22 November 2020 at 8:34 pm #46082
Hi this is my first time posting on here but I’m after some advice please. I have two sons aged 10 and 7 they haven’t seen their dad for nearly a year now there was a court order in place up till July this year preventing him from coming near the house or school . He has never hurt them but has been abusive to me and is mentally unstable saying and believing things not true. My sons miss him terribly. I’ve told him he will need to go to court for access as I just dont feel safe letting them go with him. My sons miss him dreadfully they have spoken on the phone a few times always my sons calling him never the other way round. I’ve told them dads not well and needs to get better but just dont know how to ease their pain. My youngest was crying for his daddy before bed. I guess I’m just venting and looking for some advice please.22 November 2020 at 9:18 pm #46084
Hi Caroline, separation is never easy, especially when children are involved. Sadly there tends to be some form of abuse with mental illness. Has your ex seeked any help for his illness? I am a firm believer in people trying to resolve things themselves, but this is not always practical. There could be an option of supervised visits with yourself or family member present, building up to a point where you feel comfortable. That way you could judge for yourself and go with gut instinct. Going to court will involve mediation first, Cafcass ect. There would no doubt involve a contact center. It’s never easy.
Some positive things you’ve said is that the boys miss their father dreadfully and have never been hurt. Maybe he’s not contacted them because he’s fearful it will be mistook as harassment which can cause further issues with seeing the boys. I can sense you do want the boys and their father to have contact, if I’m right, thats awesome. Just try to talk, talk and talk to resolve things. The courts are never an ideal place and more often than not don’t make the right decision in the best interest of children. Which they claim they do.
I attend a lot of families need fathers meetings and there are some horrendous unjust Cafcass and court decisions. But in most cases court is the only option.
Good luck with things.22 November 2020 at 10:38 pm #46086
Many thanks for your response. I cant talk to my ex he refuses to communicate with me. It’s a very strange situation and I have tried mediation prior to this court order a few years ago but he never attended. He only ever wanted to communicate through my 10 year old son and i just couldn’t let that continue any more especially with what went on prior to the court placing an order to protect me. It’s such a shame as no he will never accept he is not well and his family are also no help to me as they choose to ignore he has issues. I guess I just posted tonight as it breaks my heart for my sons and yes I would love them to have some form of contact but I honestly feel they need safeguarding due to his behaviour. Again thank you so much for responding22 November 2020 at 11:01 pm #46089
If your sons want to see their dad , cant a family member assist with starting contact back up. If they were seeing their dad a lot before it wouldnt take long before contact could be built back up to how it was . You could also once contact built up use school as a handover point and wouldnt have to communicate unless urgent via whatsapp or email. A good starting point would be 4 hours with one of his family members present or someone mutual to get things going again. wouldnt it be nice if something could be in place before xmas23 November 2020 at 12:41 am #46093
Hi Warwickshire1 thank you for your response. I honestly wish it was this easy. I have tried using family members over the years but it seems his family have now stopped contact since the order was placed. They initially told me he was seeking help for his issues but when I asked for someone to come and explain daddy was Ill and working on some stuff they turned me down and never contacted me again. Honestly I told him he will have to go through the courts for access as I just dont know what else do. I guess I came on here for advice on how to deal with my sons being upset. Hope this makes sense and thank you again for your response. He has also made things up about his family so it’s all just a mess really.23 November 2020 at 1:09 am #46094
I understand what you’re going through – I have spent two years batteling and trying to navigate through my situation which sounds really similar to yours. I’ve been having counselling throughout and intially I’d make excuses for their dad and tried to protect them from the pain, but I’ve had to adapt what I say to the children and be more honest. The advice I had :- Don’t cover for your ex. What they are learning is helping them to be more resilient – tell them in child firendly terms why they cant see Daddy at the moment and just be there to listen and comfort them. You are their constant. I have so far managed to avoid the courts but my sister is going through a horrible court battle with her abusive ex and it has been very painful for her and the children. It tough when you are the one at night unable to slpee and worrying about the effects on your children but day by day and just remember you are doing your absolute best. The usual process is supervision at a contact centre if you decide to go down that route. It’s horrible. I wonder if there is another way? Perhaps if you sougjt help froma a social worker? ALl the best I hope things get better soon23 November 2020 at 12:22 pm #46112
Thank you low low for responding it’s hard isn’t it when we only want to protect our children and at the same time want to keep them happy. We are not with social services I’m just going to wait and see what xmas brings and keep doing like what you have said explaining it as best i can. Just so hard seeing them upset but for the most part they are happy little bundles of cheek and cheer23 November 2020 at 12:46 pm #46116
hi, the order has run out and can understand why family would of been distant and stopped getting involved. I dont think mentioning that their son has mental health problems needs to be mentioned. Isnt this historic in a way, most breaks up arent nice. Perhaps it may be worth contacting his family again and explaining your anxious and worried and you want to work with them to re-establish contact with his sons. They are at school now so they could easily do play and supper one evening, initially one of his family members could come along to break the ice as its been a while and go out for something to eat on a weekend during day. I am sure his grandparents must be wanting to see your sons ..xmas is just around a month away.
Your sons will let you know if they are having a great time , if all goes well you could go mediation to build up contact a bit more and more.
If that goes well a mediator could even arrange a schedule or u could suggest one and u could attend family court just to get it drawn up into a court order.
A family member would need to speak to your ex anyway see what he actually wants as his views may have changed regarding seeing sons.23 November 2020 at 8:27 pm #46138
I have tried mediation to no avail he does not wish to communicate with me. His family do not want me to be involved and have informed me they have their own problems. One of his cousins did try to mediate but ex ended up falling out with him.23 November 2020 at 8:31 pm #46139
Hi again, seems a contact center will be your best option. Unsure if there is a charge or possibly free if appointed by a court.23 November 2020 at 8:43 pm #46140
I’m just a bit confused as does he need to action that? That was the advice I was given that he needs to take action as I’ve stopped access.23 November 2020 at 8:56 pm #46141
The order from the court has expired, right?
If you prevent contact, his only option will be going to court for access. The court will instruct Cafcass to contact you both. You will state your points and so will he. Cafcass will write a report to the court.
Bottom line is, if you are unwilling to trust him, even though he has never harmed the children and they miss him dreadfully and there is no third parties be it family or friend, court will be his only option, this will be him who has to start the process.
The court will act in the “child’s best interest” 🤔
🙂23 November 2020 at 9:00 pm #46142
As I’ve suggested and you’ve pointed out, you want the boys to have contact. This is a major stepping stone. Can trust not be earned. 1 hour can lead to 2, 2 to 4, 4 to…. and so on. Just a thought.
🙂23 November 2020 at 9:40 pm #46144
Supervised access would cost your ex around £100 a hour upwards as there are 2 sons which means you have to pay twice.
Supervised is normally generally for either very young children or where they are subject to court proceedings and its stated they dont want to see their father. Its not a nice place to go for your boys especially if they are wanting to see him.
In your case you have 2 boys that are asking and wanting to see their father so as they are too young you are going to both have to put boys 1st communicate via email/whatsapp. Is there no way you can meet your ex at mcdonalds for a hour if nobody else can do it and see how he gets on with boys and show them you are able to put your differences to one side. If boys enjoy it then he could pick them up after school and have them for a couple of hours and build it up in time for christmas. With your boys been a bit older if they are enjoying themselves things can progress fairly quickly .
Or could he meet them at a park with you present whilst other parents are there for a hour or so from Dec 2nd onwards when lockdown lifted. You were just be present as its been a year since he has seen them and its not to supervise , more being there incase it didnt go too well. Reassurance and then if its going well progress from there.23 November 2020 at 9:45 pm #46145
Thank you Warwickshire1 for your post. Appreciate your thoughts on the matter