Help! Ex stopping me seeing my son

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  • #11784 Report

    Galee74
    Participant

    Sorry if this is long winded but after years or abuse and game playing my ex has again stopped me seeing my son and I’m at breaking point.

    We split around 2-3years ago (we were on and off at the end). I moved out and i am on my sons birth certificate, so i have parental responsibility. He is 5 years old. She has ‘let’ me have contact every weekend for years. She has always played games and stopped contact roughly once every 6months just to prove she can. I have always been abused by her and ‘put up’with it, as she has bipolar etc and it was easier. However since getting a different new criminal boyfriend in the last few weeks she has stopped contact twice and she has ensured he has turned up at EVERY handover and at every handover he has literally threatened and swore and abused me all in front of my son.

    today i went to pick him up same time as usual and she said he didnt want to go to daddys. (They’ve been slowly puttings thoughts in his head for weeks). I asked him this and for the first time ever he said he didnt want to. She did all this in front of him and said as he didnt want to go to daddys i would not be having him. I tried to ‘persuade’ my son to come to mine as usual, whilst they both abused me, spoke over us and her new boyfriend again kept threatening to beat me up and swore constantly. After my son wouldnt come with me they drove off deliberately getting the van as close to me as possible, i had to step back or the left rear van tyre would have run me over.

    Now he is on license as he was in jail, so i have a police interview Tuesday: my question is what advice can people offer?

    Mediation doesnt work: she just argues throughout, she wont work through a parent plan with me. She agreed to me having him 1 week in the holidays and she recently sabotaged that too, so i only had him 1 extra day out of 7 we agreed…

    i can’t really afford further mediation or court as im on minimum wage and to be honest struggle to get by. I have looked into self representation IF needs be but it will take several months just to save up the £215.  I can’t afford legal advice and i have already done the whole citizens advice/free 1 hr solicitors advice thing.

    At every opportunity she makes my Life hell, and now he’s said he didn’t want to go to daddys, she is using that as a tool saying she will always ‘do what her son wants’…he’s 5!!! She should be saying in a nice way he HAS to go to daddies and promoting our relationship! I would for her.

    He has 100% school attendance when i take him in mondays and only 75% on the tues-fridays she has him, which says it all. She has physically and emotionally abused me for years, but no police evidence as she never left bruises etc. And since splitting she resorts to blackmail and games like these. I just don’t know what to do, and if i go to court the judge may even say i may only get to see him one weekend a month if ‘he doesnt want to go to daddies’ as she is poisoning his little mind against me! 🙁

    help!!

    #11794 Report

    Empty
    Participant

    Worth pointing out that if there is historical evidence of abuse towards you, you can get a MIAM without further mediation with her. Also, seeing as you have tried mediation you may get it already if it is unproductive. I assume your mediator cannot issue a MIAM so first step would be to seek out one who can. Some useful links worth reading:

    Support with any parenting problem: Family Lives 9am-9pm weekdays, 10am-3pm weekends FREE helpline 0808 800 2222 http://familylives.org.uk

    Families Need Fathers: https://fnf.org.uk/

    Can you get legal aid? https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

    Publicly funded legal advice and/or representation: http://www.justice.gov.uk/legal-aid-for-private-family-matters

    Advice re: arrangements for children, mediation, going to court http://www.advicenow.org.uk

    Separation disputes: http://www.sortingoutseparation.org.uk

    C100 form: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/687735/c100-eng.pdf

    MIAM info: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/family/practice_directions/pd_part_03a

    Going to court without a lawyer: Personal Support Unit http://thepsu.org/

    Representing yourself in court: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/instructing-a-barrister/representing-yourself-in-court

    Publicly funded mediation: http://find-legal-advice.justice.gov.uk

    <span style=”font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: ‘Calibri’,’sans-serif’; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: black; mso-themecolor: text1; mso-font-kerning: 18.0pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;”>McKenzie Friends (can supply moral support at court; take notes; help with case papers; quietly give advice on the conduct of the case): </span><span style=”font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: ‘Calibri’,’sans-serif’; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;”>http://mckenzie-friend.org.uk/services.html</span><span style=”font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: ‘Calibri’,’sans-serif’; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: black; mso-themecolor: text1; mso-font-kerning: 18.0pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;”><br style=”mso-special-character: line-break; page-break-before: always;” clear=”all” /></span>

     

    #11800 Report

    Galee74
    Participant

    Thanks so much for the advice you two: she today turned up unannounced with my son! Proves what a game player she is: so i have him until tommorow night as it’s the school hols and im at work monday morning.

    We went to mediation but they said the miam was over a year ago so id need another: is this correct? To me it sounded like they just wanted another £65 or whatever it costed out of me …?

    as for the rest, she abused and emotionally and physically abused for years but no charges, just police log numbers, so no solid proof. (She is VERY clever and manipulative).

    I know i won’t be entitled to full legal aid as i ‘earn’ £1,100 a month but after rent and bills im left with around £30 to myself which soon goes….but on paper it basically says £1,100-£500 rent leaves me with £600 a month ‘disposable income’ which is of course rubbish, as it doesn’t take into account council tax, maintenance, food, gas, electric, tv licence, water, work travel expenses etc!

    so i’m kinda in limbo: the second i don’t pay her maintenance she stops me seeing my son and it would take me months and months just to save up for 1 mediation session, miam and 1 court hearing…:(

    i’m thinking about self representing but i’ve had a look at the documents and it seems SO complicated and i wouldnt know how to answer half the questions? Any advice? Simply cannot afford any solicitors or barristers at all. And this is all without counting for emergencies, birthdays etc. (It’s also my sons birthday next pay day AND my fridge freezer is on the fritz 🙁 )

    #11802 Report

    Empty
    Participant

    Yes, a MIAM would need to be got again, because it is dated – there would be huge questions about someone constantly applying for MIAMs and never using them. Mine cost me £100, so £65 isn’t bad!

    Police log numbers is a huge help. Certainly better than nothing. It shows it was a real issue at the time, which the police were aware of.

    I know it’s a financial strain but Family Lives is a FREE phone line open 7 days a week. They can give you plenty of advice and ideas, which can include financial help advice.

    Self representation is pretty easy – don’t get bogged down. The C100 is long but hardly complicated. I could certainly give you pointers, but the truth is in your situation you need to have the funds set aside for the MIAM and the court cost – no good getting one and saving up for the other because the time spent saving is a clock ticking and you may end up starting all over again. Maybe a second job would help – even a couple of months would give you all you need. It is bloody hard, no question. For someone like me, it’s been 7 months of no contact just waiting for the court process and I’ve got another two hearings to go yet. My case is not even uncommon. You do have some contact. Take your victories where you can get ’em.

    The court process can be summed up very easily:

    1. Get your MIAM (yes, this will cost £65 or whatever)

    2. Fill out your C100 and apply to court (£215)

    3. CAFCASS will call within about a month and talk to you. Just be honest. That’s all you have to do.

    4. The CAFCASS report will be ready about two weeks later, with your comments and hers and comments from police, social services, etc.

    5. The court date comes through. Turn up. You may be offered a deal from your partner prior to going into court. CAFCASS will tell you what they are recommending.

    6. The hearing takes about 10 minutes and there is little discussion beyond what you’ve already discussed because it’s the judge/magistrate summing up everything.

    7. If there are further reports requested that will mean at least another 2 hearings – the reports are done by CAFCASS with maybe another interview with you.

    8. Finally, the court make their order and everyone gets on with their lives. If your partner doesn’t stick to the order there will be action taken, although nothing heavy for the first few times, probably, and the likelihood is she won’t anyway.

    You don’t need solicitors or whatever, and you don’t need to get bogged down by the process. 90% of it is done for you. It’s only the money you need to think about. Admittedly, for you that’s a major issue, and I sympathise.

    The alternative is you live with things as they are. Even if you go to court, you won’t necessarily get MORE than you’ve got now.

    I sent you links to Families Need Fathers also, and they would be best to advise whether it’s worth it.

    It’s easy to panic. It’s easier not to.

    PM me any time. All the best.

     

    #11837 Report

    Galee74
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice everyone, no i can’t cut back or save more than i am as very occasionally, about twice a year, i am so borderline i have to use food banks, due to previous debt i no longer have, an overdraft isnt an option. I will have to do the miam again no doubt so i am saving for that and or 1 mediation session to try and sort this and all the whilst saving as much as i can, but it will take months and months!

    my concern is next month onwards she will stop contact as she will say im now not paying her maintenance (as im using that money…my only spare money…to save up for mediation and court). And there’s not much i can do about that…:( my family are generally poor and she’s turned half of them against me with her manipulation. She’s that bad 99% of my family will have nothing to do with her whatsoever.

    family lives etc helpful but again i can’t get legal aid as no definitive proof of her years of physical and emotional abuse, manipulation and bullying of me…so I’d have to pay for everyrhing: i’d get help but not much help for someone so poor. And a 2nd nightime job isnt an option as she’s so u predictable: she can just turn up with my son sometimes, or even sometimes disowns him and i have to take time off work (and lose money for doing so). Its a viscious circle!

    #11845 Report

    AJ
    Participant

    Hi

    i can’t really add anything to what has been said above but you say that you have police log numbers? As empty says, they are,  in themselves, evidence that there has been an issue that was serious enough to warrant reporting to the police. What was the nature of what was reported? If it was ‘domestic’ related which I assume it was, the police have an obligation to speak to both parties even if no further action was taken at the time. It may be worth calling in again with your log numbers and asking if you can have copies of the call logs and / or details of what action was taken and why. There’s issues over data protection and they will edit out sensitive information but whatever they give you may be helpful if you end up in family court.

    #11846 Report

    Galee74
    Participant

    The policr have been useless and totally biased towards ‘mum’ throughout to be honest. For instance once she threw me down the stairs and i had light bruising there and then, and i asked to press charges, they said they would then arrest ME for breach of the peace (because she claimed that…it wasnt true) if i decided to go ahead with pressing charges: basically because they couldnt be bothered with the paperwork and to try and scare me off. I’ve NEVER been in trouble with the police so i didnt take it further.

    And this had happened for more or less every time of 4times ive rang them…so not a lot i can do and no evidence other than the logs themselves, as she will always say the opposite and was VERY clever and always rang them immediately afterwards and made up lies about me

    #11934 Report

    pinnelly
    Participant

    Hi Galee 74

    Have you tried the support group Gemini? They work with all people who have suffered any type of domestic abuse. They may have some practical advice for you. You could speak to citizens advice as well, they have always been helpful to me. Hope you can resolve your access issues!

     

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