[Solved] Desperate to see my daughter
So I'm new to the website/forum. I've been recently browsing through the forum and reading various topics to get the gist of the community here and it seems absolutely fantastic all the support people receive. Therefore, I wish to ask for help myself.
I'm 25 years of age and earlier this year became a first time daddy, welcoming a beautiful baby girl into the world. Unfortunately the relationship with the mother has been a little difficult and admittedly I have made some bad mistakes and decisions which revolved around my psychological state and some physical actions being taken on my part (grabbing my partner, verbal abuse, etc.) I would like to note none of this has happened since the birth of our daughter and certainly never in front of her but I understand completely why she may hold this against me through such a vital part of our lives and I wish to make it absolutely clear I am not here for sympathy or to justify my actions or wrong-doings. This was however two-sided and wasn't always primarily me but that is what made the relationship so volatile as a whole. I accept full responsibility for my actions and since these happening, understandably we have been living apart and I have been using this time putting my absolute soul and heart into bettering myself as a person and as a father which as you can imagine resulted in therapy treatment given the past circumstances. This then progressed into numerous attempts to re-kindle our relationship and save the family we so badly, desperately wanted on mutual arrangements only to be met with a slap in the face. Things appeared great, I was staying over, taking the ex and our baby girl on trips out and regular meals together but the damage had already embedded itself and wasn't something easy for the ex to overlook. Sadly, our relationship came to an abrupt end and the situation has worsened resulting in restrictions regarding contact and visitation with our baby girl. I have since been providing weekly maintenance payments under a mutual agreement and providing wherever possible towards our daughters needs. I have kept regular communications in regards to the wellbeing of our daughter on a daily basis and have never given up hope that she may one day lift these restrictions and allow some solution (with a flexible approach) to allow me access to our daughter once again but that hopeful light at the end of the tunnel only seems to get further and further away with each passing day. I have suggested going through a contact centre in which we came to an agreement to proceed. This failed and the contact centre struggled getting contact with the mother ending in closure of the arrangement due to no contact on the mother's part. I have attempted to proceed through mediation in which both myself and the mother appeared to be in agreement until just recently when our initial assessment was due and the mother cancelled and is now digging the past up and putting 'domestic abuse' as the bold title. She has sent a last final text asking that I halt all communications with her following the legal advice she has received, stating that mediation isn't suitable given the circumstances and advising me to seek legal advise with regards to visitation rights with our daughter. Of course, I have attended my initial assessment in case I must go through legal proceedings but I wished to gain your opinions or advice.
My aim is to secure a regular, important and invaluable relationship with our daughter and keep the focus primarily on her. She has and always will be the priority with only her best interest and wellbeing at heart. I’ve never given up wanting to be a part of our daughter's life and have been extremely patient, respectful and flexible in my approach with the mother and to be entirely honest am at wits end.
Please be entirely honest, I am an open minded individual and as previously stated am at peace with my wrong-doings. Any and all feedback is welcome.
It sounds as though you are going about things in the right way, you have addressed your anger issues and sought help with it.
At this point the most important thing is to stop all contact with your child's mother, don't txt call or email, she has made it clear that this should stop and if you make contact then she would probably have a non molestation order raised against you which will slow things down.
As you have been to the initial mediation then you could apply to the family courts, as she has asked for all contact to stop and for you to take legal advise, she is probably expecting this, you can apply to court and represent yourself throughout so you don't need a solicitor.
You know your actions were wrong but they will be brought up in court, and no doubt she will try and use them against you, but ensure that you are ahead of that, continue working on your issues so that you can show that you are not only aware of them but are dealing with them to ensure that you have the best chance of being in your daughters life.
I would be talking about your issues and what you are doing to resolve them in your statement in court, get them out in the open early and let the judge hear them from you rather than he as this will help the judge see remorse. You may find that the judge wants supervised contact to start but I can't see any reason why if you have addressed the concerns that you couldn't get to unsupervised contact.
You will just have to be patient and jump through every hoop put in front of you.
You have been given good advice from GTTS, it's really important you make no attempt to contact her now, it would be a simple matter for her to take an injunction out on you, even for texts.
Whilst it's admirable that you're taking full responsibility, it's also important that you state that the relationship was volatile and that you were both guilty of unacceptable behaviour at times.
If the police were ever involved, it will come up in court welfare reports and will add fuel to her fire. If not, it's better for you if the court and CAFCASS accept that you were both involved in the volatile nature of your relationship. Otherwise you may find that you have to attend a domestic violence perpetrators course,which would make achieving full contact much harder.
I would also look at attending parenting classes, it will show that you take your parental role seriously.
All the best
Thank you both SO much for the response. It is massively appreciated!
Certainly the advice I was looking for! It helps put the situation as a whole into perspective. It's always positive to hear you're in agreement on me making the correct & necessary steps towards a reasonable agreement with the mother regarding visitation.
I have not had contact since the text was sent as you've rightfully stated the last thing I'd want is an injunction on me.
However, I do have a couple of more questions if you'd be so kind to provide some guidance with how I should approach?
I have yet to receive some confirmation of legal representation (if this is to be true) from the mother's part to communicate through for things such as arrangements on providing Christmas presents and collecting some of my leftover belongings from the house and as you're aware given that I am unable to contact her myself would it be advisable to reach out for a solicitor of my own? Are there alternative means of contact I can use to communicate this or is it just a case of not jeopardising the situation any further and remaining patient throughout and awaiting the outcome of the final hearing?
Ideally you would communicate through her solicitor, but she may not have instructed one as yet, because court proceedings haven’t started.
You can’t afford to contact her, so unless there is a third party that you could go through, such as her parents or family friend, you will have to be patient and wait for proceedings to commence.
When you make your application, you should request an interim order for contact to be made at the first hearing, but with the allegations she has made, it’s highly unlikely... you could suggest that a contact centre is used and that the contact is supervised.
All the best