23rd May 2020 at 4:35 pm #104176Butterfly3Participant
So I’ve been wondering how this will work when I leave. I share a daughter with my husband and she just loves him, she is (detail removed by moderator) age so very young but I’m definitely worried how this will affect her. I don’t have family or friends who could help for handing over for contact so what do I do? He’s never been physically violent but I’m not sure he will react well when I leave. Basically I know he will control me through our daughter when I leave with contact etc so how do I work this out? I don’t really want to ever see him again when I’m gone but no I have no choice.
23rd May 2020 at 5:50 pm #104179KIP.Participant
Use a contact centre for hand over and supervised contact for him if you can arrange it. She may love him but she doesn’t understand abuse and you can bet he will use her every way he can. Children learn for their parents and that’s not good when they’re learning abuse x it’s upto you to protect her from him as much as possible
23rd May 2020 at 7:21 pm #104180
When leaving an abusive relationship the abuser is never going to be reasonable, so once you have left with your daughter do not let her see him until you have a formal court order in place for contact, it used to be called a Contact Order but I’m not sure if it’s changed its name recently. This will lay out the rules for when your ex has her and when you have her. If you have a proven history of violence then you may well get a court order that states his contact is to be supervised only, but sometimes the order will be without supervision. Applying for supervised contact is no guarantee you will get it. You may need to go through a solicitor for this.
You and your abuser both have Parental Responsibility and Parental Rights. If, post separation, you kindly let him take her out for a few hours and he then refused to return her there is nothing the Police can do to get her back to you. All they can do is go and visit him and conduct a ‘safe and well check’ but they cannot take a child from one parent to give back to another. The exception is if they turned up to do a ‘safe and well check’ and found her home alone, him totally drunk or drugged, or any other reason for them to take her in to care under a Police Protection Order, but this would involve them handing her over to Children’s Services in the first instance and not you. If he simply failed to return her to you then you would have to go to court to try and get her back, and this is very expensive.
If a Contact Order is in place you have more protection as the law is on your side. However, if the contact is for him to have her on certain evenings and weekends and he then doesn’t turn up or lets you down last minute, he is not in breach of the order. But, if you do not let her go to him on those times and days you are in breach of the order! The reason the courts will not proceed with him breaching the order is because it is not in the best interests of the child to force a child to be with a parent who clearly does not want them and is not using their allocated time to have them. But, if the parent does want them and you were not allowing the child to go then this is considered to be parental alienation.
Also be prepared for him to use the order to his own advantage in order to ruin your plans. So for instance, if the order was in place that you had your daughter every other weekend and he then found out that on the weekend he was to have her you’d planned a weekend away with friends, in order to ruin your weekend then he may tell you he can’t have her around an hour before he’s due to pick her up, or he’ll just fail to turn up for her, leaving you having to cancel your plans last minute. Abusers do this so many times, especially when they find out you may have met another man and are planning to spend child-free quality time with him. They will just use the children to get at you.
23rd May 2020 at 8:28 pm #104182RubymurrayParticipant
I am interested in the advice and support ti this type of question also, so following post. Thank you So do you advise getting a court order whatever the type & level of abuse? Even if ive not started anything with a solicitor at that stage?
That is all very helpful reading above.
23rd May 2020 at 9:05 pm #104183
One of the many things that I learned the hard way was to never underestimate my ex! The one time I fled to go to a police station for help (detail removed by moderator) I returned home and my ex had left with our son. I had no contact and no idea where our son was for (detail removed by moderator) days. Due to what we’d been through up to that point I seriously thought that he’d gone on a murder/suicide mission just to get the ultimate revenge on me. It turned out he’d gone to court to get a temporary residence order and was staying away until the court date. That was the start of a huge and costly court case.
It was after that that a solicitor gave me the advice of ‘never fleeing without your children’- a hard lesson learned.
From then on there was always a court order in place for contact. I never had a third party that could help with handover so we did it in the car park of a police station in the hope that the location would keep him on his best behaviour! This worked for us, and then later, my ex would pick our son up from childcare on the Friday afternoon for his weekend so that I didn’t have to see him at all that day.
The pettiness of that would be that if my son had got food all down him, or paint, from his day at childcare, my ex would return him to me in the same, dirty clothes. That way, if I planned to take my son out as soon as I picked him up then I’d have to quickly return home to get him changed. In the end I would take spare, clean clothes with me when I picked him up and could change him quickly in the car. My ex did not think it would be nice to return our child in clean clothes, he returned him in dirty ones just to annoy me. On the other hand, when my son went to my ex he was always in nice, clean clothes.
I guess that just goes to show who was the better parent and who had their child’s best interest at heart.
This is all part of those series of mountains we have to climb to leave an abusive relationship.
But please, don’t let all of these possibilities put you off leaving your abuser. This is their tactic; the harder they are going to make it for you to leave and cope with all the difficulties that come with leaving, the easier it is to decide to stay. If leaving really was that easy we’d all be going tonight.
23rd May 2020 at 10:54 pm #104191RubymurrayParticipant
I know im separating for sure, like 100%, but struggling to speed things up in the sense of getting somewhere to go (coming to the decision he will refyse to leave joint family home or he’ll prob drag it out which would be unbearable…. and what with lockdown making communication increasingly difficult….. if i could directly ring local services and have someone to speak to on the day it would help me plan and decide on options….but everything has slowed me down so much.
I’ve never had to involve police or even a friend or neighbour in such severe episodes in our conflicts or his behaviour. It’s more about his subtle manipulation & control inc. financial & me not being able to have an opinion or be heard from my side (esp when it’s in his & childs best interest to do with parenting). But he has thrown and slammed the odd thing near me or child this year & recently and I think I’m down playing these a little…. nothing physical on us as such…
…but the way it makes me feel is way more important and he will never understand what my stomach does and how my nerves feel and the effect on my mental & physical health, it tires & stresses me trying to get him to understand, it’s always turned around on me
26th May 2020 at 10:45 am #104374Butterfly3Participant
Hi and thank you for all your replies. To get a contact order I’m guessing is going to be expensive in court? I work part time so I don’t think I would get legal aid but I cant afford a solicitor either and couldn’t borrow money off anyone. I was thinking about meeting in a public place for hand overs although I just don’t want to see him at all. If I’m getting a contact order does he just not see her in the mean time? I feel like that would be detrimental to her but I’m not sure what to do.
26th May 2020 at 11:01 am #104377
Give a Family Law firm a ring and see if you can get a free initial consultation about your situation and ask about costs first of all. Some firms will allow you to pay monthly. It may be that you could get Legal Aid, please don’t just assume you won’t qualify for things. Couples who split up amicably are the ones who tend to manage child arrangements and co-parenting without the courts involved. I know of many people who successfully do this. Unfortunately, when you’ve left someone due to DA, that’s when court orders really matter because the abuser knows his biggest power over you now is to hurt you via the children. In my opinion and experience, you are taking a huge risk to consider allowing an abuser contact with your children without anything in place to protect you and the children from further harm.
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