I'm so scared he will keep my children

This topic contains 34 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Butterflies Butterflies 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #66886
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    I was always honest and confided in some of my family about how my partner was and things he said, they believed he was trying to distance me from them and have ensured that didn’t happen…they have no provided me with a way out, my sister is paying for a rental for a few months for me and will help me on the day to get out…I’m excited but scared to death. The plan is to get the kids clothes and toys and mine on the day I leave then leave s note for him when he comes home, but I’m scared he will get my kids from school or not give them back after he sees them. I can’t stop him seeing them and will have to negotiate via email for him to see them…the solicitor says it would take six weeks for a residency order and I could go six weeks without seeing my kids 🙁 my son has special needs this would be emotionally distressing for him particularly. How brave women are who have been through this. The closer the time gets the more sick I feel. I wish he didn’t have to see them and they hadn’t bonded with him, how selfish is that. Any advice on what I can do to prevent this.

  • #66888
    Profile photo of Twisted Sister Twisted Sister 
    Participant

    Hi Ilikechicken

    I know, the adrenaline goes thro the roof doesn’t it. It’s there to protect you,to give I vast energies for the task ahead.

    So, are you saying he would get home after you’ve left but before shool finished? So h EB could take the from school.
    You will need to get them early from school on the day you leave then speak to school about whats happening and make arrangednt to pick them up earlier, just slightly each day?
    Tell them its short term until the residency order is in place and your fear of him snatching hem and the effect this would have on them esp the sn child.

    Have you told the police this is your plan, as hey should know and have the heads up in advance of any possible kicking off by him esp at the school or your new address.
    He’s likly to call police too to report you all missing or something, so they will then be able to handle that effectively.

    Good luck with your plan!

    Hope it goes well on the day

    Warmest wishes ts

  • #66894
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello there, I have done this.
    If you are going to refuge I’m sure WA will confirm that you need to tell as few people as possible.
    Although it may be likely you will get residence it is not a certainty and you need to let the court decide obviously, as scary as it is.
    I can’t see it would be useful to call the police at this point.
    Better to phone the school on the day and say you need to take the kids out early (book a dentist appointment…).

    Also, as hard as it is, I would not leave a note.
    Or if you do, say you will be at your mums till late or whatever it is. Personally I would not advise telling him until you are safely established where you need to be and even then you don’t have to say the address. Obviously you are not allowed to if it is a refuge.

    TS is right about the missing persons report – likely he will do that anyway – and you will have to deal with the police response. They just will want to establish the kids and you are safe and well and you can say you were too scared to tell him where you are. If you have a support worker to go with you, this is fine.

    All best
    Ftc
    x

  • #66896
    Profile photo of Raincloud Raincloud 
    Participant

    Hi ilikechicken,

    I completely sympathise with you on feeling scared to death about your OH keeping your children, the only control left is by using your children. So please keep that in mind, that he may use the children as a weapon against you.

    My solicitor advised I withdrew the children any contact with their father until he took me to court, I wanted what was best for my children and I believed that contact should remain with their Dad. To cut a long story short the contact is facilitated, so far this has worked for me but I know it won’t be long before he challenges me about this contact. You could use a contact centre for future contact.

    With my daughters school I have advised them of the situation, my OH has never been to our daughters school and the only authorised person is me to do drop offs and pick ups. We have a password system in place if someone else needs to collect her, I know this isn’t legally binding as he has parental responsibility but I am sure the school can work with you if you let them know the situation.

    I agree with @twistedsister if you inform the police of your plan they can document what could possibly happen in the future.

    Stay safe and good luck for your plan.

    Sending strength, love and courage your way xx

  • #66906
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    I too, had an arrangement in place whereby I was the only one allowed to pick my child up in primary school. My ex had to ask my permission. The school said – they do this in cases where parents can’t agree.

    My ex hated this arrangement. Many years on I don’t need to worry about it now as I have residence and am the contact for everything at school.

    Good luck and well done for making the move.

    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #66910
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    I am devestated and feel I can’t leave now. Solicitors have said I won’t get legal aid to go to court unless I stay at the house with him (which I can’t do, mentally I just csnt take anymore). I am so worried he is financially abusive and I have no means of paying. How can I leave knowing he will demand 50% min why h my autistic child will be raised by lots of diff ppl and as soon as he gets the slightly bit stressed the name calling, swearing, controlling/forcing will start. :'( I can’t stop him seeing them tho cos he does love them and they have bonded with him it wud disrupt my kids. So stressed.

  • #66919
    Profile photo of Twisted Sister Twisted Sister 
    Participant

    I am horrified at that. Nothing should keep a survivor with an abuser. Ring rights of women i would get this checked, they are specialists and its free advice.

    There is no need to tell him, I think that note about being late back will work well.

    Ring them tonight and get a clear answer.

    Let us know how you get on and do keep posting

    Warmest wishes ts

  • #66920
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello there,
    I had some rubbish advice from a solicitor before I left for refuge. It was very confusing at the time.
    And like you I felt desperate.
    Much later I found out it wasn’t at all appropriate for my situation.
    As hard as it seems I feel you might be better going to women’s refuge with your kids.
    You would receive appropriate support there. They can put you in touch with a solicitor who
    really understands your situation.
    No way as far as I can see that a solicitor should be advising you to stay with an abusive partner.
    The moment you leave and have a new address you should be entitled to benefits and believe me,
    you will start sleeping at night and having the space in your head to make good decision.
    best of luck
    keep posting
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #66922
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    by the way when I was put through my ex doing a missing persons’ report, I was dreading going to the police station but we had the most lovely (Detail removed by Moderator) police officer who said to us we seemed perfectly fine and to go off and play in the park with my child and take some time out and enjoy the afternoon sunshine. He said ‘sure as anything I’m not going to tell him where you are’… A ray of hope in a dark time.

    I attended the station with my women’s support worker from refuge who was brilliant and that made a difference.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #66923
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    There is also a thing about relying on relatives. This can be a very difficult but sometimes joyful journey as I’m sure you will see a life ahead when you get out.

    However, in my experience, there are very few relatives who can really cope with it all. Better to find professionals specially trained in domestic abuse who understand and can draw appropriate boundaries. You can rail against them as much as you like (without being abusive of course)…and they won’t let you down as most things they have seen before.

    I really think refuge is a good option for you, with your kids.
    Hope WA can help
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #66925
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Go with your gut if you feel they’re not safe or going to be returned on time, get advice but stop contact and get a court order that way he has to stick to it. Can you represent yourself in court? You could ask your solicitor to write to the legal aid board explaining the situation. They should off you assistance shocking if they don’t. It’s a horrible situation but you will get it sorted ☺xxxx💕

  • #66926
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Your MP I should have said sorry xx

  • #66927
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    I am worried as (Detail removed by Moderator) lives right by the school and we obviously won’t have anything in place for weeks until one of us goes to court (not sure if I should start things, even tho I have to use credit cards). There is a password but his mother and him are down to collect (now I get why they demanded this). I don’t get legal aid cos I have equity in the house that I csnt access and have to pay upfront for child custody court case. I’m so sorry that he did that freedom to choose and how lovely that he chose not to tell him where u were. I am unsure about refuge as its about hour away from my sons school and I want to minimise change as much as possible. 🙁 I don’t get how they advise I leave with no money or way to fight him in court which he will push to do. He and is family are very much mens rights and will dislike a women saying when he can see the kids in the beginning or deciding anything. Feeling very deflated today.

  • #66981
    Profile photo of Butterflies Butterflies 
    Participant

    HI ILikeChicken,

    I’m in a similar position, exhausted from years of emotional abuse from my now ex…I have a flat to move to but don’t know how to with my son, He has made me feel I’m doing everything behind his back and I know he will kick off if I take the LO. I have spoken to his school and she said they cannot prevent him collecting him until I have a court order. He was made redundant (Detail removed by Moderator) and just started taking LO from Nursery – made out he was helping me but actually it wasn’t helpful as he didn’t inform me beforehand so I still rushed out of work stressing I wouldn’t make it on time..He has told me no one is going anywhere till he gets a fully agreed legally recorded parental plan in place, However he does not believe anyone can tell him when he can see his child so has refused (only verbally) to attend mediation or agree any parental plan. He has also said he wants complete 50/50 but only on his terms, so address of school will remain at his home, does not want school notified of our separation and all other records to be with him as that’s where Lo has always lived and he will not pay for his son to live elsewhere when he has a perfectly good home there with him… and since I’m the one breaking up our family says I should be the one to leave and leave LO behind…I’m exhausted and can’t even talk to him anymore…He has never taken any actual responsibility for our son, tells him you need new clothes – tell your mum to buy some, tell your mum it’s bedtime…Apparently I have to ask him if I need him to put Lo to bed or pick him up from school.

    Did you manage to get out yet ILikeChicken?

    Sending you hugs my dear.

    (initial removed by Moderator)

  • #66982
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    so sorry to have caused any offence if I did with my previous rather short responses. Really not intended to hurt anyone but should have explained what I meant.

    Ilikechicken you are doing so well, I am so sorry you are having to experience this, it is so unfair on us women. I have been thinking and hoping all goes okay to get out.

    I don’t want to say so much more as I remember it is very much a case of having to go one step at a time.
    However just a reminder that there is such a thing as a Mackenzie friend. Even if you are not at present entitled to legal aid – if you google Mackenzie friend you will find hopefully a helpful website at the top of the google rankings. I have just checked it. We are not allowed to post links here.

    Step by step.
    I found a helpful thing to get through (Detail removed by Moderator) was to start assembling notes and thoughts about all the reasons and things why it would be a good idea for your kids to live with you. This can be anything. Stability. Things you are doing together. It helped to visualise a best outcome.

    I really do feel for you going through this process and once again so sorry if I caused offence.

    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #66984
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    explanation from a reputable site:

    ‘A McKenzie Friend can best be described as anyone who accompanies you to Court to help you as a Litigant in Person – those who are unrepresented by a Solicitor or engage a Barrister. Your McKenzie Friend is able to sit with you in the Court and offer advice and support as well as taking notes to help you.
    There are some things that a McKenzie Friend cannot do on your behalf, such as conduct litigation, file Court documents and Statements etc. There is a Practice Direction issued by the Family Court which explains this in more detail.
    Our team of McKenzie Friends support Families and their Children to help resolve family conflict. They are experienced with many having successfully representing themselves in a Family Court as a Litigant in Person. Others are professionally trained – some are qualified as a paralegal and others with a Law degree or other professional qualification.
    Never underestimate the benefit of just talking through your situation with somebody who has experienced this situation and process before.’

  • #66985
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    I think that’s a good suggestion I actually wish now I had represented myself because other wise you don’t actually get to speak to the judge xx you can also use a helping hands form for the kids to write directly to him (the judge) expressing their wishes from all ages, you can adapt it. Don’t be scared the courts are making progress with everything being evidence based they will listen to you and your children. The child is paramount in their eyes at the end of the day. The fathers just push more that’s all and that the only reason they get results I believe. Money doesn’t always buy the truth xx in court fact and proof is what they want and they will keep your kids safe acting in their best interest. They did for me xx

  • #67006
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    Thank you I shall look into that, I guess it saves cost. I am just scared about the mediation really, I know he will waste time and never agree he wants 50/50 purely. For financial reason and appearance. I’m sorry to hear that butterflies, hold in there. Is there no way you could get your son and leave and maybe get a order for you to get temporary full custody until u go to court. I am leaving very soon but feel I can’t until I have got a residency order or something in place, to avoid him keeping my kids and dragging out the process of custody. I didn’t know you could speak to the judge directly that would be gd but I’m a bumbling mess atm. Thank u for helping me through this x*x

  • #67011
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    ikechicken,
    try not to be scared of mediation.
    But in domestic abuse incidents it is paramount you insist on separate rooms.
    the mediator needs to go back and forth between you.

  • #67017
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Some may disagree (and they are of course entitled to do so and it is a useful alternative perspective) but going to mediation I felt meant that someone else saw exs true colours.

  • #67022
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    That’s a gd perspective I never thought of, but he has a side to his personality where he acts shy and I’m worried ppl won’t see it. I am also sure he will not budget he wants 50% cos of the money, his sibling still drags his ex through court to get 50% with loads of schemes etc and he got 45% custody. I wanted something solid in place he couldn’t break. I just feel ill never be free and he will just use mediation to bully me, he will not bend unless it benefits him. Thank u so much ur all giving me a different calm perspective x

  • #67024
    Profile photo of Butterflies Butterflies 
    Participant

    Hi IlikeChicken, Yes I know what you mean. my ex is the same only wants 50/50 as it makes him look good and means he won’t have to pay for his son to live elsewhere as he thinks he has a perfectly good home there with him and I’m the one ruining it.
    I’ve spoken to a local service and they are referring me to mash (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) as she said there are some concerns with information I gave her. I have a flat to move to although I know if I move behind his back he will do anything to spite me and that would include taking our (detail removed by moderator) and telling him I’m not coming back. I also don’t wish to prevent him seeing his daddy but also know he shows no regards to me as a person let alone as a Mother…If I try to manage it by talking to him he will not agree to anything…So I’m stuck!

    I didn’t know you can get a temporary residence order until custody is decided..we haven’t attended mediation as he says no one can tell him when he can see his son and I spoke to 3 local agency and they wouldn’t book me when I said he was refusing…

    Hoping Mash will phone me today. I have to get away from him.

    I hope you can move forward soon.

    Sending HUgs

  • #67035
    Profile photo of Roux Roux 
    Participant

    This post really hit home because I was once in your shoes and it’s terrifying. The first thing I’d do is see your GP, if you haven’t already. If you haven’t got any other evidence of abuse, such as having been to the police, the GP will be able to back you up in the future. Tell your GP what’s happening and ask whether they have any advice or local charities that can help. Even ask for counselling because it will really help you through this. Expect the GP to potentially want to involve social services but let them. I was terrified about this too as I’d been convinced by my ex that I was a terrible mother and social services would take my babies away. The reality is that they will help to keep you and your children safe and can back you up in the future.

    With the GP or social services able to confirm that you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you should then be entitled to legal aid. I think lots of men in this position use the threat of custody to exert their power and they’re clinging on for dear life because they know it’s in the end game at this point. For me this was the most scary stage because desperate people do desperate things. Remember that if you’ve been the main carer and you’ve got the back up of a professional to say that you’re fleeing domestic violence, then you’re simply going through the motions. You should still be on guard. Personally I’d restrict access if I weren’t certain I’d get my kids back. I’d potentially even change schools. Sure he may in the future have a right to access but until the courts had decided, I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable if I thought there was a very real risk that I wouldn’t get my kids back. Lot’s of women go completely into hiding.

    Also I would think about talking to the school. They do occasionally deal with situations like this and they would probably be very supportive. If they felt there were a safeguarding issue, they may call social services but again that’s nothing to worry about. They’ll want to know you’re doing the best thing for your children and usually that means leaving.

  • #67040
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Hi,
    I disagreed to mediation I was told by womens aid its impossible to negotiate with an abuser even in a separate room. I will be honest at this time I was prescribed Prozac, I asked for it by saying I was menopausal. It helped me steady my nerves as I needed to switch off my emotions to put pen to paper and get ready xx

  • #67049
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    I started at the doctors, he referred me to social perscribing who actually made me realise it was abuse and although not as extreme as some suffer it has really damaged me. She then referred me to womens aid. I can’t get legal aid unless I stay in the property, so I would have to live with him (mentally I can’t do this to me and the kids) or I would have to get an occupational order but he would be here for 48 hours (which I feel is kind of cruel and scares the hell out of me). Butterflies have you looked into prohibited steps order, I got told today by wa that I should go for this, maybe this would help. I just want out I think I should just forget the house and leave and hope that long term the council will help me. Thank u for suggesting councilling I didn’t know the doctors did this I had thought about looking into this to help me readjust when I left. Wish I could move my sons school and leave its right by his family literally they live outside the gate and I have to walk past it, but he has settled and is autistic so would mess him about so much and he may have to go to specialist school within the next year anyway x

  • #67050
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    I guess there will be disagreements. and totally respect anyone who chooses a different way than mediation. Understand the concerns about it . At the time I did it as I had heard I wouild stand more chance of getting legal aid. This was because I had seen a CAB poster to that effect. NOt sure if that is still the case. Y
    I did not expect my ex to tell the truth. And he didn’t. But looking back from some years hence I felt I felt better about it because no one could say I hadn’t tried. Personally I think this helped me. Weird as it may sound…

    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #67053
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Are the police aware that your scared? Would it be worth giving them the heads up on the situation. I did because I had no idea what was going to happen at that stage. They were great really supportive. I would honestly write to the legal aid board with the support of your GP,and any other support around you. Xx

  • #67117
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    I am not scared of the physical aspects (those havent been often and have been mild) I’m scared of going to mediation cos I know he won’t bend even a lil and I don’t want to give in and have the guilt of not fighting for what is right for the kids. I am leaving (detail removed by moderator) I’m hoping everything goes to plan. How long do you have to do mediation? Is there no way to just go straight to court so he doesn’t have time to play their games, he will prob quit his job and start turning up to meetings he didn’t before that worries me. Thank u for all the advice it a helping me feel calmer x

  • #67134
    Profile photo of Twisted Sister Twisted Sister 
    Participant

    Dear Ilikechicken

    Doesn’t sound like mediation is advisable.

    It certainly doesn’t sound like you would do anything but suffer as a result?

    I just wanted to come and give you some support.

    Warmest wishes ts

  • #67221
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    Thank you twisted sister. I don’t want to do it but don’t think I can get out of it based on what I’ve read. I’d rather go to court or sort it out via email. I was hoping if I agree to take no money he may agree to less and the kids won’t be so messed around. X

  • #67225
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    I’m not sure this will help, hope it does. In the run up to court and at court, your barrister (if you are lucky enough to have one) and/or the judge may ask you why you are wanting residence.

    A good answer in my experience is that unless you get a residence order this will result in a great deal of instability for your kids as you expect ex to try to go back to court every six months. The judge and the barrister will understand this (and the fact that he is not doing this cos he cares but because of his own ego/power).

    Hope this helps
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #67269
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Hi everyone, I know my ex sister Inlaw went to mediation with her abusI’ve ex, she felt that he tried to gaslight and use all the tactics he had under his belt. That’s good if the mediator recognises this, in this case it was turned on her. She told me she felt retraumatised from mediation. WA might be able to advise you. They said to me that it’s fine in a non abusive struggling relationship, but not when there’s an under current of vindictive/ behaviour when it isn’t acromonious.

    Will you wait till he takes you to court? Then you can consider your options and prepare.This will give you time it takes a month to go to court. In all it took (Detail removed by Moderator) years for me. I tried and when it didn’t work they stopped contact all together. It was the right decision for us. Do what’s right for you and don’t put yourself and your kids through anymore if you can help it. Take a step back and protect yourself as much as possible 💕💕DIY

  • #67288
    Profile photo of Ilikechicken Ilikechicken 
    Participant

    Thanks diymum omg it took you (Detail removed by Moderator) years (Detail removed by Moderator). I don’t wana mess kids around so I was going to say he cud see them every other weekend… I know he won’t like that lil and will kick off but he will also wana be tight with his money so I’m unsure if he will try mediation or if you can apply straight to court.i don’t wana stop him seeing them as this will upset kids but they’re not used to seeing him much so I wana keep it as minimal and normal as possible for them. Can u skip mediation and go straight to court. I’m unsure if I should apply to get it over with and something set up for the kids as soon as possible.

  • #67315
    Profile photo of Twisted Sister Twisted Sister 
    Participant

    Hi Ilikechicken

    I would avoid mediation at all costs, unless you feel you can cope with it?

    Could you call rights of women for advice, especially regarding court arrangements and mediation to ask them the best way forward?

    They would also know about the residency order situation and your legal aid.

    Just wanted to wish you all the best with everything and send you every strength.

    Warmest wishes ts

  • #67331
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Hi, I explained to the mediation pepole that WA suggested it wasnt an option and they left it at that. I know you have to pass a test of being reasonable to get legal aid but how can you reason with an abuser? Its not realistic or set up like that mainly because of the lack of resource’s. This might help actually but the people who run the contact centres are attached to family mediation. They can help draw up plans for out of court negotiations,I did this without mediation. It was arranged at separate meetings with them. They also offer support a designated member to emotionally support the kids at handover. In my situation he became unreliable and they document times absence etc. This was gold dust in court. It’s not good for the kids them being inconsistent. I went every time except once, the kids have the right to say no if they don’t want to go through the staff try to coax them but if they’re scared or apprehensive it’s a good valid reasons and you’ve still presented them for contact. Being reasonable is key but when that fails that’s when its time to reign it in possibly in court. You should get legal aid with the history of DV.WA told me offer minimum only, I offered indirect contact.

    Read the documents written by WA there’s three, two about the family courts the last one pushes. Me on it was the 21 child homicides, distressing read but enough to make me seal the deal, for safe or no child contact at all. I hope this helps xx💕💕DIY

  • #67880
    Profile photo of Butterflies Butterflies 
    Participant

    I managed to get in touch with a local domestic abuse support worker and have been assigned someone, unfortunately she has a backlog and thinks it will be weeks before I will hear from her. Her Colleague informed me I’m not required to attend mediation as he is controlling and emotionally abusive and I can no longer communicate with him as he talks over the top of me or pretends he doesn’t understand and it goes round and round and I get too tired and lose my thoughts. I was advised to contact a local law firm to get help with a prohibited steps order but turns out they can’t help as currently no one deals with family law. I need to phone another place but had been advised it’s going to cost £250+ VAT per hour and I just currently don’t have that amount of money.
    I feel now it’s so close to Christmas I just don’t want to uproot the little one..I won’t leave till I have something legal in place as I know he will show up and take LO from school, he will then prevent me from seeing him and will tell LO I have left him and I’m not coming back…I’m trying to protect LO from this..The school also said without a court order they cannot prevent him collecting his son.
    His mother is currently very ill and my concern is once she passes he will become even more nasty and spiteful and will do everything to take son into full custody and turn him against me. He has a lot of savings and mortgage nearly paid off and will get a nice little sum once Mother passes, so It’s really not good for me…anyway sorry i’m rambling…
    Wish you all the best ILikechicken and hope you can escape soon.

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