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What Should I do?
#1
At the end of last October my pregnant girlfriend went to visit her parents who live some 80 miles from me. She had had a few complications during the pregnancy and had been into hospital a few times in the previous two months and the day after she arrived at her parents her waters broke and she was rushed into hospital. At this time she was still 12 weeks away from our baby being due. To cut a long story short her mother convinced her she would be better off having the baby without me and staying with them and I wasn't even told she was in hospital despite receiving texts during the next few days from my girlfriend implying that everything was ok and that she was just staying a few days longer because she was a bit tired. Within a week I was told by her stepdad that she was not coming back and that I wasn't to make further contact with her. I had to make some contact as apart from trying to get her to change her mind I had to make arrangements to transport all her belongings to her. Unfortunately my hands were tied as she was stuck in hospital in her hometown and nobody would tell me where and even if I did persuade her to reconsider she couldn't leave the hospital until the baby came anyway. The baby was eventually delivered by cesarean two weeks later.

I was not told when the baby was born until 19 days after the birth by which time my daughter had been registered without my presence. Reading between the lines one of the reasons for not telling me was so that it could be registered first. I was given various excuses as to why she wasn't well enough for me to go and visit but eventually after. Communication since then has been limited and between the start of November and early February all my emails and texts were ignored though my ex did make some contact with my Mother after she had sent her quite a bit of money. I implied that I would go to the courts if this wasn't forthcoming and that I didn't accept that her excuses regarding my daughter and her family's health issues were acceptable. Since then after requesting at the start of march that I see my daughter I have now been allowed a visit which took place a week ago and I took my mother too. The visit went quite well and there wasn't any hostility. We have agreed in principle that I will visit every 4 weeks but that she wants her parents with her each time for moral support. I have sent a few gifts since the birth and when I visited but despite having offered to give her anything she wants for my daughter she hasn't asked for anything or any money.

I would like to be able to visit my daughter with just myself and her mother present unless there are occasions when my mother or friends are with me in which case I can understand she might want to bring her family along. A few years down the line I would like to have access alone and eventually sleep overs etc. I would also like to be on the birth certificate and/or be legally recognised as my daughter's father. Since my visit my ex has ignored any pleasant texts that I have sent her and she's basically (with the encouragement of her mother) acting in an extremely distant and unfriendly manner. I am concerned about rocking the boat and approaching the courts and her putting a stop to my visits but I feel at the moment that I am completely at her mercy. As she left me, with no justification other than perhaps home sickness, this all seems very unfair. 

Can someone give me some advice on what I should do for the best. Should I push for a declaration of parentage for the courts or ask her to consider re-registering the birth with me? Should I approach the CSA to instruct financial payments or leave it to her to decide she wants money off me? Should I ask for a court order to determine access or should I just leave it to the informal 4 weekly arrangement until such time as I feel more access would be appropriate as my daughter gets older? Is there any time limit on when I should approach such issues? Everything feels a bit of a mess and what was looking like being a very happy Christmas last year has turned into a nightmare.
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#2
Hi bignorm, and welcome.

Jaw jaw is always preferable to war war.in other words try and discuss it rationally, before you start going down the legal route, obviously you can still proceed with this if discussion doesn't get you anywhere, but in the first instance try to talk with her, not to her.

If you take a look on the Separated Dad's website you'll find plenty of information regarding gaining parental responsibility, this should be your first objective alongside trying to establish some regular contact with your child.

To understand why your girlfriend is behaving like this you need to take an objective look at your relationship with her. Had you been together long? Did you live together? Was your relationship generally a good one, or was it a bit strained and stressful? Is your aim just to be a decent dad to your child, or are you hoping the relationship will continue with your girlfriend?
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#3
(04-01-2016, 03:17 PM)BIGNORM Wrote: At the end of last October my pregnant girlfriend went to visit her parents who live some 80 miles from me. She had had a few complications during the pregnancy and had been into hospital a few times in the previous two months and the day after she arrived at her parents her waters broke and she was rushed into hospital. At this time she was still 12 weeks away from our baby being due. To cut a long story short her mother convinced her she would be better off having the baby without me and staying with them and I wasn't even told she was in hospital despite receiving texts during the next few days from my girlfriend implying that everything was ok and that she was just staying a few days longer because she was a bit tired. Within a week I was told by her stepdad that she was not coming back and that I wasn't to make further contact with her. I had to make some contact as apart from trying to get her to change her mind I had to make arrangements to transport all her belongings to her. Unfortunately my hands were tied as she was stuck in hospital in her hometown and nobody would tell me where and even if I did persuade her to reconsider she couldn't leave the hospital until the baby came anyway. The baby was eventually delivered by cesarean two weeks later.

I was not told when the baby was born until 19 days after the birth by which time my daughter had been registered without my presence. Reading between the lines one of the reasons for not telling me was so that it could be registered first. I was given various excuses as to why she wasn't well enough for me to go and visit but eventually after. Communication since then has been limited and between the start of November and early February all my emails and texts were ignored though my ex did make some contact with my Mother after she had sent her quite a bit of money. I implied that I would go to the courts if this wasn't forthcoming and that I didn't accept that her excuses regarding my daughter and her family's health issues were acceptable. Since then after requesting at the start of march that I see my daughter I have now been allowed a visit which took place a week ago and I took my mother too. The visit went quite well and there wasn't any hostility. We have agreed in principle that I will visit every 4 weeks but that she wants her parents with her each time for moral support. I have sent a few gifts since the birth and when I visited but despite having offered to give her anything she wants for my daughter she hasn't asked for anything or any money.

I would like to be able to visit my daughter with just myself and her mother present unless there are occasions when my mother or friends are with me in which case I can understand she might want to bring her family along. A few years down the line I would like to have access alone and eventually sleep overs etc. I would also like to be on the birth certificate and/or be legally recognised as my daughter's father. Since my visit my ex has ignored any pleasant texts that I have sent her and she's basically (with the encouragement of her mother) acting in an extremely distant and unfriendly manner. I am concerned about rocking the boat and approaching the courts and her putting a stop to my visits but I feel at the moment that I am completely at her mercy. As she left me, with no justification other than perhaps home sickness, this all seems very unfair. 

Can someone give me some advice on what I should do for the best. Should I push for a declaration of parentage for the courts or ask her to consider re-registering the birth with me? Should I approach the CSA to instruct financial payments or leave it to her to decide she wants money off me? Should I ask for a court order to determine access or should I just leave it to the informal 4 weekly arrangement until such time as I feel more access would be appropriate as my daughter gets older? Is there any time limit on when I should approach such issues? Everything feels a bit of a mess and what was looking like being a very happy Christmas last year has turned into a nightmare.

Your first priority has to be getting PR for the child, as currently you have no legal rights.

In terms of contact, you need to come to some form of agreement, and its best if this is in writing, or via mediation so its documented. Perhaps send her a letter, outlining what you would like to happen, so that if it does end up in court you can show you have tried to get this sorted, and are being reasonable.

Currently there is no legal reason for you to be handing over any cash, but there is also nothing wrong with you offering and my opinion is to encurage you to help her out with cash if she needs it for the baby. Money is nothing to do with the arrangments for the baby and would not be considered as part of any proceedings for contact or even residance.
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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#4
Wink 
Tnx Norfolk n Good. That's pretty much what I am doing really. 

Relationship was very good till the last month when she did get stressed quite a few times, mainly because of problems with the pregnancy, poor support from our local hospital and her GP, and maybe needed to have made a few friends in the area to give her that bit of local support having moved away from her family a year before. We had been together 18 months and lived together the last 9 months of it. She pushed a couple of times to move in with me and the second time I said yes. Her main reason for wanting to move in with me when she did was to get away from her family who are very controlling and she had some big fall outs with them, plus we live quite a distance apart so like most long distance relationships that can be a strain so moving in sooner rather than later made sense. She fell pregnant a couple of months after moving in with me with her first child and mine and it wasn't planned. She has a history of moving in with guys because she wants to get away from her family then falls out with them and moves back to her family again. Unfortunately this is the first time a baby has been involved. She isn't very independent so it has to be a boyfriend or her Mum and she doesn't do things the easy way, always burning her bridges after a relationship and when she falls out with her folks doesn't speak to them for months after. It was me who encouraged her to start talking to them again after we found out she was pregnant.

Hold on a minute 'objective', 'understanding a girlfriend'? If I could understand why any woman makes the choices they do or behaves the way they do when things go wrong in a relationship it would make me a rich man  Wink
Being a good Dad in the circumstances is as much as I can hope for but once she falls out with her family again if she wants me back it's probably something I would consider.....
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