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Ex has BPD and I'm trying to co parent with her any advice would be great.
Long story short, I was involved with a person that believe to have BPD for almost 6 months we had been friends before hand for nearly 4 years. Things weren't perfect before she fell pregnant but things got very bad once she was, she broke up with me but wouldn't leave. She still expected everything that is usually included in a relationship accept intimacy or any sort of dialogue. We went to the UK (her home town) for a holiday when she was 3 months pregnant, as I said the 3 months were absolute hell. Once in the UK I found out she was going to meet up with an ex partner and others and was saying things to them that were inappropriate so I finally bit the bullet and left her in the UK with her family. She took the stance of I had abandoned her and played the victim card very heavily. I left to go back to Australia and I was very angry and did not want to ever see her again, but as I recovered from what had happened, I realised that I wanted to be a father to my little girl more than anything so I decided to move to the UK to attempt to co-parent with my ex. Fast forward to now and I am living in the UK and things have been extremely difficult. My daughter is nearly 2 months old and visitation is extremely limited. On one encounter my ex is positive and I think in that moment she wants to do what is right but the next time I see her it is the opposite. I haven't been named on the birth certificate and she will not speak about it, if I bring it up she leaves and my time with my daughter is cut short. She will not accept any help other than money and I cannot make any progress (when I try things go pear shaped). She does not keep me informed on my daughters progress and tells me a lot of lies regarding her also. I do have lawyers in the background giving me advice but I just don't think they appreciate the nature of a BPD and the false hope that I know she is giving me, she keeps saying time will fix this but I have heard it all before. I have been in this revolving door for more than a year now with this person and I know she will never change her ways. The problem that I have is I desperately want to avoid court because I know once that happens there will be no going back and there will be no amicable relationship. I also think it is going to make things horrible for my daughter in the future. BUT I know for a fact this person wants me to have no part in my daughters life but I am stuck. My gut is telling me to be ruthless and go to court. I guess what I am asking for is advice from people with similar experiences and what the outcomes were etc. Obviously there is much, much more to this story but it would take me years to write it. Any help that is given would be appreciated! thanks!
Hi Chewy89,

You really need to be recognised as the father of your child legally before you can go much further. I'm sure there will be information online about how you'd achieve that. Whilst I can understand your reluctance to go full out legal, if your ex won't accept you in your child's life then you don't really have many options. As you may have seen from other posts, you need to try other avenues open to you before you enter a court application.

Do you have any friends in common that may be prepared to help both of you by offering a voice of reason? If you have, maybe approach them and see what they think. If no joy there, write to the ex outlining your thoughts, but without being demanding, emphasising the benefits having 2 parents gives a child and it's future welfare and life chances. If you don't receive a favourable response then offering mediation would be the next step, and if she refused, or it was unsuccessful then a court application is the next step. If it got that far you could then outline your concerns regarding BPD (Which I assume you mean Borderline Personality Disorder) to the courts. Assuming they accept your views then reports etc would be arranged to furnish the courts with all the necessary information to enable them to make a decision. Be aware that if you and your ex can't agree to joint residence order then the usual protocol is for the mum to get a residence order and you'd get a contact order. However, if reports suggest that your ex does have a mental health disorder then things could be very different and it could be possible for you to gain the residence order and your ex would get a contact order. This isn't a foregone conclusion, and there would need to be some fairly concrete, medical evidence for that to happen.

Either way, don't give up and be prepared for it to take time, lots of time.
Hi Norfolk n good,

Cheers for that insight, me being away from home I don't know many people here so I cant really approach anyone. She isn't really the type to heed advice from anyone anyway, as you could imagine. Yeah mate I'm in for the long haul!
I can see how you'll find it difficult if you're not from these shores originally, but you can overcome these obstacles, if you can afford it then maybe pay for an initial consultation with a decent solicitor with experience in family law cases?

In terms of a timescale, my case was relatively simple but still took 2 years to resolve.
Yeah, I actually have a very good lawyer that is stressing patience to see how it goes without the involvement of them, but, I know it is futile due to the BPD and past experience.
Don't neglect your own welfare in'll be a poor parent if you can't deal with yourself properly Smile
(03-17-2016, 05:24 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: Don't neglect your own welfare in'll be a poor parent if you can't deal with yourself properly Smile
Yeah, I'm looking after myself keeping busy etc. Just out of curiosity what did you go for in the courts and what was the cost?
I went for joint residency and didn't get it as the ex didn't want it. For joint residency to work the courts will want to see that the parents can and do work together for the benefit of their child. Without that the standard position is primary parent gets residence order, NRP gets contact order, which was what happened in my case. Contact awarded was 3 hours every Wednesday plus every other weekend and half of all holidays. Generally the ex complies with it, but" half of all holidays" has a different definition to her than it does to me. Costs were met by legal aid as it was a few years ago when legal aid existed for Family court cases.

Actual costs of applying to the courts if you represent yourself are, I think, a few hundred pounds.

Personally I'd have paid every pound I have knowing now how much my child enjoys the time she spends with us.
I am sorry to hear what should be a magical time in your life has turned sour and I have every sympathy. Firstly, you say she has BPD, has this actually been diagnosed? I don't wish to undermine your claims, however, occasionally if someone won't cooperate or comes across as unstable because there is a difficult dynamic, then it can seem like the person you are dealing with is unstable, but this does not mean they necessarily have a mental health issue. We often look for answers in order to compartmentalise a problem, when this may not actually be the case. It means if she is actually just being 'plain' difficult, then I suggest you bit the bullet and take the matter to court (if your ex won't consent to mediation), otherwise you may be in a revolving door for a very long time. Plus, you say you don't want it to affect your daughter; in reality it is better to deal with the issue when your child is very young than leave it until she is more aware of the situation, in which case your ex can tell the courts you have had no previous input into your daughter's life. In addition, continuing to pay for legal advice will suck up your money pretty fast. The fact the mother is also saying 'things will get better with time' seems to me as though she is stringing you along. Therefore, I suggest you inform her that unless she can come up with a contact arrangement by a specified time, then you will have no other alternative than to apply to the court. If she does not comply (which I actually think will be in your best interests if she doesn't, as she may decide to be continually unreliable with access), then you will apply to court for both parental responsibility and a contact order. Just because you take the matter to court does not mean you won't or can't have an amicable relationship with the mother in the future, but it does mean that she will know you are not a push-over and that you will fight for the right to be a proper parent to your child. Plus, even if you take it through court you do not have to be unkind in the process; you can still be agreeable, but maintain that through her actions she has left you no alternative. A court order will also mean she cannot renege on any access agreement without repercussion, whereas if you take it through mediation, she can. The courts are much more agreeable these days to fathers having relationships with their children. If you find the legal fees too hefty, then you can self-litigate. Many fathers are taking this route with success, please see link: How to Represent Yourself and the Bar Council also has an excellent guide Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. It seems to me you have been very patient and given your ex every chance possible - and in reality she is simply messing you about.
Hi Separated Dads,

As far as I know she hasn't been diagnosed but once we broke up I was told by a one of her family friends who is a mental health professional and has known her for sometime that it is likely the case. Her difficult and unruly nature has been consistent for the 4 - 5 years that I have known her and is probably getting worse with age. She had a reasonably troubled child hood, and all of her romantic relationships and friendships end surprisingly badly. Common sense and research tell me she does have BPD but obviously I am not a mental health professional and cannot make that call. Yeah I completely agree that it needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later, but still it is a massive decision. This person does not like to be questioned and likes to be in control and if she feels she is loosing it she becomes aggressive. She has had advice from child services regarding acceptable visitation and what is best for our daughter. Some of the things she said I agreed with but she said things like it'll take longer to bond and therefore my daughter won't know I am her father which worries me because I think she is giving me a clue as to what is happening in the background that I don't know about. The advice she is getting is firstly free and without me being there to know exactly what is being said and contributing input can at best only be very bias towards her views on the matter and somewhat structuring questions to get the answers she wants. She has admitted on a few occasions that she is limiting the visitation because she doesn't want to see me which is incredibly selfish but also says it will increase with time. The only thing that she has compromised on is that I have been seeing my daughter once a week for two hours and she has now changed it to twice a week for one hour, which I would rather, but, what would be your view on acceptable visitation for a 2 month old? What sort of time frame do you think is reasonable for for her to come up with a contact arrangement? Thank you very much for those links every piece of information and support is making the world of difference to me at the moment.

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