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  Help & Advice regarding access to my son
Posted by: MikeDad1 - 06-11-2018, 05:50 PM - Forum: Your Stories, Advice to Recently Separated Dads - Replies (1)

Hi,

I am sure this has already been stated in number of threads on here, and I am not sure if my case has been repeated a thousand times over but I could really use some advice.

I separate from my wife back in October 2017 due to the fact she was sleeping with someone else. We have a son together and a daughter who she had from a past relationship (I brought her up from age 1 and she does still see her biological dad).

When we separated I thought I was doing the right thing by moving out (into a hotel) and continuing to give her money etc although I was suffering financial problems.

I have now almost been made bankrupt and only just found full time employment since January of this year.

Unfortunately since we split, I suffered depression (along with other mental health issues) over the festive period and ended up drinking whenever I didn't have my children.

My ex has received over 5,000 in direct payments since we split (average of 700 per month) and I have paid whenever I could although being out of work.

Now because I haven't paid maintenance this month (I have nothing left to sell to raise money) she has yet again told me I cannot see my son, and I cannot see him until I pay and I must now pay 1 thousand pound in July to cover areas (even though CSA website advises my monthly payment should be around 250 - 300 pound.

In addition to the maintenance I have paid, she will receive over 17k in cash after the sale of our house (to which I have worked my ass off) to buy and she has not worked in the past 10 years.....

But I don't want to turn this in a rant about her...

She now has her new partner living in my house, they are buying a new house together and I can only have access to my son on her terms and some months not at all. Because my daughter is not biologically mine and I hadn't adopted her she has stopped access complete.

Can someone share some advice, all I want to do is rebuild my life and see my son.

I am no means perfect, far from it but I don't think it is right that I have absolutely no say in this.

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  Controlling Ex
Posted by: Drifted - 06-11-2018, 04:53 PM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (12)

Hi All,

I am a partner of a dad who has struggled for the last year to get just a couple of hours on a Wednesday and 4 hours every other Sunday with his children. (Both under 9 years old)
There is no history of DV or any kind of abuse or safeguarding issues. 

His ex is a teacher and is very controlling and undermining when it comes to the children. At first he was only allowed to see the children at her home under her supervision but he put his foot down and said he wouldn't do it anymore. He prepared a parenting plan, which she wouldn't co-operate with initially but after the threat of solicitors she did come back with her 'amendments' as she called it. Basically all contact other than him taking them to school was denied but he did manage to get the Wednesday in the the end because it suited her for him to collect them from school. This has progressed to 4 hours every other Sunday but it is frequently disrupted due to parties or other arrangements his ex has made. In the plan she had added lots of 'conditions' such as I am not allowed to be left alone with the children, they aren't allowed to meet my family, he can't drink alcohol in their presence, plus other things I can't even remember now. My partner just gave up with it in the end but she keeps quoting things from the parenting plan that she is saying he 'agreed'. 

A couple of weeks ago she introduced him to her new partner (who also has young children) and my partner took the opportunity to ask if he could take the children overnight to a campsite. She didn't like it but she agreed and I think this was because her new boyfriend was there. She still sent bags of food and drinks (like we don't feed them or something) and was almost crying as she was saying goodbye to the kids, saying she will come and get them if they get upset and want to come home. Despite this, we thought we had made a breakthrough having them overnight and the kids had a fantastic time and didn't want to leave. The first time he's had them longer than 4 hours since they separated over a year ago. 

So, this week he asked her for them to stay overnight at our home. His children were excited about it and seemed very keen to stay, we have bought nice new beds and bed clothing for them. Now his ex is saying that they will not be staying until she has inspected their beds and our house. She said her solicitor had told her it's a reasonable request and that if we say no then this would indicate safeguarding issues. They also aren't allowed to go to the event we were going to take them to because she said it isn't suitable for children (it is a family charity fundraiser with music, bouncy castles etc.).

Myself and my partner feel this is an invasion of our privacy and is very intrusive, untrusting and controlling. She constantly uses the kids to hurt my partner or sending fabricated events via email try and cause arguments between us and it's starting to wear us down, the last thing we want is her in our home. And we think she will just try and find something as an excuse to not let them stay anyway. He has asked for her to communicate with him on email unless it is an emergency or urgent but she ignores this also. 

My partner wants to avoid court at all costs because he has heard so many horror stories and believes that the ex will just poison them against him so they won't want to come. There have been quite a few occasions where his eldest has changed her mind about coming when previously she had been excited and looking forward to it. There have been times when we have had parties with food and games ready for them and in they end they didn't come. It's heartbreaking to see my partners face when these things happen. 

He is a great dad and the kids love him, he says he can finally be the dad he wants to be when he does have them, doing fun stuff like climbing trees and having campfires without him being berated or being told no to everything. I get on great with them too. 

There's so much more to this but our immediate worry is whether she has made a reasonable request or not - surely my partner is able to make judgement on what is suitable for his children without her having to vet it first? What would a solicitor or a judge say? Are there any laws in relation to this?

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  Finally snapped
Posted by: SF79 - 06-11-2018, 02:52 PM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (8)

After months of receiving vile mental and emotional abuse, I finally snapped over the weekend. My court case has been delayed again and I've been continuously refused access according to the interim court order by my ex. After another confrontation with my ex, I finally snapped and did something I shouldn't have done. The police were called and I received a caution which I believe is also going to effect my job as well as my on going court case.

I've e-mailed CAFCASS and explained what happened and was open and honest with them and the police on the day. It all had become too much with the depression, anxiety and never ending court case. I really respect a lot of you guys for your constraint in the face of provocation. I've tried my best and I know this is what my ex was hoping for and I've c*cked up big time. Really frustrated with myself.

I've explained to my family that depending on the result in the final hearing, it may be time to call it a day. The system isn't designed for dad's to win when the mother is an extreme narcissist and simply won't co-parent. I now have to go full no contact with my ex in order to avoid further confrontation and anxiety.

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  Shift patterns and access advice
Posted by: ShiftQuestions - 06-11-2018, 03:13 AM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (2)

Hello,

I am after some advice or anecdotal accounts on unusual shift patterns and arrangements with access to my children.  They are currently aged 6 and 9.

At the moment I work Monday-Friday with occasional Saturdays and working from home overnight as overtime, I live in a house share and see my children every Sunday during the day and one weekend every month (Friday evening to Sunday evening), due to being in a house share the time I spend with my children is always at my parents house, including the overnight stays.

I now have the opportunity to change jobs in to a role that has no overtime and would pay enough on just the basic salary for me to rent a 3 bedroom house on my own.  The potential downside is that it is working 12 hour shifts rotating through 4 days on and then 4 days off.

I would like to take this job on as I am unlikely to have an opportunity like this for a while and it would mean that I could have the kids on the 4 days I have off work, this shift would solve any issues with childcare over the holiday periods and before/after school as the days they are with me would always be my 4 days off.

The main downside I see is that the kids would not have a set routine in place, for example they would be with me Sunday-Wednesday on the first rotation, Monday-Thursday on the second, Tuesday-Friday on the third, etc etc.  I am concerned that this pattern could be too disruptive for them.

Has anyone here had an arrangement like this in place? If so how did it work out for you/the kids? Opinions from anyone who hasn't been in this exact scenario are also obviously welcome.

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  1st post on this forum
Posted by: BristolDad2018 - 06-11-2018, 02:27 AM - Forum: Your Stories, Advice to Recently Separated Dads - Replies (3)

Hello everyone

I wasn't sure where the best place to post my initial message would be so have decided to put it here. I hope this is not the wrong place and I apologise in advance if it is.

I also apologise if this ends up being a long and rambling post but I really need to get a lot off my chest.

I was in a relationship for 13 year, married for 8. We separated a month ago. Her choice. I was asked to leave the family home. We have 2 kids, aged 4 and 7. I am currently officially homeless but have some amazing friends that have allowed to me live in there spare room and have said I can stay as long as I like.

My wife and I had defiantly been drifting apart for a number of years. We stopped making each other happy a long time ago and I guess kept it going for the children. It eventually became to much and it ended. I am willing to take a lot of the blame. For so many years (and this has been an ongoing problem of mine) I covered up small fuck ups by lying and planning on fixing it. 95% of the time I did. The rest, I was stuck in a situation where I can already lied and was faced with the dilemma of admitting I lied or containing to try and cover it up. None of these issues were really that major. I never cheated or did anything really bad. It was always small things that then just grew.

I have had ongoing battles with mental health issues. This started about 6 years ago. I suffer from depression,anxiety and also have lots of issues with self confidence/esteem. My wife was always very successful and kept getting promotions and moving on to new and better jobs. As this happened to her I suffered numerous setback which fuelled a sense of worthlessness that took hold of me and my depression fed upon it. I used the typical 'man' response to this and bottled it up inside instead of talking about it. Unsurprisingly this only made it worse. I got my self in to a situation where I felt so embarrassed that I was unable to provide for my family that I thought of myself as a complete failure as a person. The more I thought about this I made it a self fulfilling prophesy. I was so set in my mind that I was going to fail that I gave up trying as I didn't see the point. I turned to booze as a way of blocking it all out. Eventually, after a lot of hiding the real financial situation the truth came out that I had spent 6 months out of work, had run up huge debts in childcare cost that I had told her I had paid (this was all paid for by my parents though who stepped in and bailed me out) and that any money she thought she we had been saving actually wasn't there.

Shit was bad. I wasn't thrown out but spent 4 months living in the spare room. I sorted my self out, stopped drinking and we repaired it and moved one. Things were ok in this time and me moved house. The area we where living in had gone through a huge gentrification. Our house went from £130k to £330k in 8 years. We took advantage of this and moved further out from the city, buying a place for £350k. At the time of the move due to my metal health problems and the extreme cost of childcare we decided it made more financial sense for me not to be on the mortgage whilst I was only working part time. We did the numbers and as my credit rating was worse than hers it was cheaper for us to have the house just in her name. We currently have about £250k in equity in the house on a 15 year mortgage but with £35k of that coming from a gift from her dad from the purchase of our 1st house.

We moved and pretended everything was great for a while. During this time as I wasn't in full time work I took over all of the childcare duties so that she could continue with her full time work. The divisions was already there though. She became increasingly more distant.  We got ourselves into a negative feed back loop where I would do something tiny wring (like not cleaning the kitchen right) and she would get annoyed and pull away from me. This would then fuck with my head and increase the chances of me doing less to please her. I realised in this time how dependent I was for my own mood on simple amounts of affection. The negative feed back loop meant less and less of this was offered every day which only accelerated my problems. We got to the stage where for several months she would leave the lounge to go to bed without even saying good night to me. I have to quickly add that she is the only person I have ever been in a relationship with. We met when I was 22, I am now 35. No one had ever shown any interest in me before her and after what was several years of  a lot if fun, I basically proposed to the only women in my life the that had every shown interest in me.

I mentioned above that the breakdown was due to me lying about small things that I tried to cover up. Pretty much all of those lies stemmed from the fear due to my mental health problems made me feel like I was a failure. That I I did was let her down and disappoint her. I would make a small fuck up and rather than admit to her that I had failed again I covered it up. I basically built a delusional world that I could live in where I wasn't a complete fuck up and failure. I did that because my wife had progressed into such a important job where I felt scared to admit that that there where problems at home as I did't want to increase the stress on her life. I honestly thought I was protecting her and I only did it, with my twisted view upon it with her best interests at heart.


As I am sure that many people on this forum know and understand, you can build a relationship on lies.


Unsurprisingly everything came out.  I was asked (told) to leave the family home and am now staying at a friends house. I left with about 1/2 my clothes, my bike and my pc.

The last month has been hell. As I mentioned, I was already suffering from mental health problems. 2 weeks ago I was stopped by a stranger who stopped his car in the middle of the road and prevented me from jumping from a bridge. I am past those thoughts for now. I took told my wife that I could do no childcare for a week with the main plan that I would stop all contact with her. I have felt so much better this week but had increasing anxiety attacks in the run up to the weekend when I knew I would have to return to 'our' house to pick up and drop of the kids.

A part of the discussion we had, mostly centred on the plans for what is going to happen with the kids for the next few weeks was the fact that we are defiantly getting divorced. She then told me that, with the best interests of the kids, that when I prove myself to her that I am stable and can afford to do so, she would be happy to release £15-20k from the house to provide me with a deposit for my own place. I told her that I didn't think that was enough. I didn't add how insulted I felt that she added that she would only do so when I could prove that I deserved it

Another quick note, during the entirety of our relationship I have never argued with her and have always did what she wanted to to make things easier even if I disagreed as I hate conflict and dont know how to deal with it. Today though I finally stood up for myself and said I dint think that is fair.As proud as I was for finally doing it I was also so devastated by the look of complete anger/sadness/disappointment that swept across her face. She actually shouted at me 'you choose now to finally stick up for yourself'.


I have no idea where I stand. I cant afford a lawyer to give me any advice. I guess we need to go into mediation but I dont know how I am meant to approach that when I can barely afford to feed myself.

I have written a mini essay here. I have spent so long holding everything inside me. I have finally realised that the best thing to do is talk about my problems and have been more honest in this post then I have to anyone that I actually know who I have spoken to. I dont know whether I will actually get any useful advice but it has felt so good to type out and tell people exactly how I have been feeling.

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  HOW TO GET TO SEE MY SON
Posted by: Wayno1 - 06-11-2018, 12:34 AM - Forum: Fathers’ Rights, Legal Info, Court Orders - Replies (2)

Hi. my wife left me in March 2017, and took my then 14 month old son. they went to Ireland to start with for 10 days, which i found out from her mother. when she returned, she said she had moved away and was renting elsewhere. i stayed in our rented flat at 1st, until she informed me that she would have to return after her 6 month contract, as she couldn't afford private renting. i went along with it , and kept the flat going, and planned to move out on the date she was to return. I had contact with my son whenever my shift work allowed, and my wife didn't make it easy, claiming my son had nursery Monday-Thursday.She moved back to the flat, and i moved into a rented room with no arguments. things have got worse as times gone by, and since my wife moved back to the flat, she was only there for a few days, before moving out again. i have never known where my son lives, and asked her for address, so my solicitor could send divorce papers. This was never received at address given, and solicitor advised she never lived there. Divorce papers were sent to her parents, which she received, and turned nastier. i am still waiting for her to agree to divorce. i now haven't seen my son for 13 weeks, and she hardly responds to my text's. she has said to stop contacting her, or she will get me done for harassment. i have always, and continue to transfer her monthly money, which CSA worked out for me as a fair amount. What can i do please?

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  Resident dad vs non resident dad
Posted by: asd1270 - 06-10-2018, 09:42 PM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - No Replies

Is there any difference in child proceedings for a Resident dad vs non resident dad.
Apart from the obvious ,child being dads care in the interim.
The answer is a simple No. The courts and Cafcass do there up most to reverse the role of a resident dad , regardless if he is a victim of dv or the child is subject to abuse from the non resident parent ie mum.

You would think it would be clear cut.
Where an order is made for the dad to remain resident parent. Can it be that simple. I guess not.

So I am in this situation fighting my way through the biased system.
Having had appalling reports, stuff I never said being added to falsely reporting information that enquiries had taken place when they simply had not.

If you believe that the system, especially is not as bad as it is. Then I am afraid to say you are wrong.
An innocent man will get hung dry in the family court area.

I will know more in a few days if my personal opinion on this whole judicial system is correct.

I am just concerned about my own child, who is now unfortunately been subject to cafcass own grilling techniques. Following this appears more withdrawn, guilty and his sense of stability and security with dad shaken.

I have worked in this line of work for over a few decades.Completed these booklets around a child's wishes n feelings.

All these book do is undo what good you have done especially if u have someone biased doing it with that child.

Funny how the front page has a cartoon character of a child and a woman. The child automatically thinks its mummy. So then the child who's completing it will have that seed planted in his head the booklet is about him and his mother, so they are naturally going to mention mummy all the time.

I wont stop without a fight.
These ppl who are there to protect the children are effectively drawing a path of destruction for that child.

So lets see what this week brings at court.
I havnt been specific about the court date as there are eyes amongst us.

I learnt to trust know one, especially professionals involved.
Trust me when I say record everything.Everything.

Lets hope every ride is not as bumpy as mine.

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  Seeking advice for making an arrangement order
Posted by: pm180107 - 06-10-2018, 11:10 AM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (5)

Hi, I have been here before for advice and would like to again thank those who have already taken the time to read and offer advice and for those in the future.

I'll keep this as brief as possible.

My ex and I had a baby in 2016 and split during the pregnancy. She then proceeded to cut me out of everything and I missed the birth. I made several attempts at contact but ended up applying to mediation then court. At court I found out the gender, name and birth date. I was then given a date by the judge when I could see the baby for the first time. After that, my ex started contacting me about seeing the baby more then we ended up getting back together. Very soft on my part as after I moved in with her things went back to normal. She ended up pregnant again, which was something she stated she wanted and we tried for. Two weeks after she got pregnant we rowed about money and I was told to leave and move out. I carried on seeing my child when she would let me but there was no particular times agreed. It was due to whether she was in or not.

Now, we have two children together. One 2 years old and the youngest is now 7 months. I can't complain about the decisions that were made at the time of the 2nd child being conceived as I now I have 3 lovely children but what is happening now I can't handle. Since the birth of the youngest I have barely been able to see them both. She had only allowed me to see them for three hours a fortnight. When I pressed this further she reluctantly agreed to an evening visit for 1 and a half hours. I have to go to her house to see them and it's very awkward during my time there. I love seeing them and want to see them more but I want it to be on my own away from her 'supervision'. She has also stopped my oldest daughter from a previous relationship having any contact with them. She's not seen the 2 year old for well over a year and she's never met the youngest.

The reason I'm writing this today is because I have been to her house today for my 10am-1pm fortnightly visit. Only she was not in. She did not answer my phone call either. She has done this before in April, only at that time she had stated her phone was broken and I could not make contact with her. I witnessed her using it though around that time so I tried emailing her. She responded once to a letter I gave her personally with a bit of a tirade about how I should just speak to her. She may have a point but I felt discussing things with someone who barely looks at me, and in front of the kids would not work.

Anyhow, I am trying to decide what to do next. My head is quite all over the place. She is currently breastfeeding the youngest so I fear that may cause some problems with access and me wanting to take them on my own. Is there an age limit for this? Also, I tried mediation the first time we went to court but she never turned up or responded to them. Do I need to apply for this again or use my old letter stating she never showed up?

Is there anyway my daughter can meet them? Or, Will this have to be hashed out in court as well?

I may not be the best father in town but I certainly try my best. I pay her almost double the amount of child maintenance that's needed each week. I turn up on time and never stay past her time frame for my contact. I just want to be able to see my children on a regular basis without the awkwardness of being supervised by her looming over me.

Apologies for rambling on and many thanks in advance for any advice you may have for me.

Good luck to everyone in their pursuit for their right to see their children and what other problems you may be facing.

Thank you for reading. :-)


Apologies for not stating either, I currently see the two children for 3 hours fortnightly, then the 1 and a half hours is fortnightly on a Monday. So basically I see them for 4.5 hours in one week then none the next.

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  Ex harasses daughter when she's with me
Posted by: Marky207 - 06-10-2018, 10:06 AM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (6)

Looking for some further advice - going through the motions with my ex. We did have a mediation session where I raised the concern of how much my ex guilt trips and texts/phones my daughter during contact with me. Agreed upon a few messages maximum between mum and child when in my care.

The thing is, now that things have broken down, ex is absolutely harassing my daughter by the phone when daughter is with me at the weekend and I don't know what rights I have or what I can do. Daughter is upset about it but doesn't want to upset her mum because she is so afraid of her (she flies off the handle a lot). Just for anyone's information - my ex is constantly asking my daughter what she is doing, asks specifically what I am doing and ex sends photos of herself crying saying that she misses her so much mere hours into my contact time amongst other concerning things. I've kept copies of all these messages and crying photos because my daughter comes to me worried.

I am raising this with my solicitor tomorrow but I wanted to know what I could do about this. I don't mind a few messages and exchanges between mother and daughter. But what I do mind is my ex trying to disrupt contact and distress my daughter. If I just take the phone off my daughter, it'll make it worse for her and make her panic.

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  Ex Wont tell me what school my son goes to
Posted by: dadmisseshissonsomuch - 06-09-2018, 10:15 PM - Forum: Fathers’ Rights, Legal Info, Court Orders - Replies (3)

Hi,

My ex will not let me know what school my son goes to, i've tried googling to find out ways to find where he is going to.

I know she has completely moved out of the area where we used to live and i have a rough idea what town she is in.

Is there anyway i can find out his school?


Thanks

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