I am new to this forum but would desperately appreciate some advice.
I left my husband in September 2012 due to our marriage breaking down beyond repair. We have been married for 4 years and have 2 children, a son aged 3 and an 18 month old daughter.
Although the seperation was initially amicable and communication between us was good it has now broken down.
My husband has had access to our children as and when he wanted although this tended to be each weekend.
Following my son''s recent admission to hospital and treatment for pneumonia, we fell out as my husband did not respond to my texts that our son needed to go to hospital.
We now cannot speak without conflict and I need advice about phone contact that my husband has with our children.
He had been calling my mobile each night to speak to our children.
I have to support these phone calls by putting the phone and loud speaker and following the children around our home and initiate points of discussion, example, can you tell daddy how your day was etc.
As my husband refuses to speak to me civilly and has sent me aggressive texts, I have now said that I don''t want him to call my phone. He has said that he is legally entitled to call my mobile and have access to speaking to our children. I''s this true?
Also, although he has said he takes them to his mums home, he will not confirm where he takes them and gives patchy accounts of where they have been. His bitterness towards me is becoming so twisted, that I feel he is acting odd, which is starting to worry me.
I do not believe in preventing the children I''m seeing their dad but I am starting to wonder whether I should be dropping them off at train stations at the weekend when I dont know where they are going. My husband has always enjoyed a drink but I have never doubted his parenting abilities but now these horrible texts seem to come only in the evening, I am suspicious that he is drinking a lot which worries me about him looking after the children.
What should I do?
We have no formal family order. I have asked to involve advice from mediation and he repeatedly threatens to take the matter to court but will not actually commit to arranging anything.
I''ve asked for a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. He has emailed me to say he will not agree to this although he is willing to admit adultery (I didn''t know that he had been unfaithful until he mentioned this last week)
Sorry for the long post
Thank you in anticipation
I will tell you what i think but as i have not gone through this i don''t know weather it is legal but my friend has gone through some.
The telephone conversations i do not think you have to do, some do, usally when they have come to a agreement in mediation.As for knowing where the children are going he does not have to tell you but my friend was worried about abduction and was advised by solicitor to not let child go with him until she had a address.He did not like this but eventually gave the address of his new girlfriend.I hope i was a little help, hopefully somebody with more knowledge will come along.x
Firstly, you have come to the right place for help and support
I have been in your position regarding telephone calls. My children were 2 & 5 yrs old at the time and I can sympathize. It is very hard, to the point of damn near impossible to have reasonable telephone contact at this age.
I had to do exactly the same, literally chasing the youngest around the house trying to get him to say the odd word. And the point being, although he would say a few random words, it certainly didn''t resemble a ''conversation''.
I would suggest that you buy a cheap pay as you go phone and give the number to your ex. This is what I done. I would turn the phone on 10 minutes before the scheduled call was due ( the novelty soon wore off ), allow the call to take place, then switch it off until the next call.
You are not legally obliged to allow telephone contact, although it can often bridge the gap between direct contact so that the kids have some sort of continued contact. However, if it isn''t working, and in my opinion, an 18 month old is far too young, I would make the suggestion that your ex sends little cards, pictures, gifts in the post.
I cannot imagine any court would expect such young children to participate in telephone contact as it isn''t age appropriate. Younger children often react better to visual aids, i.e cards and pictures.
Do you have a solicitor acting on your behalf? If relations have broken down to the point whereby contact between you and your ex are hard, you could get your solicitor to invite him to attend mediation. It is by far the cheaper and less evasive way of sorting things out.
Legal Aid for Family Matters is being withdrawn on the 1st April 2013 unless there is evidence of Domestic Violence. This may be the reason why your ex has threatened court, but hasn''t actually taken any steps.
It sounds like your ex is rather lost and taking the separation badly. The telling you to use adultery sounds like an attempt to hurt you.
Yes it would make you more settled to know exactly where and what he is doing with the children but you said yourself he is a good father so please don''t start making treats/using contact to get this control.
This is a hard one. Try and think that if you were still together would it be as big of an issue if he had a few beers in the evening? or that he took the kids off for the day?
My x claimed to be very ill during my proceedings (rubbish) but the best I could do was arm the kids up. I work in the city centre so I''ve always drummed it into them that only in an emergency they go to my work. The oldest has always had my mobile number written inside her coat. Then very soon she learnt it off by heart. My x has always refused to tell me where he lives. I took them out in the car one evening and the eldest soon pointed it out.
Thing is I have to trust him as I would if we were still together.
I know it''s really hard. And your kids are younger than mine but you have to trust him and if not arm them up and trust them .
Thank you ever so much for your replies, I really appreciate it.
I encourage contact between my children and their dad but this current way of trying to get my 3 year old to say more than a word or two is actually not good for him as he gets frustrated and irritable the concept.
I think the ideas about cards pictures and letters is a great great idea and I will suggest this to my husband
My husband''s father, who I''ve always had a good relationship with came on the phone last Friday. When my son dropped the phone, I said "xxx speak to Grandad, Grandad is speaking to you "and continued changing my daughter''s nappy. An hour later, I received a jumbled text telling me never to speak to his father again and then another saying I was not to involve his father or attempt to make contact with him again. I could not believe it, I was really shocked. One, because I didn''t speak to my FIL directly and secondly, I didn''t know I wasn''t supposed too and, thirdly, they had called my phone and my husband relies on me to facilitate conversation. It really upset me
I thought it would start getting better, it seems worse. Does it ever get better. I feel so anxious. I just want the best for my children but also can''t handle all this conflict hence not wanting to speak to him on the phone.