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TOPIC: Ex has cancer

Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56865

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New to the forum but really need advice.

My daughter is 3&3/4 years old and her mother has cancer.

She requested a chat this evening to tell me that if she doesn't beat the cancer (quite advanced) she wants her parents (retired) to raise my daughter.

I flatly refused and all hell has broken loose with multiple accusations how It wouldn't be best for my daughter to reside with me.

I've never missed maintenance payments or been late to see my daughter under the terms of divorce.

Lots of history to the story but just want some advice.

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Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56867

this might sound harsh mate but I would say not a fookin chance. The Cancer is tragic of course but if you have a regular relationship with them and its good and they are comfortable with you then as long as you can become their everyday parent without disruption then its you with whom they should stay.

Circumstance dependant of course, you might have to change your life to make their transition as fluid as possible whilst they deal with the death of their mother if it sadly happens.

At the end of the day, dad should step into the breach unless there is some very good reason he should not. I don't know your history of course but if this were to happen in my situation, it would be a case of my ex trying to still exercise control even once she was gone.
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Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56869

Hi Bear and welcome to the forum, this is tragic news and seeing as you've just found out things will be extremely raw and obviously your ex will not be in the right frame of mind at the moment so may be things have been said on the spur of the moment.

It would be wise to take a step back and let the dust settle, on the face of it this does not sound like a workable situation due to the age of the grand parents and I doubt a lot of though would of gone into the practicalities of them bringing up your Daughter and I'm sure they will have to apply for parental responsibility first.

It will have a big bearing on things if you have PR what's the background? are you on the birth certificate? I couldn't comment on things but I'm sure someone else could offer advice on this site but surly your Daughter will automatically come to you.
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I'm no way trained in Family court matters so don't take my ramblings as gospel but I've been through the Court mill and learned so much along the way I just like passing my experience on to other Dads who face this absolute nightmare from hell, you might not be able to beat the system but don't let it beat you :)

Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56873

So sorry to hear! Like Slim said I would take a seat back and let things cool down. Unless there is a risk to the child of emotional/physical abuse then there is no reason why you will not have full custody. If I were you I would start from now to make the necessary changes to make yourself and your home completely child focused. Should you end up in court you will need to present how exactly you will raise your child and provide for your child. Many people here will know more or research online you will find all sorts of things and if you want to go to the extreme, you can always do a part time level 3 childcare course like I am doing now :-)

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Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56879

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Hi Bear,
There has been some good advice here.
Assuming you have the commitment and physical ability to look after your daughter I don't think there is any possibility that the state will not give you full residency of the child. If it went to court it would be very difficult for the grandparents to counter your claim as the natural parent.
If this is what you want then there is no doubt it would be in your daughter's best interests to be raised by her natural father.
If you do not have PR for your child then sort that out now (I'm guessing you do as you are paying CM). Make sure your home is sorted out to accommodate your daughter and continue to build your relationship with her.
This will be a very difficult time and your ex-wife and her family may say things without fully considering the consequences for your daughter's welfare, so let the dust settle, but be clear and firm in your intent.
Best wishes,
AO

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Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56882

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Hi there and welcome.

I'm sorry to hear your news and that there is conflict at such a difficult time for your daughter. I would echo what Slim has said, let the dust settle for a while but certainly find out your legal position, make sure you have PR and what will happen should the worst occur.

You could phone a solicitor, quite a lot offer free 30 minute consultations. There's always CAB or Coram Childrens Legal Centre have an excellent free helpline.
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Mum and Step Mum, supporting my partner through the Family Court maze. I feel passionately about children having a right to a relationship with both parents and am currently in training to be an MF.

Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56885

Hi TheBear,

Wow that news must have been a real shock to the system. No matter what has passed between you and your ex, she was a big part of your life. Your head must be all over the place at the moment. How are you feeling?

As you were married to the mother of your children the good news is that you do have PR.

I'm guessing what you need to know now is some facts. I will ask Coram's Children Legal Centre to pop by and offer you some advice regarding where you stand and what steps you will need to take.

Keep checking back for Coram's reply.

Keep Talking

Gooner
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Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56888

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As with other members here I feel incredibly sad for your child's situation...it must have been a huge shock for you.

Whilst I have every sympathy for your ex and her family, they don't have the right to present you with this fait accompli!

If you are named on your child's birth certificate you will have Parental Responsibility, married or not.

I think it's important not to leave it, much better to prepare the groundwork. It might be advisable to think about mediation, if your ex is able.

If the child's best interests are to be central then it would be better for her if the transition of the change of residence was to be started sooner rather than later, leaving it until your ex is either in hospital or had passed away would I feel be more traumatic for your little one.

I think I would most definitely seek legal advice on this but my feeling is that a pre emptive application to the court for residence would be in yours and your child's best interests.

Best of luck.
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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.

Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56905

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Seriously thanks to Gooner, 1626, Craig, Othen, Mr Slim & Broken Dad, its really been helpful just to know that there are other guys experiencing similar situations.

You guys know how difficult it is when you split from an Ex and they have primary care of your child.

Don't really want to go over the complete history because recreating drama and slagging people off are quite honestly beneath me plus I have used the situation to reflect on myself and grow as a person - ergo I see the split as an extremely positive occurrence in my life that has allowed me develop and become a stronger man with increased perception and compassion.

I truly believe that this in itself is worth more than money and possessions and 'things' that become so important in a split.

I have been split from my ex wife for four years now (we split whilst she was pregnant). I have a positive paternity test, am named on the birth certificate and under the agreed terms of my divorce see my daughter on weekends fortnightly.

BROKEN DAD - I think you have hit the nail on the head with the whole 'control' thing. That side of the family is large and dominant in nature. I guess I have up to this point been rather passive - allowing the ex to control the situation as I thought it best to avoid arguments, drama and negativity for my child's sake (this has not been easy!!!). Perversely, this gets construed as me not caring enough?!?! even when I arrange and suggest additional visits / time etc this gets knocked back so you cant 'win'. But like I say my daughter has always appeared to me to be growing into a strong, confident little lady so I never pushed certain things.

MR SLIM - The cancer situation is a couple of years old now but has moved round the body and appears to be getting steadily worse. Its not so much a shock, I'm just trying to figure out what is right and just for my daughter in a factual way without emotion - plus the legalities of the situation.

This does sound a little harsh and I don't want the ex to die (far from it) but if that were to happen then I believe that my daughters best option for her would be to reside with me.

Craig - Taking a back seat is what I have been doing for the last four years, I intend to do that in the short term but am pre-empting a battle. My daughter stays with me on fortnightly weekends and we have an ace time together but yes certain home improvements would be required if she were to live with me.

OTHEN - excellent advice and echoing craigs advice above. I haven't flown into a rage or anything like that throughout the separation and have always maintained a calm and collected front. I can fully appreciate the other side of the families view even if I don't agree with them, when I state calmly that I don't agree or am not going to comply that's when the proverbial sh*t hits the singledadom fan - I guess the hypocrisy is frustrating at the moment.

I can't imagine what my ex is going through, it must be f*cking horrendous and complete get that things may be said out of guilt, remorse, anger, fear etc. I have tried being there - visiting in hospital etc but there comes a point where a person cannot take any more emotional abuse - I therefore have to distance myself from that somewhat; afterall we are divorced!!!

As horrible as it sounds and as guilty as I feel writing this, the only person who I have to justify my actions to, explain myself to and who I'm responsible for is my daughter - that's what I keep my focus on.

Anyone can label me, judge me, verbally attack me, pigeon hole me - They're entitled to their opinions, but that is all they are OPINIONS.

1626 - thanks for the contacts, I will certainly chase these up in the next few days. I guess Im a newbie when it comes to all the legalities of such situations so those contacts will no doubt prove most useful.

GOONSTER - thank's for the concern mate but I'm generally fine and happy with my life (see above). As stated before I'm sticking to my predetermined role and focusing on what's best for my daughter.

I try to keep emotions out of the situation. I've moved on.

Yes, facts is deffo what I could do with. Your contact on my behalf would be extremely useful. I shall keep my beady eyes on this page for the info and if none shall appear I'm going to pull the arms of my teddy and ne'er converse with you again!!! ;)

NANNYJANE - Completely agree with 'they don't have the right to present you with this fait accompli!'

At least that's what I feel.

Its a little disconcerting that you suggest that I take action now, although I completely agree with you. My Ex has denied 'a prognosis' so no-one has any idea of what time-scales we are talking about here - rightly or wrongly further compounding the issue.

I had suggested that I take on more responsibility and care for my daughter more often since I didn't like her being around all the grief and emotion during the Ex's battle and her parents breaking down. Although this was welcomed with words the actions where different.

I'm a little torn as to whether to move for residency or not? Whether its worth further discussion, if the other party is amenable to that?!?!? I guess right now its worth knowing the legal rights prior to any further discussion so I may exercise them if need be.

I'm still a little confused and hesitant as to what to do with regard to this issue - ANYONE ELSE HAVE THOUGHTS ON THIS? - how do you prove (to yourself more than anything) beyond all reasonable doubt that the situation as it currently stands is not in the best interest of my daughter?????


Thanks again for all your replies. SERIOUSLY!!!

If I can offer some insight in return from my experiences it would be this.....

No matter how f**ked up things seem, how bad they are, how incomprehensibly difficult things get they are NEVER as bad as you make them appear to yourself. The key to happiness lies in ones own mind, take control of that because at the end of the day that is really the only thing that any of us can control. Use the situation to your advantage - learn, grow, develop and become stronger. Take the thing that's causing you grief, step away from and view it from different angle, an opposite point of view - what positives can you find? PERCEPTION IS REALITY!

If anyone wants to know resources, text or books that I have used / read to develop myself since my split I'm happy to share. Just let me know.
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Last Edit: by Goonerplum.

Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56915

Wow, I'm stunned and pretty speechless, inspirational mate.
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I'm no way trained in Family court matters so don't take my ramblings as gospel but I've been through the Court mill and learned so much along the way I just like passing my experience on to other Dads who face this absolute nightmare from hell, you might not be able to beat the system but don't let it beat you :)

Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56917

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Just putting out there as honestly as I can!

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Ex has cancer 5 years 11 months ago #56923

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Do you have any sort of relationship with your ex's parents? I wonder if they have also been presented with a fait accompli with a story that you don't want to take on the responsibility. From my point of view, the ideal situation is that all of you meet and see if you can come to an agreement of a way forwards - that means you are the resident parent, her parents get plenty of access and your daughter is left with good memories of her mother and that you all worked together for your daughter's benefit.

Don't forget, you ex's parents are potentially going to lose a daughter - they may be worried that they'll lose their granddaughter as well - some reassurance from you might help that.
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