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Child Contact
#1
Hi,

I have my daughter every other weekend. I pick her up on a saturday morning and drop her back off on a Sunday evening. I travel a 350 mile round trip every weekend to do this without fail and i always ask my ex to have her additional days such as bank holidays etc but she always refuses and also refuses to let me have her every other xmas day. What are my rights around this?

Also when i originally split from my ex i used to call and speak to my daughter everyday however my ex has told me that im not aloud to do this anymore as it upsets my daughter because im no longer there. I accepted this because i had my daughters wellbeing at heart and she told me should would let me know every couple of days that she is ok however she never does. Its been 2 years now. Whenever i message it always take her 3 days to message me back and until this day i am still not aloud to call, whenever i pick her up she barely talks to me which my daughter must be picking up on and i always get the blame when shes naughty.

As far as i am concerned i am a very active dad but my ex just does not allow this and i do not have the money or mental energy to go to court.

Thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks
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#2
My thoughts..... Well done on persevering with it. Considering the distance involved you've got my respect.

How old is your daughter? This may have bearing on things. As far as rights go neither parent has any, however you both have responsibilities. It is your daughter that has rights. She has right to a decent relationship with both of you.

How well can you and your ex communicate with each other? Can you both be rational and objective when it comes to your daughter's well being? If you can then sensible discussion would be the first step. Outlining your concerns and asking her to reconsider her reluctance to increase contact, pointing out the benefit of quality involvement on your part, both in the short term and her longer term outlook on life.

Would your ex be amenable to you collecting her on a Friday evening instead of Saturday morning?

Your ex's refusal regarding Xmas is remarkably selfish on her part, but without a court order in place there is little that you can do apart from trying to persuade her to change things. Can you enlist the help of close friends or family to help you get your point across?

Ultimately if you want more contact you need the inner strength to do it. Suggested actions start with trying to talk to your ex, writing to her seeking a resolution, and if unsuccessful then suggesting mediation, and if that doesn't work then applying for a court order for definitive contact. As I'm sure you are aware, this will take time and effort to see this through to a satisfactory conclusion.
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#3
Thanks for your reply. The distance isnt a problem for me because she is my daughter and i will travel to the end of the earth for her, the same as any parent should do for their children.

The relationship between the mother and i, to be honest isnt great. Every time i pick my daughter up she is really off with me and doesnt really talk to me. I tried to have a civilised conversation with her to say no matter what she thinks of me we need to act like adults because my daughter will and is picking up on the bad vibe between us.

She also doesnt tell me anything e.g we have been seperated for nearly 2 years but i have only just been told that my daughter is a little naughty when i return her she plays up for a couple of days. Although this is probably normal the same as any child would be a little naughty when they return from other parent i still get the blame even though she didnt tell me. I tried to talk to her about this face to face but she wasnt having it.

Another thing she said is that i am not aloud to bring her back to my house because she hasnt met my new partner although i have introduced my daughter a while back. I appreciate the distance is not good which is why bringing her to my house would be a once in a while thing but the mother has stated i am not aloud to do this until she has met my new partner. My new partner doesnt want to me my ex because of abbuse she gave me and my partner when she first got together. She said that if she finds out i have taken my daughter home she will stop me seeing her. I dont take her home because of this reason because i cannot run the risk of not being able to see my daughter. I pay maintenence every month without fail (£190) and i make sure that is the first thing that gets done when i get paid. I buy additional clothing but yet i never see my daughter in them etc. It also costs me nearly £200 extra in diesel a month on top of maintenence and additional stuff i buy not to mention car maintenence/repairs.

My point is that no matter how much i try to talk to her about things she doesnt have it. Doesnt let me help, doesnt communicate with me about her etc. From my point of view altough nothing i can do about it is that i really miss my daughter and want to speak to her in the week but not being able to kills me.

Thanks for listening, apologies for going on.
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#4
My ex won't even answer the door when I go to get my girl, I knock, daughter is shovelled out of the door and that's it. Her sole communication with me is a scribbled note handed to my daughter to give to me stating what days I can have her during any given holiday, and if I dare protest...I'm told, via text, "Those are the dates, if you don't like them that's tough. Take it or leave it"

Your daughter's "naughty" behaviour once she returns to mum after contact is as much the fault of the mum as anything else as she's so negative regarding you. If she could be a bit more objective over this then the situation would resolve itself. From what you've written it's fairly obvious she's incapable of dealing adequately with your daughter's feelings and if she gets negative towards her own child it's not surprising she plays up a bit. The naughty behaviour would reduce and eventually stop if your ex would only think a little deeper about how your daughter feels.

As far as allowing access in your own home until she meets your partner......Control freak is the first words that spring to mind, and if I was you I wouldn't pander to her on it. You are Dad, and your partner is your choice and has no bearing on access to your child.

In my opinion you'll only be able to deal with the issues by persuing the "approved" route....Conversation, mediation and court. Try the first, if no joy, then the next and if still no joy the last bit. I appreciate you saying you don't have the inner strength or money to do it, but if you don't you'll continually be living your's and your daughter's life according to your ex's whims. The longer you allow her to get away with it the worse it will become. Every time it happens it knocks a little bit of your self esteem and gives you less enthusiasm to deal with it effectively.

Only you can get the ball rolling to solve the issues you describe.
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#5
Thank you for your help and comments, much appreciated. I eventually want bring her home every now and again however i was worried that if my ex found out she would stop me seeing my daughter. Are you saying she has no right to stop me taking her to my home even if my ex hasnt met my new partner as long as i am not putting her in any danger.

Thanks
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#6
She has no right to dictate what you do with your daughter, that is interference and controlling behaviour which any rational parent wouldn't put their child through.

Put it this way, what do you think your ex would say if you told her you don't want your daughter to spend any time with your ex's new partner (Give you a clue.....two words beginning with F...O..) Just as you have no right to dictate how your ex deals with your child, she has no right in terms of what you do.

You can't tread on eggshells forever...Are you really going to live the next decade or so of your life being controlled by your ex?

She may stop contact, in fact I'd hazard a guess that would be a certainty, which sort of backs up my point of you having to fight this.
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#7
You know what, you are absolutely right. I cant keep living in a shaddow thinking what will she do or what if. I cant keep letting her control my life or control what i do with my time i have with my daughter or in fact blaming me for everything. If she does try to stop me seeing her then i will fight her in court as she has no leg to stand on from what you and others have told me. The court will see that i am a father that will do anything for my daughter and does do everthing i possibly can.

Thanks
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#8
We can offer help, advice and support, but only you can get the ball rolling.

Good to see you're a bit more positive about things.....Keep at it.
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