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Denial of Contact - What to do next
#1
Hello Fathers,

I hope you are all well and I hope some of you can possibly help.

My name is Gary, I'm a proud Dad to a gorgeous five year old girl.

Unfortunately I'm having a real nightmare right now with her mother, my ex, and I don't know for sure what I should do next.

The Story so far
My ex and I got together nearly a year before my daughter was born and were friends for about a year before that.
The relationship was a rebound that went on too long and before I realised about that and how much of a self-obsessed control freak she can be.
But it wasn't all bad, I have a daughter which I couldn't be happier about. Smile

The relationship went on many months longer than it should have, we were always just taking cheap verbal shots at each other and although I ended the relationship, I don't doubt for a second that I am as much to blame for it's problems as anyone else.
Anyway, I left my ex December 2014 and as far as I could tell, after the dust settled things were fine.
She was clearly upset, but was being a grown up. I was 28 at the time, she was 4/5 years older.

A year and a half later, we were still friends (or at least both mature enough to communicate) but I now work 150 miles away from where she stays with my daughter.
At this point, I was driving back to get my daughter every weekend without fail. 

Soon after, I meet someone else who is from near where I now work. We hit it off really well, she already has a 6/7 year old boy (when I met him, he's 8 now) and things were great.
At this point, I decide to try and be a grown up for my daughters sake and explain to my ex that I am now seeing someone else. I had no need to explain this, but I was under the impression that honesty would be best as this situation was new to us all.

This is where things started to degrade, slowly at first.

First, I was told that I can't see my daughter every weekend any more. It's now every second which I didn't object to. of course I didn't want to miss out on time with my daughter, but I do live 150 miles away and need to live my life too.
Then it turned into months and months of behaviour I'd never have considered her capable of, for example;
  • Telling me that I can't introduce my daughter to my girlfriend yet, but never giving any indication of this changing.
  • Telling my daughter that my family is not her family, (She only has one mummy, grandma, etc)
  • She's overexaggerated a medical condition (was deliberately vague) once to get a response from me (Which I don't know if was even true),
  • She has invented boyfriends, etc that her own friends and family are unaware of,
  • In short, she's making things difficult for the sake of it or to serve some unknown agenda.

It's also been hard on my relationship, but my partner supports me and is probably there for me more than I deserve.
I had defended my ex too many times and it began to place considerable strain on our relationship.
At the time, (about a year ago) I was informed by my ex's mother that she was still in love with me despite us having separated two years prior and even suggested herself that my ex could use some professional help.
This info was what I needed to see that I was being played by a malicious / vengeful ex.
In general, I'm a good guy. I've always "been the bigger man" or bent to her will just to keep the peace because in my head, she doesn't hurt my daughter and I'm big enough that I don't let what she says bother me any more.

Until that changed...
In short, a couple of months ago, my ex let slip a load of information to me in a chat about how she finds my daughter an embarrassment because of the way she behaves in front of her friends, etc. 
This would be a good time to point out that I have ADHD, and my daughter, is a Carbon Copy of her Daddy! So when it comes to behaviour, etc, It's not likely going to get any easier as time passes.
My ex hates this, she hates anything that she can't control absolutely. Anything other than direct support of her actions, means that you are absolutely against her.
Anyway, she went on about my daughter being an embarrassment and that she was ready to pack her bags and send her to stay with me. Then I find out that she had been smacking my daughter, and not just once, on more than one occassion.

I'm not an aggressive person, but as I'm sure you can imagine, I hit the roof and raised my voice to her for what I think was the first time ever.
I tried to get more information from her but she refused to tell me why she had been hitting my child, how many times, etc.
All she had to say was that she's done it several times, it was no big deal and that she only ever did it as a "last resort".
She is 5 years old, what could possibly be that bad? And what will she do in years to come if my daughters behaviour doesn't fall into her idea of good behaviour?

This is the first I was hearing about it and it was being put accross as a last resort. 
I was furious. My daughter claims that her legs were left red after one such instance, but unfortunately I can't prove it any more than the messages from her admitting it.

Soon after this discovery, I had my daughter on a weekend that was my sisters engagement party on the Friday.
I asked if I could collect my daughter on the Friday night rather than the Saturday morning so she could attend her aunties party. This was refused.
I asked my ex if I could keep my daughter an extra day instead (Monday Bank Holiday) and that I would cover any financial loss she would have as a result with the child minder.
She refused this and started a whole chain of events that are now escalating beyond control.

She refused to allow me to take my child to my sisters engagement party and refused to let me keep her an extra day because she felt that this wasn't enough notice.
Again I bowed to her demands (on the advice of friends and family, as I wanted to just keep my daughter the extra day anyway) but this wasn't enough.

The next day or very soon after, I receive a very vague letter from a solicitor advising me that my ex wants to formalise the agreement we have or she is not prepared to allow contact to continue.
I wasn't sure what this meant (Although I had a good idea) and had to be certain. 
In the letter she demanded to know my address which I had previously refused to give her due to a conversation between my ex and her friend threatening to harrass myself and my family as soon as she finds out my address.
I ignored the letter for the first week and went to collect my daughter as usual to find she was not there.
I then scoured the town but could not find her. My ex had taken our child away on my weekend (Coincidentally the same weekend as my exs birthday) and hid so that I could not find her and spend my time with my daughter.

After that weekend, I replied to the letter advising that I'm happy to discuss and negotiate a contact agreement however before we can proceed I demand contact be reinstated.
I received a response that it would be reinstated so that negotiations could continue.
I had my weekend with my daughter, who had been lied to. She was under the impression that I didn't come for her. Not that she was hidden from me.
After the weekend, I responded properly to the letter stating my requirements but again advising that I will not provide my address.

I have now been told that Contact will now continue to be denied until I provide my address.

The problem is, that I don't want my ex to know my address for any number of reasons.

1) She very well may attempt to make life difficult for me as she has already said she will.
2) Where does it stop? We have been separated for 3 years now and she's still attempting to control my life.
3) My time with my daughter is my time. Not hers. What possible reason could an address for a property 150 miles away benifit her if her intentions are genuine?
4) My daughter has been to my home 3 times in the last 2 years. Most of the time we go to my Mothers as my daughter loves her horses.

I don't believe her intentions to be genuine.
And I'm not 100% sure what to do next.

I know that before I can go to the courts, I need to do a MIAM meeting so that I can complete the C100 form.
But I'm not sure what the best course of action is to get my daughter back and ensure that she can't be taken away from me again.

Apologies for the length or this first post, but I hope someone can help and any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
Gary
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#2
Hey ... welcome... story is interesting , we all have one but I answer the things that will help as we can't change the past IN CAPITALS SO YOU CAN SEE AND REMEMBER JUST MY OPINION NOT LEGAL ADVICE!

Telling me that I can't introduce my daughter to my girlfriend yet, but never giving any indication of this changing. SHE SIMPLY CANT DO THIS AND NEITHER CAN YOU STOP HER INTRODUCING YOUR DAUGHTER TO HER FRIENDS ETC... RECORD THIS IN A DIARY
Telling my daughter that my family is not her family, (She only has one mummy, grandma, etc) - RECORD IT ... YOU WILL NEED FOR COURT
She's overexaggerated a medical condition (was deliberately vague) once to get a response from me (Which I don't know if was even true), NOT RELEVANT ... OBVIOUSLY SHE HAS ISSUES BUT THAT IS A BEHAVIOUR OF SOMEONE WHO STILL WANTS YOU BACK AND NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR DAUGHTER
She has invented boyfriends, etc that her own friends and family are unaware of, NOT RELEVANT
In short, she's making things difficult for the sake of it or to serve some unknown agenda. STANDARD I'M AFRAID... READ THE FORUMS TO GET INSIGHT INTO OTHER EXAMPLES ... SOME WILL BE WORSE THAT THIS, OTHERS NOT SO MUCH

HER solicitor advising me that my ex wants to formalise the agreement we have or she is not prepared to allow contact to continue. HER SOLICITOR ACTS ON HER BEHALF... GREAT NEWS THAT SHE WANTS TO FORMALIZE IT AS SO DO YOU! SHE CANNOT STOP CONTACT IN THE MEANTIME... RECORD IT EVERY TIME SHE DOES

1) She very well may attempt to make life difficult for me as she has already said she will. WELCOME TO THE CLUB MATE... NO SOLUTION HERE.. THAT'S THE WAY IT IS. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR BEHAVIOR ... NOT HERS
2) Where does it stop? We have been separated for 3 years now and she's still attempting to control my life. MAY NEVER STOP ... SORRY... YOU ARE HER OBSESSION... ONLY SHE CAN STOP HER BEHAVIOUR
3) My time with my daughter is my time. Not hers. What possible reason could an address for a property 150 miles away benifit her if her intentions are genuine? IF YOU HAVE GENUINE REASONS TO WITH-HOLD IT YOU MAY HAVE A CASE ... IN A 'NORMAL' SPLIT PARENTS WOULD INFORM EACH OTHER WHERE THE KIDS ARE BUT YOU DON'T NEED TO AND IF SHE IS A BIT CRAZY ABOUT YOU... BEST NOT
4) My daughter has been to my home 3 times in the last 2 years. Most of the time we go to my Mothers as my daughter loves her horses. IRRELEVNT WHERE YOU TAKE HER IN YOUR TIME... ITS YOUR TIME ... AS LONG AS SHE IS SAFE ETC


I know that before I can go to the courts, I need to do a MIAM meeting so that I can complete the C100 form.
But I'm not sure what the best course of action is to get my daughter back and ensure that she can't be taken away from me again.
YOU GOT IT... MEDIATION ...THEN COURT... THAT IS YOUR OPTION HERE ... FORMALIZE THE CHILD ACCESS ARRNEGMENT
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#3
Hi LTCDAD,

Thanks very much for being so quick.

It seems I'm on the right track already, but it definitely helps to hear confirmation. Smile

I am going to collate the information I have into a Diary of sorts and organise the MIAM in the meantime.

The difficulty for me at the moment is ignoring the irrelevant parts because when she plays games like this, it's difficult not to get angry.

I'm hoping that I can get everything organised quick enough. Being from Scotland, I'm spending a lot of time trying to find relevant legal information and then making sure its still relevant in Scotland. lol

I'm getting there.
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#4
Practice smiling... she only tries to make you angry as its all she has control of... but when you realize you control your response not her ... then you will love how upset she gets that you DON:T react.

If you do react, she gets free legal aid and access to your kids can be removed!

You will be surprised how uninterested the courts are in the detail. The diary is a way of collating and combining SO... in court you go in and say 'ive been denied access 35 times in 12 months , most recent example was 2 weeks ago when XYZ'... that is all you need (plus back up examples in case you are asked) BUT the judge aint listening to all 35 times!

So learn to consolidate... denied access, harassment, things you've done to be reasonable that have been turned down

You have to come across as the balanced reasonable parent... let the ex blow all the hot air and look like a crazy person
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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