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[Solved] Please Help I feel Hopeless

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I split with my ex 2-3 years ago and had no problems seeing my daughter allthough my relationship with my ex was pretty terminal. I was on my way up in my mid 20's, then had a huge crisis of confidence and everything went downhill. I am 30 yr old and have a min wage job as a croupier. I had to work very hard to get this job including 6 weeks of unpaid training. I am starting to become more confident in life and am facing up to problems instead of procrastinating or running away.

Seeing my daughter was not an issue until i started doing these night shifts. I am incredibably frustrated as I pay CSA payments and buy her school uniform etc. I am denied any sort of access now and I am not even allowed to speak to my daughter even on the phone. Me and my daughter are exceptionally close, kindred spirits. I have helped install confidence and self-belief by letting her be herself and have a say in matters that affect her. Liberties that were denied to me in my childhood. I grew up without a father and I am from an abusive background.

I don't have the first clue what to do really. I have been looking through your forums and have seen that you have to try and set mediation. I didn't even know what this was till today lol! I have went ahead and done this through the NFM website. I need to know what to do next really. I don't feel like their is much hope at the moment. She is from a middle-class background and will probably refuse mediation as she knows that I won't be able to afford court fees.

I am looking for any help or advice really. I'm sure hundreds of men with very simular stories have come through this website and been able to see their children successfully, on a regular basis. Please help.

With kind regards one sorry Dad...

Topic starter Posted : 19/09/2016 1:44 am
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You can apply for legal aid for mediation and for court costs if you qualify. I split with my ex partner nine months ago and was eligible for both. Alternatively you can represent yourself in court or pay for solicitors fees. There is also a group called McKenzie friends who will help with the court process, although I understand their help may cost you if you can afford it.
If it's the night shifts that are causing the problem I would seriously consider an alternative career if possible. I know you shouldn't have to, but if that's what gets you access to your daughter I'd think about it - the legal route takes a long time and is draining on your soul.
I was the same as you - my relationship with my daughters was the best ever - we get on like a house on fire and our love for each other is amazing. After nine months of denied contact our relationship is under strain. Luckily I get to call them each night to say goodnight but that's no way to be a dad. Maybe your ex partner will allow calls. I've read on here that the courts will grant skype calls if they think it necessary.
If your partner refuses to go to mediation you can apply to the courts anyway. I believe it won't look good on her if she refuses although how much weight that holds I don't know.
There are success stories - the more professional guys on this site are great and can give help based on years of experience and their own history. If you have any questions this is the place to ask. I'm not qualified in any way I'm just in at the deep end like yourself.
Good luck and keep positive. Your daughter needs you!

Posted : 19/09/2016 2:16 am
Lane and Lane reacted
New Member Registered

Dear Paul_6611

Thank you very much for your kind response. I am sorry that you are in a simular situation to me. I am very glad you get to speak to your daughters on a nightly basis. I know this might sound stupid but I have had no help from any of my family and friends but to hear from someone who knows the pain brings me some solace. I really appreciate the advice you have left me and I feel that I can benefit and perhaps be able to offer advice to others from using this site hopefully in the very near future.

Thanks to your response I am going to keep using this site and hopefully will be able to contact my daughter in the very near future.

It's nice to have met someone who has taken some time out of their day to offer me some advice and bring me a little hope.

With kind regards Jeff.

Topic starter Posted : 19/09/2016 2:51 am
Reputable Member Registered

Hi Jeff

You're not alone. Be strong if not for yourself then for your daughter - you never know what the future will bring.
It's frustrating that everything takes so long, that the system is biased against dads who want nothing more than to be a part of their children's lives and to love them. I've learned the hard way, through many months of frustrated attempts to have equal and fair access to my children. It's not easy and I'll admit there are times when you despair.
I wish I could give you more professional advice - the other members will be able to do that. But from one dad to another, try to look to the future and not the present. Treasure the times you do get to be with your daughter if ever you do and reassure her that you're doing everything you can to sort things out. Try not to make promises though it can take a lot longer than a child understands.
All the best, Paul.

Posted : 19/09/2016 3:07 am
Illustrious Member Registered

Hi Jeff and welcome

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time seeing your daughter at the moment, but this situation can be sorted out, if there are no safeguarding issues the courts will want to move your situation forward and get some regular contact in place.

Just a couple of questions to get a little more understanding of your case, if you're ok with old is your daughter? How long has contact been suspended? Did you have overnights stays with your daughter before contact was suspended?

You've done the right thing to get the ball rolling with mediation as it's now a requirement before an application to court can be made. As you are on a minimum wage you may be entitled to help with the costs of mediation, this is something you should discuss with your mediator. This also applies if you need to apply for a court order.

There's lots of information in the stickys at the top of the legal eagle section about the process. It's might be a good idea to base you discussions at mediation on a parenting plan....Here are some links to the parenting plan put together by CAFCASS, even if you are unable to agree the plan together, at least it will give you a better idea of what to negotiate when using mediation.

The following link isn't by CAFCASS but I think it's a particularly good guide with lots of tips!

** And of course if you need help creating a parenting plan use the DAD.Info site here**

Mediation doesn't work for everyone, it takes both parties wanting to get an agreement in place....if she refuses, or mediation fails then the only other course of action is to take it to court. If that happens we will do our best to support and advise you through the process.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask

All the best

Posted : 19/09/2016 4:46 pm

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