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Some direction needed
#1
Hi there, first post and hope you guys can help.

I got into a relationship with a work colleague back in Dec 2006, our son was born the following November in 2007. We never got on, we split and I left my job as the thought of working around her was too much. I never saw my son much for the following year and had no contact until he was 4 back in 2011, I saw him regularly then until Xmas of 2013 when I was informed over the phone by the ex that my son didn't want to see me again.

I never challenged this as to hear your son verbally say that he didn't want to see me again would have broken me. One added issue at the time was my sons behaviour at home and school had deteriorated quite badly according to the ex and was traced back to ultimately blame me for his behavioural decline.

When my son would stay at my house he enjoyed playing computer games and unfortunately enjoyed a war game of mine called call of duty, shooting army etc it's a kids dream, but to have exposed a child to that was unacceptable and I hold my hands up to that. The ex stated he would go home and have nightmares shouting the "army are coming to get him" plus his behaviour at school was bad and she mentioned social services were involved. I don't know whether this was a threat but I was masively shocked and scared by all this is I took it as gospel. On one occasion I did smack my son on his leg but nothing can justify that and I'm ashamed at admitting it. I lost my temper but it was a wrong action, but according to the ex thoough this was a regular occurrence, maybe embellished from my son telling her of the occasion I mentioned above, I just don't know.

This as I reiterate was back in 2013. I have not seen my son since then and he has recently just turned 9 years old.

My life since then has improved, I have a partner who seems relatively sane and we are engaged, I really miss my son dearly and would want to see him again but I'll be honest I am petrified to have any contact with the ex, the thought of dealing with her and her family turns my blood cold, but I cannot deal with having my son turn to me one day and say did you really do enough?

I bumped into my ex a few months ago at a local supermarket and was met with a torrent of abuse which was a highly embarrassing episode.

I have no doubt that my son has been fed everything negative about me that I'm the worst of everything and suffice to say I've not had a knock on the door from their end saying he wants to see me.

A few things have puzzled me, it seems likely the whole social services part was put there to in effect scare me off as surely if I had been "abusing" my son I would have at least been spoken to?

Plus with regards any sort of maintenance payments, I haven't paid a penny since 2013 and the csa have not contacted me even though I've been in full time work, I believe this is because they know if I was paying I would obviously want contact. They don't want me around so therefore they don't want my money.

This is indeed a horrible situation, i was never dad of the year material and i made mistakes, maybe I need to man up and that's fair enough but really kinda want to know ppls thoughts on whether this seems in any way retrievable with regards seeing my son again.

Thanks
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#2
(11-18-2016, 02:14 AM)davido198361 Wrote: Hi there, first post and hope you guys can help.

I got into a relationship with a work colleague back in Dec 2006, our son was born the following November in 2007. We never got on, we split and I left my job as the thought of working around her was too much. I never saw my son much for the following year and had no contact until he was 4 back in 2011, I saw him regularly then until Xmas of 2013 when I was informed over the phone by the ex that my son didn't want to see me again.

I never challenged this as to hear your son verbally say that he didn't want to see me again would have broken me. One added issue at the time was my sons behaviour at home and school had deteriorated quite badly according to the ex and was traced back to ultimately blame me for his behavioural decline.

When my son would stay at my house he enjoyed playing computer games and unfortunately enjoyed a war game of mine called call of duty, shooting army etc it's a kids dream, but to have exposed a child to that was unacceptable and I hold my hands up to that. The ex stated he would go home and have nightmares shouting the "army are coming to get him" plus his behaviour at school was bad and she mentioned social services were involved. I don't know whether this was a threat but I was masively shocked and scared by all this is I took it as gospel. On one occasion I did smack my son on his leg but nothing can justify that and I'm ashamed at admitting it. I lost my temper but it was a wrong action, but according to the ex thoough this was a regular occurrence, maybe embellished from my son telling her of the occasion I mentioned above, I just don't know.

This as I reiterate was back in 2013. I have not seen my son since then and he has recently just turned 9 years old.

My life since then has improved, I have a partner who seems relatively sane and we are engaged, I really miss my son dearly and would want to see him again but I'll be honest I am petrified to have any contact with the ex, the thought of dealing with her and her family turns my blood cold, but I cannot deal with having my son turn to me one day and say did you really do enough?

I bumped into my ex a few months ago at a local supermarket and was met with a torrent of abuse which was a highly embarrassing episode.

I have no doubt that my son has been fed everything negative about me that I'm the worst of everything and suffice to say I've not had a knock on the door from their end saying he wants to see me.

A few things have puzzled me, it seems likely the whole social services part was put there to in effect scare me off as surely if I had been "abusing" my son I would have at least been spoken to?

Plus with regards any sort of maintenance payments, I haven't paid a penny since 2013 and the csa have not contacted me even though I've been in full time work, I believe this is because they know if I was paying I would obviously want contact. They don't want me around so therefore they don't want my money.

This is indeed a horrible situation, i was never dad of the year material and i made mistakes, maybe I need to man up and that's fair enough but really kinda want to know ppls thoughts on whether this seems in any way retrievable with regards seeing my son again.

Thanks

The Age Rating of the said game will have a bearing on this. However, my son who is about the same age as yours at the time, tells me that a lot of boys in his year play games with higher age restrictions, as they talk about it in play time.

Knowing how Social Services viewed this at the time would be useful, and also was there any other concerns?

I have also had the claims of bad behaviour after contact, however while a Social Worker can write down the claim, in a Court situation if you set it down for "Finding of Fact", they would have to evidence it or it can not be considered.

Money changing hands has no legal bearing on the case, but the law of the Country does say you have to support your child, and this is regardless of if your having contact or not. Child Support looks at your income, if you have any dependent Children who you or a new partner get child benefit for, and then it creates a reduction if you have staying contact. http://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance. Money can not be brought up as part of a Child Arrangements Application, as the area of law is about the Child's Right to Quality Time with both parent. When you stopped paying, your ex had the legal right to put in CMS (Who replaced the CSA). The fact that she has not can not be used against you.

You are going to have to explain the reason for this 3 years with no contact, and I think you can do this when you talk about your change in lifestyle.
Also if you leave it a few more weeks, the fact that the child is 10 will make a difference.

In your Application to Court (Direct Route is her claim of Child Abuse so no need for Mediation), ask for contact along the lines of Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, and up to half school holidays.

State that you are willing to work with Cafcass or Social Services, who you would also like put in as a Guardian to represent the child. You would also like a "Wishes and Desires" report done, as you only have a claim by your ex that your child does not want to see you. This will involve the Guardian specking to the child without either parent present, normally at school. This process can only be done in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at 10, its 12 in Scotland.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
Hi David, welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing your story.

Nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes. But it sounds as if you have been pretty unfairly treated at times.

If you could put yourself forward a year, what would be the ideal outcome you would want from everything?

Stay in touch.
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#4
Thanks for the kind replies.

In some years time I hopefully will be seeing my son as regularly as i am allowed to. Thats the dream scenario for me.
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#5
Have mentioned to my partner that I want to see my son and she's totally behind me.

Just need to find some confidence now.
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#6
With regards to the social services situation can I randomly just contact them and ask if they've ever been involved with my son as I only was verbally told they were. I had seen no evidence of their involvement which lead to me believing it was just a threat to warn me off and to stay away.

Plus who would I call if that's possible?
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#7
(11-20-2016, 11:14 PM)davido198361 Wrote: With regards to the social services situation can I randomly just contact them and ask if they've ever been involved with my son as I only was verbally told they were. I had seen no evidence of their involvement which lead to me believing it was just a threat to warn me off and to stay away.

Plus who would I call if that's possible?

Most Local Authoritys have a Social Services Referal Hub. Tell them your details, the name and date of birth of the child, and they should be able to tell you if there is a or has been a live case.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
Reply


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