View Full Version : Contact with her Dad
Hi, I am new to this and I was hoping to receive some advice about contact arrangements between my daughter and her dad.
My daughter is 15 and a half months old, my ex left when I was 7 months pregnant (partially coz I told him to and partially coz he didn't want to be there). Short story he cheated on me, was unemployed and wasn't trying hard to find a job & I was worried about financial issues etc as I was about to go on maternity leave).
For the 1st 3 weeks I couldn't have asked for a better ex as far as my daughter was concerned however as time went by he started to loose interest. In all honesty I believe the only reason he see's his daughter is to keep his mother happy (he lives at home with his parents now) and so he doesn't seem like such a jerk that he is.
I have allowed him to have fortnightly overnight access for the last 3 months - my daughter is collected by him at 9am on a saturday and I pick her up at 12noon the following day. Previously I stopped it altogether as he cancelled at short notice on 3 occassions in a row....what could be more important than spending time with his daughter????
We have no formal arrangements in place as he wont pay for a solictor and we have had one failed attempt at a mediation arranged by me through legal aid. So basically I have to trust that she will be there when I go to pick her up - a big ask when Trust went out the window when he cheated on me!!
I just want to know what sort of contact arrangements other parents have and if the fighting between ex's ever stops!!!! I can never make him satisfied and feel like I am beating my head against a brick wall. Sometimes I really wish I could stop contact altogether coz I don't think he gives "jack"about his daughter but other times I am compelled to think my girl should have some sort of connection with him.
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
oh i could answer this post with about 4 pages lol but im in a rush so ill try n keep it short
no, we haven't stopped fighting
he is a good dad, but also at times will leave our son with his parents while he does something "urgent" (sometimes it is work, and funnily enough he lives with his folks at the moment as well, lol) i am like i don't have that "urgent" option either!
He takes working fulltime for granted where as for me its just about seen as a privledge
when we thought our son had chicken pox he said i cant have time off one of us needs to earn money
hello? shouldnt the mum with full time care need the money more than a single
lol u get the drift, ramble ramble
its the same old!
I just try and think of my son, he is such a dads boy, crys for him lots (though that seems to be improving) and i know he wants to see him!
Hi, I have been through the family court system. We eventually consented to our oders... though as my son grows, they are becoming out of date and they will need to be updated again.
Firstly, you are trusting him as you say. BUT he COULD (if he was so inclined) take off with your son and keep him from you. You would then have to go through the court process to gain visitation. "Possession" is 9/10th's of the law! A father can get all the help he needs to fight to see his son when the mother has the child... my ex was unemployed, living in homeless mens shelters... but had access to legal aide funding, etc.
I was told, that a women trying to get visitation (or custody back) must prove she has a good home for the child. She must have a job and income (and hence can't always get legal aide assistance).
Personally, I would persist with the legal aide mediation... and try to get a "parenting plan" arranged which states (at the very least) that the child resides with you. If the father then takes the child or refuses to give him/her back, he can be charged with kidnapping under federal law.
A parenting plan is not full court proceedings... it is an agreement between both parties that can then be ratified by the courts and so becomes legally binding.
(I am not a lawyer... just been there... and offer my advice as my experience)
I just spoke to my lawyer as i have issues of my own. You can organise to have supervised visits once a fortnight which i will be doin. If he does not agree with this then thats his own problem. Im not saying that you shouldnt trust ur ex but seriously consider that he could run off with ur child. Even if u do not have custody of ur bubs u can get a lawyer to get a warrent to get her back as shes been living with u more.
I dno if this is useful for u but it helped me a bit!
It was my experience that it's not as simple as you ask for fortnightly supervised visits and he agrees or doesn't see the child.
You need to have a good reason to even request the supervised contact. In my case that was DV/anger management and his inability to know how to care for the child appropriately. Also, supervised contact is rarely indefinate.
You can ask for anything... but if no agreement is reached through mediation or consent, ultimately the court will decide what happens after hearing any and all evidence from both sides.
The court may also appoint a child representative... a lawyer who looks after the childs interest. It's considered the childs RIGHT to know both parents...
My ex is somewhat 'undeserving' in the child department... While we have a beautiful lil girl and he was great at seeing her and having her overnight every fornight for the first few months that of cousre has slipped away.... He has not seen her now for 10 weeks, not even when he drops off the maintenance money, which, i might add, he does in the middle of the night!.
Up to aqbout 2 weeks ago I continued to ring him and arrange a convenient time for him to pick her up even just for the day but he never showed and now just avoids my calls.
I figure that he is the one thas missing out. I will not 'force' him to have her but when he finally realises what he is missing out on he will also realise that it is too late...
While i feel for my daughter, there is nothing more i can do. Unfortunately a lot of men would rather go out and party till the wee hours than take resposibility for their actions. But remember, he is the one that later in life will have to explain to a confused little girl how partying and drinking meant more to him than his own tiny creation..
Well in SA u can get supervised visits if the father has issues. Like my babys dad for exmple had anger managment problems.
If he agrees to the visitations then they will go ahead but if he doesnt then ill go to court to get it.
I have one of the best lawyers in adel who said i have no problems getting it becuz of my issues.
If he hasnt had an active role throughout the pregnancy then he can not turn around suddenly and expect visitations when ever he requires it.
Maybe its diffrent if you go thru legal aid.
Yeah, mine has issues with anger management too. That's certainly a reason to ask for supervised access. All I'm saying is, each case is different... and as you admit, if he doesn't agree... it has to be fought out in court. There are no guarantees how the judge will rule... you have to have evidence of the anger issues (like I had a police DVO).
I was just trrying to help... :o
It's all very technical isn't and pretty scary to think that a judge can decide what is best for our children when he/she doesn't know either of the parents personally let alone the child and then when they are making decisions about very young children the orders will end up out-dated as the child grows. As if it's not already hard enough being a single mum - you also have to deal with the technicalities of the legal system. Thanks for everyone's input - I only wish there was a right and wrong answer but yes it's true everyone's situation is different. You have all given me something to think about anyway and I did try to get a residential order in place but my solicitor assured me it would be a waste of time as it would still take the same length of time to get my daughter back if my ex decided not to return her. Hopefully he wouldn't be that silly - and hey lets face it he would only do it to annoy me as I really don't think he would seriously want her 24/7.
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