I have read through the posts, yet it seems my query isn''t answered - please help.
My husband walked out over a year ago, had very little contact with our two children (age 9 & 13) for 3 months, continuously verbally attacked me (sometimes in front of our children), then one day came round to the house shouting, banging doors/windows & threatening me.
As he wouldn''t calm down & was scaring us, I called the police. He got lippy with the police & was taken into custody. I was asked if I wanted to press charges, but I said no as I only wanted him calmed down.
Later that day, after being released from custody, he called friends, family, me & my children, plus he messaged our children too, to say he was off to kill himself as I had destroyed him.....he was the one that chose to leave us, he that turned nasty, he that refused to see the children!
The police were involved & found him (alive although ''in a bad place'') 2 days later. He didn''t return to the area for a week or so, and had no contact whatsoever with our children for the next 3 months - his choice.
It was only when I applied for a divorce & put in arrangements for the children, that he agreed to see them - he however made out (and still does) that it was me stopping him seeing them!
He has failed to turn up numerous times & he has continued to be very nasty to me (as have his family), and he has even been bad mouthing me to our youngest child too which upsets & confuses him.
Things got very nasty with him threatening all sorts regarding money from the sale of house, business etc (he pays no maintenance either), but he then suddenly calmed down a few weeks ago, after I sent a long letter to his solicitor, copying him in on numerous threatening emails from my ex.
We were then making great progress, or so I thought.....
We had agreed finances (a 50/50 split) & were waiting for the Decree Nisi (due any day) so we could apply for a Financial Consent Order.
He had also agreed to see our youngest more often, so we were arranging extra days in addition to alternate weekends & a first overnight stay took place only a few weeks ago.
The main problem is, although I do my hardest to try & do what''s best for our children, our eldest refuses to spend any time with his dad unless I''m there too, so he has only seen his dad a few times in the past year (my ex was very nasty to him when he left - my ex told him that he wouldn''t miss him).
Arrangements were for Sat & Sun, every other weekend, working towards overnight stays. However my ex changed this to Sun only as he said he was now busy on Sat! He has now said it is me that is restricting contact to only one day a fortnight.
Also, our youngest was terrified at the thought of staying overnight again - I know it may take some time to get used to it, but he refuses to stay over for now. He also wants me & not his dad to take him to football on Saturdays, and as there are only a few matches left this season, I told my ex this.
I of course am getting so much abuse & blame from my ex & his family now, making out I am being difficult, controlling the children & blocking contact.
My ex has even just informed me that he has put in a C100 to the court to ensure he has both the children fortnightly, Fri pm until Sun pm. He has said he has told the court I am blocking contact & being unreasonable.
I am very upset & very annoyed.
I have been the one trying so hard for the past year to get my ex to calm down & see our youngest, aswell as trying to get our eldest to see his dad. Councillors have also been involved with the boys too, to try and help them.
I can''t believe that after a year of hell, just when we seemed to be getting somewhere, that he goes & does this.
Our youngest wants to spend time with his dad, but doesn''t want to stay over night. Our eldest has only recently just starting to spend a few hours with his dad (with me there too).
I won''t force them into anything, but I have been regularly talking to them about being with their dad (to the point where they''re telling me to stop going on)!
My ex & his family keep accusing me of blocking contact, but I am not. In fact, it would be nice to have time off from being a mum 24/7.
I do have a lot of emails & texts to prove most things, but a lot was verbal.
I can''t afford solicitors anymore (I have used one for advice over the past year), so need some advice here please.
Do not know what it will be like in court with the c100 so cannot help there. But I do know what it is like to try & get your x to see the children more & to virtually force the children to see x.
Not the verbal & physical abuse you have suffered & your kids have seen, but just the broken promises that x makes to kids which have a knock on affect for their trust etc in him.
Your children are 9/13 the 13 yr old will vote with his/her feet, if they don''t want to see your x they won''t. I would just try & leave the door open etc, I said to my 13yr old (after continual forcing to see x) - this is your dad if you want to see him that is ok, either on contact days/wkends or not just let me know & I will take you. But if you don''t want to see him, that is ok too, you have to call & tell him, but you can stay at home if you want it is your decision. This stopped the arguments I felt it opened the door to x but gave my son the control o make his own decisions & he does.
Your 9 yr old I am not sure, but would expect that if a cafass office was appointed they would take note of their views & wishes.
As for your x & his family, you are not going to stop the abuse / bad mouthing of you (I am the worse person in the world according to x & fam) but you have to try & be the bigger person & just ignore it treat it with the contempt it deserves (but log & keep everything).
The c100 may be just a threat? It can be a control issue & the best way to hurt us is via our kids.
Know that you are doing your best & that is all you can do.
Please try not to worry too much about all of this. Even if things progress to Court, the wishes and feelings of your children (particularly the 13 year old) will bear some weight. It''s clear your ex doesn''t want to accept any responsibility here and admit that he was the one who failed to stick to a regular pattern of contact. I can understand that if he was feeling mentally unstable, then perhaps it was a good thing he didn''t see the children for a while following the threat of suicide, so in a way you could view that as a blessing.
If Court happens, you will get your chance to respond to anything he says, and if you can show that you have done your best to encourage contact, then don''t worry about it. It''s likely he will be awarded contact, but on what level to begin with is hard to predict because of how your children feel about it. I think small steps need to be taken to build up the relationship they need to have with their father, particularly as both boys have struggled with it.
Hopefully, if contact is stable, regular and rewarding, in the not too distant future both your boys will enjoy spending whole weekends and time in the holidays with their dad, giving you a much needed rest!
I do try & ignore all of the accusations, badmouthing & threats - I have had to as it has been continuous for over a year & would have driven me mad!
I did tell my eldest that I wouldn''t force him to see his dad, but I have always encouraged him, which is why he even spoke to a councillor.
My youngest is worried he will be forced to stay over night & he really doesn''t want to (although I''m sure he will in time). He is also worried he will be forced to go to his football matches with his dad & again he doesn''t want to (I am unsure why but guessing maybe because his dad always shouted, got over competitive & always forgot things).
My ex wanted both children to go to a family bbq last night, but despite me trying to persuade them, they both refused to go. I got so much abuse again from my ex & his family.
My ex called me all sorts in emails & said this is why he has put in the C100, to stop me making excuses.......but I didn''t It was me actually trying to persuade them to go! I said he would be having our youngest today anyway as previously agreed & asked him to confirm collection time - however he just ignored it, saying I was blocking contact!!
I asked the children to call their dad to tell him themselves, but my eldest refused to speak to him (very mixed emotions still). My youngest therefore called his dad yesterday, as he likes talking/being with him, and spoke about the bbq.
What amazed me was when my youngest said he wanted to see his dad, he just didn''t want to go to the bbq as boring, my ex told him he could just sit upstairs & play the xbox all evening whilst he cooked the bbq, until time to go home.......what would be the point in that. After my ex going on to me about it should be all about spending time together rather than not going because it''s boring, how could he even suggest this?
Our youngest did say that he would see him Sunday (today) anyway & my ex made out he didn''t know he was having him today as I had been blocking things
It seems it doesn''t matter what I do, I am always made out to be the one blocking contact, when I''m not.
Anyway, our youngest has gone off for the day with his dad, and my ex said he would be talking to him in detail to find out the truth about the bbq, football matches & overnight stays......I just said great, maybe you''ll believe me then
My worry is that I will be made to attend court, and I will need a solicitor as I know he has one & will need to prove everything. I am starting a new job soon so don''t want to take time off for court (especially when unnecessary) & I can''t afford my solicitor at the moment either.
Can I just reply to C100 (when I get something through) saying no need for court as agree for my ex having boys, but must respect their wishes?
Would it be advisable to speak to the court direct, explain briefly & ask them about it?
Also, what is a cafass office & how do they get involved?
I thought until the children are 14, they have to go/do as they''re told. Is this not the case then?