Absent father of 6 years now wants contact
16 January 2021 at 10:47 pm #48245
My ex has sent me a solicitor letter out of the blue seeking access for our daughter. He left when she was 2 so she has no memory or recollection of him.
He was emotionally and financially abusive towards me and I am filled with dread at the thought of her having to go through all this.
We have moved on and living with a new partner whose she calls dad.
I have involved a lawyer to fight my case but I am just wondering what I should expect. Will he get access, how long will it take if he does etc. Will my daughters wishes get taken into consideration…….17 January 2021 at 1:00 am #48248
as your daughter is only 6, they will not take her wishes/feelings that seriously. If your ex poses no danger to the child then its very likely court will give him access. they would likely seek to gradually build up contact with child, going from 1 or 2 hours, to eventually overnight stays, if your ex is available. it’s a shame now that the child will be confused about having 2 dads.17 January 2021 at 2:37 am #48249
I agree with above what steve has said. it may be possible child is 8 rather than 6 from what i am reading. This however wont make any difference in what steve is saying. I am not sure why u need a solicitor to fight your case though as this could be costly. Wouldnt it better to go to first few hearings on your own and save money. nothing ever happens at 1st few hearings unless an agreement reached. As its been 6 years it would normally be 2 hours supervised to start with to see how things go and then would build up from there. Also it may depend further down line how far away u live from each other . It will take a long time if u arent in agreement for a final hearing to conclude especially during this pandemic.
To get a court hearing generally takes 5-6 weeks minimum. he has only sent a solicitors letter which dont really mean a lot . If u ignore he may not go to court as the normal way would be to arrange mediation which would need to be done before he decided wether he wishes to go family court or not .
With it only being a solicitors letter there is no guarantee they will even represent your ex or he will be able to afford to go through with it all.17 January 2021 at 8:26 am #48253
Thanks for your replies. Yes, he hasn’t seen her for 6 years. She is now 8. I haven’t stopped him and I fact, offered contact when we first split and he didn’t acknowledge it. He also got charged with harassment and had threatened to steal her at the time of split so tbh, I’ve been more than glad he hasn’t had anything to do with her.
With regards to the lawyer, I am fortunate enough to have been accepted for legal aid due to being in a low I come family. However, I have no experience of this type of thing and have no one else to ask for help or guidance from.
So should the lawyers suggest mediation between us first prior to getting courts involved etc?
Will I be allowed to be there with my daughter initially?? Also, can I stipulate that no other members of his family/new partner is allowed to be involved to begin with? I really don’t want her building relationships with people for it all to go pear shaped. I need to know he is serious about this if it I to go ahead.
Will mediation/courts take into consideration our past relationship or is it just a case of moving on. Am so scared she gets hurt.
Sorry for all the questions. X17 January 2021 at 10:44 am #48257
Your ex partner would need to arrange mediation before he is able to take you to family court. At moment he has only sent a letter from a solicitor which could of been part of a 30 min/1 hour initial consultation. I dont think it would be possible for you to be there if contact is agreed , but it would be supervised to start with. Only way you would be able to be there if he agreed that you were present rather than it being supervised instead first few times.
The family courts would expect for the first few months at least for it to be just dad and his daughter with nobody else present. Like you say you need to see if he is serious and he would be able to introduce your daughter slowly further down the line.
It is better to not bring the past up and focus on the future ,. he has missed a lot of time hasnt he in his daughters life.
Its a very slow process and it really depends on how pro active your ex is and how committed he is seeing his daughter.