for myself. The house is yet to be determined given it’s intentional damage so I’m stuck between blowing anything we heve (not a lot) between solicitors or providing a safe environment for my children.
from the childrens side right now I wonder if anyone has any experience on what I can do to safeguard them and the most cost effective way to do so.
for example my 12 year old worried she will turn up at school and try to take her out.
I am constantly chasing child services in my area to come and take some sort of view because I know the girls will say the truth and that should in my eyes show they are safe with me and that she cannot see or prevent harm to them for desire of hurting me.
I’ve heard of all sorts of stuff like occupation orders. Custody orders etc all which costs a lot via solicitors but I don’t know where to start.
ideally I’m looking for “x charity/service will help you assert total parental control (if children and assessment agree) if you do xyz”
if I have to pay so be it I just don’t know if I’m throwing money at solicitors if this can be done in a more affective way given the financial situation she has created.
I'm sorry to hear about your problems. There should be a local organisation that will help you apply for a non molestation order/occupation order. They should be able to apply for this before bail conditions end. Search via your council website and see whats available. The Rights of Women website will have useful information as will advicenow.org.uk. The non mol should include stopping her from going to schools and your work place as well. There is no fee for the application and you can ask for it to be heard without notice to her.
Whilst I cannot offer any legal advice on your very difficult situation, as a parent myself, I would offer that keeping the communication open between yourself and your daughters is key. It reads to me that you care very much about your daughters welfare, and I applaud you for that. I would encourage you to seek help from a domestic abuse charity, and as @champagne says, use your local council to find out about any other organisations that my be able to assist you. You and your daughters have all experienced and continue to experience trauma. It maybe worth looking into some counselling for your daughters - a safe place where they can talk to a professional who is not there to judge, but there to listen and offer coping mechanisms to the girls as they navigate this with you. Make sure that the girls schools are aware of what is going on, how your 12 year old is scared that her Mum may come and get her from school. Her school will have a safeguarding policy in place, but they need to hear from you about just what is happening and how it affecting your children.
It may be prudent to keep a log of all the incidences when and if they occur, so that you have some factual evidence. Like I said, I don't know all the legalities, but as a parent in your situation these are some of the things I would do.
Finally, when you are with your daughters, whether it be at your home or you are out with them, you can make the time you do have with them count. However difficult it maybe I would suggest refraining from discussing current matters to do with their Mum, unless they bring it up and want to know things. Also don't be afraid to chase up services like the Police for the paperwork, especially regarding what you say about your daughter, the right documents are an important piece of the puzzle.
I really do hope that you and your daughters will be able to find some peace and justice for this situation, Keep going, one day at a time, tell your girls you love them and that you are trying your very best to help them.
Wishing you all the very best,