I moved 6 years ago to live with my ex I was with since 7 years at the time. She is British.
She gets pregnant a few month after I came to the UK and we decided to keep the child and it has been the best decision I ever take!
I'm a musician, I was very successful in my work in France and the deal with my ex was that I would try to build my career here. I started with low incomes but a bit of savings and was living in her house.
I did different small jobs at the same time as my main job to assure money the first year I was there.
After a year of being self employed I reach £1000/month.
After mu daughter was born, the behavior of my ex started to change, she became extremely controlling. The relationship took a very nasty turn, she started to be very manipulative.
I was in a very tricky situation.
My dad died 3 years ago just before christmas. My ex was a hell! Lies, manipulations,... we splitted up after new year.
I had to find a house and try to find a way to increase my incomes.
With a lot of helps from friends, I manage to find a house and being able to welcome my daughter here.
She was nearly a year old and one day that I was talking with her mom and I told her that if I couldn't find a house in the UK, I would have no other choices but going back to France, her mom says to my daughter "Look how your dad is ready to abandon you".
From that I realised that I will have very hard time to build a healthy relationship with my daughter.
I manage to build up my work and I have to work when most people finish work and school and on Saturday.
After a very hard and long fight I manage to have my daughter every Saturday evening until Tuesday morning.
Which was good for her mom as she didn't had to pay for nursery.
In Septemver 2018, my daughter started school.
Her mom imposed me to have her every other weekend. Means that I have her from Saturday night until Tuesday morning twice a month.
Means that I have 2 sundays a month. I told her that I didn't agree as for nearly 3 years our daughter get used to see me every week.
I also tried to negotiate for nearly a year to find an other way, but my ex just stays on the arrangement she wants unless I find an other job that fit with the timetable she wants me to follow.
I tried the mediation in August (I pass all the manipulations and lies) she says that it was too expansive for her (she is very comfortable with money) and refuses the mediation unless I paid for her.
I applied to court.
It is schedule on the 7th of March for the first hearing.
She contacted a sollicitor and I guess he told her to attend to mediation because now she wants to do it. I have been very precise with the fact that if we dont have an agreement signed by a judge before the first hearing, then I will carry on with the court as planned.
The thing is, I can see that everything is done to keep me apart from my daughter. Any influence, anything that come from me is seen as bad for her.
My daughter is scared of swimming on her own with airbands for example, and I have been to the swimming pool, telling her that when I was a little boy, my mom told me that the only way to not being scared of things is to be brave and face it.
She started to swim a bit on her own and was very very proud! I was as well!
My daughter constantly asked me to tell her what my mom told me when I was a boy. She was scared of the dark, to the point that she didn't want to go in her bedroom on her own if the lights wasn't on. After a short moment, she did it herself and stopped being scared of the dark!
I have told her mom all this, thinking that she would be happy and use that technic to help our daughter to be more confident and the first thing she did was telling our daughter that it was a ridiculous story and if she is scared she has the right to be.
This is one exemple of the millions of situations of all the things that are taken away from my relationship with my daughter.
Even if it's goes against her well being.
I spoke to cafcass on the phone a few weeks ago. I told them that I didn't think that her mom would hurt our daughter. I just says that we couldn't find a way to have a good arrangement.
After that I took some time to think about the situation and realised that I was in a case of PA.
I tried to contact cafcass again, but obviously it is Christmas time and no answer.
How can I prove the PA? I have a lot of texts messages showing the manipulation, the decisions taken and changed on last minutes,...
I saw 2 solicitors and 1 barrister.
They told me that she will not have the arrangement as it is now from a judge.
I think I would like to go for a shared "custody" (I know it is not the right term anymore), as I think that will reduce the impact of the manipulation of her mom.
How can you prove a PA? How to arrange things for a shared time 50/50?
Thank you for reading this and sorry for all the details but I had talk about the emotional part of this situation as well.
from what you described, does not seem like there is major manipulation. Serious PA is if your child does not want to see you and refuses to go, because she has been manipulated/brainwashed by the other parent.
you have a good arrangement at present. i would love to have my kids every weekend like you. The issue is in court they would look at being fair to both parents. your ex will likely argue that seeing the child every other weekend is fair on both parents and the child. every other weekend is a very common arrangement during court process. seems like it is the standard. but who knows, if you stick do your arrangement, the judge may order it. or judge may order every other weekend, which is most likely.
during my case, ex was even giving trouble with every other weekend. she said she only wanted me to see kids sat-sun, so she can have every friday. lol. that did not work and we got every other weekend. i am back in court very soon to try get extra time, like have kids fri-mon every other weekend.
Thanks for your reply. Maybe I forgot to mention that I used to have her every weekend and my ex forces every other weekend.
Means that for 3 years, my daughter get used to see me 6 days and 12 nights a month and her mom force to 2 days and 6 nights a month.
But, because my daughter spend a long period of time without seeing me, it happens twice that she refuses to come to my house, which never happened before!
Regarding PA, it comes slowly and increased. First it has been with all the toys or clothes I bought.
My daughter refuses now, any clothes that I bought saying that I should stop buying clothes because I can't buy proper clothes. I do and the clothes are more than fine but that's come from her mom mouth as she told me the same thing in the past.
My daughter is really attracted to music, I started some young child music group, very fun. She loved it, but because I have her every other weekend her mom refuses to bring her there,my daughter saying that she doesn't want to have anything to do with music anymore because mommy told her that it wasn't good.
Her grandmother is part of it. She is there every week, looking after our daughter, she came to visit schools with us, choose the school with my ex. She impose everything, even when I give my opinion.
She told me:
"you are alone here, our daughter will starts to be bored to spend time with you as I have a big family. I just need a babysitter for the moment and you fit the profile."
That has been said not texted. I have exemple of texts of the same mood but now she is more careful.
She also said that her parents needs to spend time with her every week and that's more important in her eyes than me.
Twice she has dropped our daughter to my house, sitting down on the steps at the entrance with our daughter in her arms stroking her hair, saying how much she is going to miss her, that she will be all alone,...
Then the only way to calm down our daughter after that was to call her mom back to pick her up.
I clarified things making sure that she stays in the car and I come to pick up our daughter from the car.
But even that is tricky now!
The thing is for 3 years, my daughter and I have been really close as I was spending regular quality time with her. Her mom hated it.
This morning my daughter left my house and prepared a bag with some toys from my house to take with her. As soon as she get to the car of her mom, she refuses to take the toys and her mom told me that she had everything she needs at her house and doesn't need any of my cheap crap toys.
Also, my daughter refuses to show any sign of affection in front of her mom, but doesn't hesitate to do it the other way. Not even a goodbye!
When her mom isn't there, she is really demonstrative!
I play professionally in a jazz/funk band and we have our success and play abroad a few times. We have a label and recorded EPs and an album. We pressed a few on CDS, my daughter loved it because it's her dad playing obviously. She asked to keep a CD in her mom's house to listen on her cd player in her bedroom.
When I asked her if she listened to it she told me that she can't find it anymore.
Her mom told me that she putted it in the bin because she spelt water on it ir something like that.
I gave an other one and it disappears again. I just gave up.
I make my work around the timetable we arrange for our daughter which was every weekend Saturday until Tuesday morning. I can't afford not to work personally, this is my only way to bring money in.
Now I dont have "conventional" hours with my work but in that case, what a judge says to a supermarket employee, or a nurse, a doctor,... or any shift worker?
That they have to be penalised for working and being able to provide to their kids?
Like I said, for 3 years we had a very good agreement, my work has been planned around this. I need to keep working to pay my Bills and child maintenance, plus all the clothing and everything I buy for my daughter.
I really dont know how to prove this to cafcass or a judge that this is a situation that getting worse!
It is just the start.
She is really manipulative and very good at hiding it. I have contact with my daughter only because she knows that she has to do it legally.
Is somebody has been in the same situation because of work? Are you not seeing your kids every week just because of that ?
Also, what is the condition for a shared time 50/50?
when you spoke to cafcass a few weeks you, that was a chance to mention any manipulative behaviour. but in this whole process you should avoid the good parent v bad parent scenario. courts don't like it when both parents are hostile to each other, as it can affect children badly. Anyway you should be seeing a cafcass person on the day of your hearing, so you can talk to them about this more.
as for toys, clothes etc it is better if you don't give any to your child to take to her mums house. because there is high chance you will never see them again, and you will just end up going out to buy more clothes and toys to replace them. send your child back to her mums in the clothes she was already wearing when you picked her up.
i think 50/50 shared custody may be difficult. if you want to aim for that, you will be expected to drop/pick up your child from school. you will need to be available to do that. i am picking up child from school on the times they are with me, and i have basic every other weekend arrangement. I would love to do more school runs, but i can not quit my job for this.
I try to contact the person from cafcass I spoke with over the phone. I have read on their website that if we have concern about PA we should contact them.
I guess I'm a bit naive.
You are right about the toys and clothes. I'm naive (again) to think that the stuff of my daughter are hers and she should be able to take everything where she pleases.
I guess I'm the only one thinking like that.
For the 50/50 arrangement it would be tricky on the afternoon when she finishes school but I know that her mom put her in after school clubs the weekdays she is working late.
Maybe I could do the same? I wonder if there are any dad on this forum who have a 50/50 agreement and if they manage childcare or just manage to be there all the time.
I just want to give the best balance childhood to my daughter without having the shadow of my ex hanging around and a 50/50 seems to be the best solution! I had to fight hard for the school sending me all the information about everything.
I missed the first parent evening as it was one appointment per child and they have communicate only with my ex and of course my ex manage to "forget" to tell me. The school know that we are separated from day one.
We used to have 45/55 agreement for 3 years. I hope the judge will take that into account.
It is hard because I can see that it has an impact on my daughter but she seems to manifest that only with me. I texts her mom all the time when I have a concern but she just ignore any of my message.