Dad refusing to return child- advice please

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  • #47383 Report


    Hi, after scheduled contact with dad yesterday, I was due to collect my son at 8pm, he refused me collecting him and got my son to call saying he wanted to stay with daddy (he’s just turned 4) I turned up anyway and he fetched out my son and was saying you don’t make the decisions we both do and if he wants to stay with me he can, my son is due back to me shortly, am I right to not send him for the rest of the week? Due to him being off work he doesn’t think our normal schedule applies, and I know that this will happen again tomorrow or the next day.
    I don’t want my son witnessing these sort of exchanges.
    He has just applied to court for shared custody/ residency. How will this look in court if I refuse to send him until Friday due to the fear that he will not return him once again. Any advice is much appreciated.

    #47384 Report


    Hi whats the contact arrangements meant to be. With it been xmas holidays most dads have 50-50  contact time.  I would try and reach some agreement with childs dad as we are going through a very difficult time.  If you havent been to court yet you both would be on same level standing.

    If it went to family court he would not get a 50-50 shared custody/residence. It depends what you would be willing to offer , its a lengthy process.

    What does dad have during school term time at moment contact wise

    #47389 Report


    I have always been the residential parent, and have push for dad to have as much contact as possible as I don’t want my son missing out, he has always had him tues- Friday 6-8, and overnight Saturday back with me Sunday (he is unable to have him on a Monday due to work)

    we have a very messy situation, he has a new partner and has gone for 50/50 since I went for maintenance, he is claiming his new partner who my son has known for 9 weeks presently (3 weeks we actually isolated)  can look after our son when he isn’t able to.

    our current arrangement has been in place to work around his work commitments.

    we had agreed Xmas eve/ Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but other than that ever he hasn’t mentioned anything until just before Christmas, he then sent me a schedule of me one night him the next, then me then him etc, I told him our current arrangements would carry on but instead of 6-8 I was happy to do 4-8 as he is off work, nothing mentioned since until last night when he refused to let me take him, when actually he never usually has him on a Monday anyway.
    I’m just not sure if not sending him will go against me, but this will happen again this week, I feel that my son needs a break from his dad dragging him into it all too. He’s only just turned 4 and the way his dad is speaking round him is not fair and he’s definitely picking up on it all.

    i have always done all the child care, even changing my job, I had a good job and Iswapped to be a high school cooking assistant so that I could be around for school pick up/ drop off and holidays because he has never been available to help.

    #47393 Report


    There is absolutely no way he will get 50-50 . Also if he wanted any midweek contact with overnight stay he would have to pick son up from school and drop off back to school in morning.  If he cant pick son up from school he wont get any overnight contact unless you allow him to collect from yourself. the overnight 1 night a week may stay if u are agreaable to it but family courts often end up giving dads every other weekend. The idea is that you have a weekend each this may be that its a pick up from school friday drop off to school monday or meeting sunday between 4 and 6 to do a drop off.

    Family courts dont like people doing 1 day on and 1 day off.  I think he had him monday as it was a bank holiday.

    I would send your son to dad as usual but maybe email/text and say from Jan 4th onwards agreed times and days need to be sorted out.

    When it goes to court they wont agree with the 6-8pm schedule as thats too late for a 4 year old and he wont get tuesday – friday either . its likely he will get 1 -2 midweek overnight stays if u are agreeable to . Is your son at nursery or school at moment

    #47395 Report


    I really hope not but I have read that courts favour 50/50 now, which is very worrying. His solicitor letter stated a 2 week pattern of 4 nights then 3 nights. But on his nights me collecting from school and him collecting from me at 5.15pm, so Jesse is barely settling to be bundled back with his dad.
    he has always had a Saturday night but since I applied for maintenance he has dropped a day at work to his be him a Friday night two, so for around 4 weeks he has had a Friday night and a Saturday night but with him coming back to me in between.
    this is what I am hoping every other weekend and 1 week day, on the basis he will be around at all times not left in the care of his new gf,

    yes I now realise that our schedule is ridiculous, but we’ve always had to work  around dad, my son is at the nursery at school full time.
    My son was at nursery previously for 2 years, in that time dad collected him twice and never took him either. But now all of a sudden his “circumstances have changed” meaning he can push that care onto his new gf which I don’t agree with.

    I have decided not to send my son until Friday through fear of him refusing to return him again and also this morning I was verbally abused by him at drop off calling me a “f**king B**lend, I hate you” in front of my son which I’m just not having around my son any more, he keeps dragging him into it telling him “mummy doesn’t make the decisions” etc, he’s just 4 and should not be having his little head messed up like that.
    Is this something you have been through yourself, you seem to have a great understanding of it all.

    #47396 Report


    *To be able to have him a Friday night too

    #47398 Report


    Yes you could say that . i have made plenty visits to family court.

    When it goes to family court thats if he has even put an application in they will go with your suggestion of every other weekend. This would be either from school or if agreeable by yourself pick up from yours if he has work. Son would then return between 4-6pm. The midweek contact would likely be 1 or 2 nights but he would have to pick son up from school  or his girlfriend and do school drop off in morning otherwise they wont grant it. They certainly wont go with the 6-8 as its too late and also too many handovers tue-friday. If he cant do overnight they would normally do play and supper generally 3-6 or 3-7pm pick up from school drop off to parents.

    As for his swearing this is unacceptable if you wanted to be difficult you could cause him a lot of problems. They do not like children been witness to domestic abuse as it affects them especially bad mouthing of other parent in front of a child.

    Perhaps this week you could offer him overnight thursday 31st for a few nights before school term starts again. only an idea

    #47400 Report


    When you say or his girlfriend, I was under the understanding that a court wouldn’t allow this? He is basing the whole 50/50 on the fact he now has a new girlfriend, but a relationship can end at any point, they are moving in together very soon, and only started dating in October, my son barely knows this women but will be moving in with her. I feel he’s had a very confusing year with covid, starting a new school in September then the new gf now a new house.

    my son is definitely picking up on things, I especially fear what is being said whilst he is there as he has made numerous comments of “my daddy is right and your wrong, my daddy told me” etc, but I know courts don’t like the whole parental alienation but it is definitely a factor, he will often come  home a bit subdued and will act very babyish and use his hands instead of talking… it is all doing him more harm than his dad realises.

    he is due to have him Friday night and Saturday night which I don’t plan on changing it is just this week as I know he will refuse to return him, I have tried so hard to be reasonable over these few months, but it is very difficult, it’s one thing after another, last week it was that he’s applying for child benefit (although he had no idea what it was called “I don’t know that money you get for him” knowing if he gets it I won’t be able to get working tax credits … basically forcing me into poverty.

    #47405 Report


    Yes try and not to rise to all the nonsense . He wont get any child benefits , but he is probably liable to pay you child maintenance though. If it goes to court u can ask nicely that he should stop running u down in front of son and not to make any derogatory comments.

    When i said about his girlfriend picking your son up i meant further down line on odd occasion , courts certainly wouldnt allow this if you arent agreeable.

    He also has no chance of 50-50  just cause him and his girlfriend are available. Also u arent refusing contact and everything you are asking for is reasonable.

    He will be in for a bit of a shock cause he more than likely will speak bad of you to cafcass and suggest ridiculous contact schedules whereas u will be child focused , offering contact but less backwards and forwards so all will work out fine for you.

    Also i think your ex partner at that stage hes dreaming of this fairytale 50-50 and all the benefits ,but its very hard looking after a child on a 50-50 basis. i  see my kids very  often and am happy with contact  i got and probably wouldnt want any more .

    Dont panic about family court though i think you will do very well there

    #47408 Report


    Yes, I don’t think he’ll get the child benefit either, it’s just that he uses things like this to constantly worry me.
    I have asked him numerous times to not speak badly of me in front of our son but he never listens, he’ll say things like “don’t kiss your mum you don’t know where her mouths been”

    no I’ve never refused contact apart from when we were isolating, other than that I have encouraged it, previous to this year were were on and off, when we were off he had him a lot less, I pushed for him to be more involved as I didn’t want my son not to have that bond.

    oh yes. He has no idea how difficult it can be, my son can be very difficult, at one point the health visitor got someone out to check him as she thought he had adhd, he didn’t but he definitely has some behavioural problems, that his dad refuses to see as there could not possibly be anything wrong with his child. I have spent 4 years learning how to manage his behaviour, knowing the signs, and how to calm him. He has no idea how difficult he can be, and he’d definitely struggle.

    I sure hope so, it’s what lies he will make up that worries me, he made an anonymous call to social services with false allegations, they were dropped instantly and seen as malicious, there is no stopping what he is capable of unfortunately.

    you’ve really managed to settle my nerves today, thank you.

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