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Trouble and Strife
#1
I've recently split up with my girlfriend, the mother of our seven month old boy.

Basically, we couldn't live together and ended up arguing every day, shouting, screaming until it became untenable. I moved out to a flat nearby and we began to discuss contact and visitation arrangements. Initially it was fine and I'd drop in to see the bairn on my way into work for half an hour then come back to help out in the evening, bath him, feed, help put him to bed. It should also be noted here that she has a 6 year old boy from a previous relationship.

Unfortunately, presumably after speaking to her mother who utterly despises everyone, especially me, she's restricted access saying I can only come round to see my son twice a week when her other son is at his dad's. And they have to be supervised visits with her in the house or my parents or someone there. I'm utterly flabbergasted as to why she's doing this.

Now, we both have a history of depression and anxiety and she says she doesn't feel safe with me being with my son by myself - despite having been fine with this for the previous seven months. I honestly think holding my previous mental health against me in this way is despicable. I suspect she's bitter about the break up and is getting negative advice from people who don't like me.

My question is this: is she legally able to insist on supervised visits or limited access without a contact order being in place? I don't think she is as she hasn't been through the courts and seems to be doing this on a whim.

For info, I'm not asking for much. A couple of hours every other day so he doesn't forget who the hell I am.

Any advice or tips would be great.
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#2
Hi strider, thanks for sharing your story.


Quote:I suspect she's bitter about the break up and is getting negative advice from people who don't like me.

Sounds likely this is the case.  When I was trying my best to resolve things with my Ex, I sensed she wasn't getting support from the best people, and that they just wanted to fuel the drama.

Don't react to it.  Your gameplan at all times is to make your life the way you want it, and not to get caught up in mindgames.

Your first port of call should be your local Citizens Advice Bureau in my opinion.  They will advise you of the next best step, and put you in contact with the agencies, and if necessary might advise you to get a free consultation with a solicitor.

I've also struggled with anxiety/depression.  How are you coping in general?

J
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#3
(01-11-2017, 11:24 AM)StartingLifeAgain Wrote: Hi strider, thanks for sharing your story.


Quote:I suspect she's bitter about the break up and is getting negative advice from people who don't like me.

Sounds likely this is the case.  When I was trying my best to resolve things with my Ex, I sensed she wasn't getting support from the best people, and that they just wanted to fuel the drama.

Don't react to it.  Your gameplan at all times is to make your life the way you want it, and not to get caught up in mindgames.

Your first port of call should be your local Citizens Advice Bureau in my opinion.  They will advise you of the next best step, and put you in contact with the agencies, and if necessary might advise you to get a free consultation with a solicitor.

I've also struggled with anxiety/depression.  How are you coping in general?

J

Thanks for your reply, J

You’re absolutely right about having the wrong people around her. The other night we had a really positive evening – I spent time with my son, we bath him, played with him, fed him together. Then she put him down. We had a couple of glasses of wine and talked amicably and had a bit of a laugh. Then her mother phoned asking why the hell I was there, demanded I leave and threatened to come down and kick me out. Thankfully my ex just disregarded the call but with reactions like that I’m starting to get a bigger picture of who’s actually pulling the strings here. My friends and family were over the moon we’d had a constructive and positive evening, but hers weren’t. It's bizarre.

I can’t bear the thought of not seeing him. Having been used to seeing him every day, an agreement in place, then having the rug pulled from under me, it’s messing with my head. I think it’s totally unreasonable and I’m flummoxed as to why she’s about turned on our arrangement. My mates think she’s off her rocker.

I honestly don’t think she’s able to enforce what she’s doing without a proper legal requirement but at the minute I’m adhering to what she’s doing in order to keep things civil between us. If anything it’ll show that I’m willing to cooperate and engage when this inevitably ends up in the hands of a judge.
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#4
My question is this: is she legally able to insist on supervised visits or limited access without a contact order being in place?

Your answer is this: NO
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#5
(01-11-2017, 12:52 PM)LTCDAD Wrote: My question is this: is she legally able to insist on supervised visits or limited access without a contact order being in place?

Your answer is this: NO

That's what I thought. I met her over lunch today to discuss a few things and spend my break with my son and I said in order to keep things civil and not have to ultimately go through a messy court procedure I'll agree to doing this for a further two weeks until emotions have cooled and we've both taken some time.

The advice I've been given is to go straight down the legal avenue but I'm trying my best to avoid that for the time being. But at the end of the next fortnight if her stance hasn't changed I feel like I'll have no choice.
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#6
Keep it civil and calm .... If I've learnt one thing it is that a 'by the book' approach is a better long term strategy than endless emotional arguments.
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#7
(01-12-2017, 09:13 AM)LTCDAD Wrote: Keep it civil and calm  .... If I've learnt one thing it is that a 'by the book' approach is a better long term strategy than endless emotional arguments.

Yeah, it's a given that being civil and calm is the best way to approach things. It's hard graft but it's better in the long term.

Unfortunately, if I opted for the by the book approach we'd be in court because what she's currently doing is basically against the law. I have full parental responsibility and she's restricting me seeing my son by insisting on supervised access without a contact or child arrangement order.

We've talked about it and I said I'm well within my rights during our agreed contact times to take him out, or back to my flat on my own. She said she'd call the police if that happened - whether she would is anyone's guess - and, based on the advice I've received, the police would arrive, I would show them agreed access that we have written down, a copper would ask for a contact order if she was insisting on supervised access, and she wouldn't be able to provide one as we're miles away from going anywhere near a court at the minute.

It just seems she's causing a whole load of trouble for absolutely nothing. It's infuriating.
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