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terrified he will get contact order

  • jade01
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20 Feb 08 #14556 by jade01
Topic started by jade01
i left an emotionally and psychologically abusive control freak husband a few weeks ago, moved out after 7 years of mistreatment. we have a 4 year old son and ive been full time mum since he was born, still am.

i am dead scared my ex is going to lie his way into getting a contact order - after all this is a man who lives to save face, to control things, after all he 'beat' me to the divorce petition cos he was dead scared i was going to spill the beans as to how he really is.

he even threatened me at one point with 'libel' suit for 'going public' about his mistreatment by telling people on support boards and family. hes not david bloody beckham. but he uses his PHD and calm manner to feign victim and has boasted in the past of other ex's having 'won over' their counsellors and having made police reports against them as they gradually became 'mad' and he felt for his life.

why do i think he is going to try to get a contact order? because again he is worried i will do this and he wants and needs to beat me to it. even though he works full time and travels abroad alot, i believe he has the chance to change his status to consultancy which will enable him to argue he can work from home and therefore look after our son.

in his petition he 'beat' me to, the allegations were outrageous. not only did he call me the abuser, but he said i have threatened to hurt our son, myself, and him, all rubbish.

i wondered why he would put that in there, it wasnt necessary for a divorce, and now im worried a contact order is what hes after.

i have tried and pleaded with my solicitor to trust me when i say that this man will go as low and nasty and he can to 'win' cos for him this is about winning, and punishing me. yeah, i got away from him, so now he can hurt me even more by taking my little boy away.

do i have any rights???

and if he does try to go for my son with his own contact order, whatever can i do???

i have warned my solicitor i think this is a possibility but not sure if he believes me, thinks i worry too much, but he doesnt know this man like i do, and i hate being at the mercy of someone who may end up getting me burned badly simply cos he didnt take my word for it before its too late.


  • attilladahun
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20 Feb 08 #14569 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
Let me first say that people who "control" are a nightmare...it is abuse of the worst kind. Fortunately you recognise what is going on and when the time is right you would be right to make a stand.

The feature of your post which is also "of concern" is there is hardly any mention or reference to your son.

Remember contact is the right of a child...it is in the main good for a child to have a proper relationship with each parent.

It is not a competition for the child's affection. The child should feel loved by both parents.

Now it takes a very brave mother like you to recognise what your son truly needs and if that is to see his father then to promote contact even deep down you are tearing up inside.

It may be helpful for you to think of getting some "counselling" to help you through this if necessary...especially in view of the father's actions.

You may not want to consider mediation but it could be an alternative with you and your H each having your own mediator. They could assist in drawing up a list of agreed Do's and Don'ts.

Here is something to consider printing up and getting both of you to sign...If not why not.

For both parents and children, contact is critical to maintaining a sense of connectedness both during and after a divorce. But in the early stages of family restructuring and co-parenting, it is frequently a source of conflict.

If former spouses want revenge, finding ways to spoil contact is easy. If they want to help their children through a difficult transition, they will find ways to make contact successful.

For contact to work, both parents need to accept and acknowledge that their children have two homes - one with their father and one with their mother. Parents need to make sure that their children are safe and comfortable in both places, even if they don't spend equal time there. They need to help make the transition from one home to the other smooth and calm. They also need to make sure they are being consistent in rules and discipline.
Constructive parenting goals
The following guidelines are examples of parenting goals that can help children grow into healthy, happy, whole people.
• Both parents should encourage contact to help their children grow in positive ways.
• Children need to know it is OK to love both parents.
• In general, parents should treat each other with respect for their children's benefit.
• Each parent should respect the other's child-raising views by trying, when possible, to be consistent. For example, if one parent strongly opposes toy guns for small children, the other should take this into account when buying gifts
• Each parent is entitled to know where the children are during contacts. They should also know if the children are left with other people such as babysitters or friends when the other parent is not there.
• Parents should try to agree on their children's religious education, as well as who is responsible for overseeing it.
• Parents should tell each other their current addresses and home and work phone numbers.
• Both parents should realise that contact schedules may change as children age and their needs change.

Tips for Smooth Contact Arrangements
• Be as flexible as possible with arrangements.
• Treat your former spouse with respect.
• Help children feel safe and comfortable in both homes.
• Develop routines to give children a sense of security.
• Maintain open communication lines with your former spouse.
• Don't question your children's loyalty.
• Help make the transition from one home to the other smooth and calm.
• Discuss rules and discipline with your former spouse so you are consistent.

Contact dos
The following suggestions represent strategies parents can use to achieve parenting goals.
Be flexible about contact schedules
• Give the other parent advance notice of changes in your arrangements.
• Remember to give the other parent your vacation schedule in advance.
• Remember that your children may have plans that could affect your contact arrangements.

Make contact a normal part of life
• Find activities that give you and your children an opportunity to build your relationship. Allow time together without planned activities just to "hang out."
• Provide a balance between fun and responsibility for your children.
• Encourage contact that includes grandparents and extended family.
• Make sure your children have their own places in your home even if it is just part of a room so they feel it is also their home.
• Help your children meet other children in your neighbourhood so they have friends at both homes.
• Try to keep a routine schedule to help prepare your children for contact.
• Have a checklist of items such as clothing and toys that your children need to take on contacts. If the children are old enough, they can help pack.
• If it's appropriate, allow your children to bring friends along occasionally.
• Spend individual time with each of your children. Each child is an individual.

Show respect for your former spouse and concern for your children.
• Be on time.
• Inform your former spouse if a new person such as a babysitter or romantic partner will be part of the contact.
• Share changes in your address, home and work phone numbers, and in your job with your former spouse.

Contact don'ts
Some parents use contact to achieve destructive goals. These are goals based on revenge, such as one parent hurting the other or disrupting his or her life. To achieve those goals, parents may use destructive behaviours that can create a more hostile environment and seriously damage relationships. Destructive strategies can be deeply hurtful to children caught in the middle. Following are tips for avoiding destructive behaviour.

Don't refuse to communicate with your former spouse.
• Don't use your children to relay divorce-related messages on issues such as child support. Those issues should be discussed by adults only.
• Don't make your children responsible for making, cancelling, or changing contact plans. Those are adult responsibilities.
• Don't use your children to spy on your former spouse.
• Don't argue with the other parent during drop-off and pickup times.
• Deal with important issues when your children cannot overhear.

Don't disrupt your children's relationship with their other parent.
• Don't make your children feel guilty about spending time with their other parent.
• Don't use contact as a reward for good behaviour, and don't withhold it as punishment for poor behaviour.
• Don't tell your children you will feel lonely and sad if they visit their other parent.
• Don't withhold contact to punish your former spouse for problems such as missed CSA payments. Withholding contact punishes your children, who are not guilty.
• Don't withhold contact because you feel your former spouse doesn't deserve to see the children. Unless a parent is a genuine threat, adults and children need to see each other.
• Don't use false abuse accusations to justify withholding contact.
• Don't let activities such as sports and hobbies interfere with the time your children spend with their other parent. Your former spouse can transport the children to those activities if needed and can sometimes participate.
• Don't pressure your children about leaving clothes or toys at their other parent's home. The children need to feel they belong in both places.
• Don't falsely claim that your children are sick to justify withholding contact.
• Don't withhold phone calls to your children from their other parent.
• Don't put down the other parent's new romantic partner.

Don't allow your anger to affect your relationship with your children.
• Don't hurt your children by failing to show up for contact or by being late.

Don't spoil your children to buy their loyalty and love.
• Don't let your children blackmail you by refusing to visit unless you buy them something.
• Don't try to bribe your children.
• Don't feel you need to be your children's companion for contact to be successful. Your children need you to be a parent.
• Don't try to fill every minute of a visit. Allow some down time for routine activities such as cooking or laundry, or quiet time just to be together.

All of these contact arrangements don't undercut children's ability to develop an open and supportive relationship with both parents. One of the best ways to support children involved in a separation or divorce is to do what you can to make contact go smoothly. Focusing on contact does is a first step in helping children adjust.

Parties have to stand back and ask one question....

"What is best for my child...the answer is usually self evident.

Not what do I wan't or what do I wan't my spouse not to have"

Hope this helps to look at things slightly different.

  • Fiona
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21 Feb 08 #14571 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
Both parents have parental responsibility and are seen as equal in the eyes of the law. The courts have a principal of not using an order if matters can be resolved otherwise. Courts will always support contact unless there are exceptional reasons not to but I wonder if there is confusion with the terminology here and you are meaning a residency order?

Regardless, calming down and trying to defuse the situation is a better way forward than court action.

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21 Feb 08 #14580 by IKNOWNOW
Reply from IKNOWNOW
Hi, Jade

I am in a very similar position to you. Firstly, contact the Children's Legal Centre and have a chat with someone there, they are a great source of information and will hopefully be able to put your mind at ease.


Also, if you want, do these 2 things.

Join the Domestic Abuse support group, by going to Community at the top of the home page and clicking support groups.

Secondly, email me or private message me with a bit more information regarding your situation, and I will try and elay some of your fears about the whole situation.

Take Care, and please don't worry, you will get through this, you just need to find some support and know where to get the right information.

Regards, Sarah

  • jade01
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21 Feb 08 #14622 by jade01
Reply from jade01
in an ideal world where my ex acts like a mature human being not out to burn me any chance he gets or coerce a four year old boy, all your suggestions would be great.

could you forward those to him, i think perhaps he needs to read this more than me. but then, he wouldnt do.

i really didnt like the presumption that i am not putting my son first, how you came up with that, well its unfortunate to say the least. my post was not directly about my son, it was about the way in which my ex is behaving. (badly)

i came on here desperate to protect myself, yes, and my son. i have not once tried to deny my ex contact with our son now matter how nasty he plays - i bring my son over to him even though he has a history of refusing to hand him back, all because i put my son first. and yes it tears me up in side cos i know hes not gonna hand him back when hes supposed to. and every time i go home in tears but i still do it cos i put my son first.

i am going to mediation, even though i know that my ex will just try to use it to further bully me.

dont u see. hes using the system to 'win' - this is not a game, this is our son, and if you want to tell someone to put their son first, i reckon it would be far more appropriately directed at him.

if you knew me, if you knew him, you would be apologising, but as it is, you dont know me, you dont know him, you can only go by presumption, and often that is wrong.

and people like me on here trying to get support and help, that is just about the worst kind of reply to get.


  • Fiona
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21 Feb 08 #14627 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona

There are ways of protecting yourself and keeping your son safe such as supervised contact, but you do need to calm down and start thinking about things logically.

  • Tinny
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21 Feb 08 #14629 by Tinny
Reply from Tinny
I think you might have taken the advice offered in the wrong way. Im sure nobody meant to offend you in any way.

I understand your frustration as i too have an Ex who controls, even now 2 years later. Others dont see it and it makes me very angry that outsiders see him as Mr Wonderful.

I hope it all works out for you.


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