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Father stopping access "until he can have her alone"

(54 Posts)
HopAndSkip Mon 31-Dec-12 17:23:23

My DD is 5 months, my ex and i have not been together since early pregnancy, but we get on reasonably well considering (ie. he was with me for the birth, we can have conversations about general topics fine etc)

He wanted to have her overnight alone when she was a week old, which i said couldn't happen yet due to breast feeding, but i offered him to stay over/us to go to his which he wasn't interested in.
Other than this he hasn't however shown much interest in DD at all, seeing her for an hour or 2 every 2-3 weeks, cancelling multiple visits he's arranged between each visit etc. He only lives 10 minutes away.

He last visited 4 weeks ago, during which he said "I can't be bothered with this if I can't have her alone. I'll start seeing her again once I can have her around my house and get on with things at the same time." and asked what age i was going to stop breast feeding.
I said i didn't know yet, but that this wouldn't be practical as by that point they wouldn't know each other anymore and so she wouldn't be alone straight away anyway.
He got very annoyed at that and said he would just get a court order once i didn't "have the breast feeding excuse" as we have "equal rights to have her"

I was wondering what access would be given if he actually doesn't see her until i stop breast feeding?
I'm assuming they would agree that it would start out with me there, and gradually build up, but just slightly concerned that because of him having PR that they might just order her to go alone straight away?

TisILeclerc Wed 09-Jan-13 09:45:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertieBotts Tue 01-Jan-13 17:34:40

I don't get all this reverence people have just because it's the DC's father. Of course fathers are important, but that's when they've been there from the beginning and have put the effort in. Parenting is a verb, not just a title.

If he hasn't been there from the beginning for whatever reason he still has to put that work in to get to know his child and build the relationship in an appropriate way which means building it up slowly so that it is reassuring for the child. It doesn't mean dictating ridiculous rules for contact or suddenly jumping in to full time when they are in effect a stranger.

Nobody would be encouraged to leave their child with someone they didn't trust to care for them properly, if it was an uncle or aunt or grandparent, I understand that difference in parenting styles needs accounting for, but I just don't believe that people are being hysterical, in the main, when they say they are worried for their DC's welfare if left with their father. Some women do have children with complete shits, it happens. Usually you're not aware of how shit they turn out to be until after the fact. Seems harsh to want to punish the mother, and in effect, the child, because she didn't happen to see into the future and predict what kind of a father the man will be.

ds1's dad saw him every weekend for the first few months, but wasn't very confident at looking after him. at the same time he wouldn't admit to that. things got better as ds.got older, but at that age things like dad taking him out in the buggy for naps worked well towards giving him some independence, plus it allowed him to show off his "dad" persona :cynical:

I think you have to go with your instincts for the most part, but also constantly ask yourself if you are doing your best to foster a relationship between your dd and her dad. ds is nearly 5 now, and has a great relationship with his dad, but it took a lot of work on my part to make that happen.

It's tough, sharing your small baby with a dad who you don't fully trust to take proper care, and you can't change the dad. but your dd matters most in this. if you keep that foremost in your mind I don't think you will go wrong.

Thumbwitch Tue 01-Jan-13 14:16:12

Yes he could, couldn't he. But he hasn't, it seems, wanted to unless he can have her overnight - which is impractical at this stage and would be unadvisable straightaway if he refuses to see her between now and when the OP no longer breastfeeds.

Anyway. The OP isn't asking for arguments on what she's doing now, she's asking what might happen if her ex goes to court so I'm going to leave the thread as I don't know and other people have good advice.

HopAndSkip Tue 01-Jan-13 14:12:33

as her father he should have managed to find more time than 1-3 hours a month for 4 months.
You wouldn't send a toddler on a day trip with a stranger, yet a baby should have to go just because her father can't be bothered to get to know her for a couple of weeks first? Really?

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 01-Jan-13 14:10:55

thumb he could pick her up and take her to his house though, the op doesnt have to be there. It's only 10 minutes away and it would give the OP a bit of a break too.

MOSagain Tue 01-Jan-13 14:04:33

OP, I think you've been more than reasonable and don't believe for one moment that if he issued an application for a Contact Order he would get unsupervised contact at this time.
As other posters have said, contact should be built up over a period of time and he needs to illustrate he can be a responsible parent. You also have to remember, as I think someone else has pointed out, contact is the right of the child, not the parents.

Thumbwitch Tue 01-Jan-13 14:03:51

Quite obviously the ex doesn't want the OP at his house. So he won't allow her to take the DD over to his house, he only wants the DD at his house when he can take her alone.
I wonder why?

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 01-Jan-13 14:02:35

she's never going to get to know him stuck in a buggy where she can't see him

But surely as her father he should have the chance to find that out himself? It seems like you're not even trying to meet him half way.

HopAndSkip Tue 01-Jan-13 13:55:49

"have her" as in alone.

MrsSham Tue 01-Jan-13 13:53:19

I though he said...he will see her when he can have her at his own house and get on with things at the same time. That's what you put in your OP confused

HopAndSkip Tue 01-Jan-13 13:48:39

He's never asked me to take her to his. He asked me to meet him at a cafe for one visit (which he was 45 minutes late to), other than that he says "can i come over".
And she's never going to get to know him stuck in a buggy where she can't see him, again that seems more for his benefit than for hers IMO.

tribpot Tue 01-Jan-13 13:41:02

I think he wants the photo op for Facebook - of her with him at his house.

I'd be tempted to agree to take her round and leave her there for an hour, whilst you pop out to the shops or whatever, and see if he asks again.

And I see no reason to delay involving the CSA. He does want to be involved as her father, after all ...

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 01-Jan-13 13:37:30

Couldn't you let him take her for a walk in the buggy or a short trip to the park? If he only lives 10 minutes away then even a short trip to his house? I don't think you're being particularly reasonable tbh, he isn't just 'somebody' as you say, he is her father.

AmberLeaf Tue 01-Jan-13 13:36:23

Agree with pickles.

A friend in a similar situation was advised that using a contact centre would be recommended.

The OP has offered him fair access, he just can't be bothered with it.

HopAndSkip Tue 01-Jan-13 13:36:16

Thank you Bertie smile

BertieBotts Tue 01-Jan-13 13:34:33

If it goes through court they would expect contact to build up slowly, not sudden overnights. I think if you are going purely by her age she would be fine for 2-4 hour visits depending on how happy she is with either bottles or gaps between feeds,bur not overnight.

However because of your concerns about how he cares for her and also his attitude in general I'd be less happy to go with that, ultimately you have to do what you feel is best for your DD.

MrsSham Tue 01-Jan-13 13:15:06

Well I won't post anymore then. Good luck and with a bit of hope you may unwind your self slightly to help your dd and her dad build a relationship.

HopAndSkip Tue 01-Jan-13 13:12:30

MrsSham (yet again....) other posters have already said it would be supervised until DD knows him. Unless you're a lawyer in which case I'll bear that comment in mind?

Pickles77 Tue 01-Jan-13 13:12:25

Judging by what my solicitor said to me I think you'd be looking at supervised access in a contact centre with a court order that could be regularly reviewed.
Document all your evidence, I even save emails and voicemails and screen shot texts now because that will help you and help your evidence. As I sometimes feel my ex would try to ' pull the wool' over people's eyes so to speak.
Your not trying to stop him having a relationship I can see that, but your putting your dd first.
I let my ex have dd alone for 3 hours once. I got back she was in another room, laid on a sofa, no heating on, no blanket. With a leaking nappy, wearing only a vest as she's been sick and he hasn't bothered to change her. He knew where the clothes were but he was 'tired' and 'she needed to learn'.
She was 8 weeks.
So I understand!

jellybeans Tue 01-Jan-13 13:05:12

Can't help legally but I would feel the same as you and think you are right to be concerned. Too many aggressive fathers rights groups have pushed for fathers equal rights (which is a good thing in itself) but without thinking of the baby's needs first.

MrsSham Tue 01-Jan-13 13:02:53

Well he isn't my dds father so no thanks. But I can assure you the based on what you have posted if this where a court order situation, you my find you would be forced into allowing him unsupervised contact.

HopAndSkip Tue 01-Jan-13 12:58:51

MrsSham feel free to come and leave your DD with him if you think he sounds responsible enough, and we can see how that goes.
As for my DD I'm not prepared to put her in a situation where she will be ignored and not cared for. PFB or whatever but as far as I'm concerned he isn't the priority in this situation.

IDontDoIroning Tue 01-Jan-13 12:51:04

Go to the CSA why should he shirk his financial obligations. It doesn't matter if you can get by or not.

It's not like she's a newborn and an hour or so in your place int the most exciting for either of them.
At 5 months she should be able to go a while between feeds and should be starting solids soon. She may also take a bottle of ebm from him if she knows you aren't around.

Why can't he take her for a stroll in the buggy, feed the ducks or just look at the world?

He should be building up contact by having longer periods with her and working up to overnight when you feel she is ready for it.

MrsSham Tue 01-Jan-13 12:49:15

I don't see it as currently that relevant, I not think the child is at risk in any way. Ultimately the child has a right to develop a relationship with her father on her own, that's why it's important to meet in the middle.

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