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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010/01/06

My decisions

In 2007 my ex and I broke up after a very tumultous relationship. He was physically abuse and also a serial cheater. Whenever I found out about a new girl, he would blame me and I would be beaten up so badly that sometimes i couldnt walk. This was all infront of our then 1year old daughter. I moved out of his house after he chose the other woman above me and his child and I have not gone back since. He has never contributed a cent to our child and I must admit that I have never pursued going to the maintenance courts. He did however have free reign over seeing his daughter but he chose not to. He has a tendancy to come see her for a week and disappear for 3 months, then he makes himself visible to her and she gets used to him. Last year we were back to square one, but this time he disappeared because I asked him pocket money for his daughter because her and I was going on holiday. He is married so I dont contact him at all even when his daughter is ill. However since Christmas he has been calling and I have ignored his calls. I made the decision that I will cut all ties with him completely as I continue this year in and out. My child is better off without him and I am fortunate that I have a good job where I am able to support. In saying that I have decided not to claim maintenance because that would just mean that he would have to be part of our lives which is detrimental to my childs emotional wellbeing. I have cut all ties completely and now all my close friends are telling me that I am stupid, but I cannot go through with this for the 3rd year. Am I being stupid or in your professional am I making the right choice for the sake of my child

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Well obviously you made a really wise decision to leave such a dreadful and brutal loser. An abusive serial cheater is someone no woman deserves.
I believe that the sort of very intermittent visiting of a child by a parent that you describe is not a good idea at all, as it gives the child many occasions to feel rejected, and to blame herself for him staying away. He needs to make up his min about whether he wants to try to be a reasonably responsible parent - and then maybe its best for a court to decide this, as well as maintenance, so as to set down a decision rather than leaving it up to his whims.
Now, I understand your decision, but it depends on what he does and whether he gets acess to good legal advice.
Access to the child can be decided by the court if he applies for it, on the basis of what would be best for the child, not on what one or other parent wants - but if he didn't use whatever access waas granted to him, he might lose it, and you would have a chance to challenge his application in court. IF he chose to go to so much trouble.
Access is not linked to maintenance - he could be made by a court to pay maintenance even if it did not grant him access, and you would not be entitled to withhold access ( if it were for the child's benefit ) whether or not he paid maintenance. Maintenance paid does NOt automatically give him any right to see the child - that should be a separate decision based on the child's best interests.
If he is the sort of guy you describe, I see nothing at all stupid in your not wishing further personal contact with him, or in being cautious about his access to the child

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2010/01/06

You' re absolutely right. You don' t need him in your life and your daughter doesn' t need him in hers, causing upset. If he wants visitation, let him go to court. I doubt whether they would give him visitation. They might give him a chance by giving him specified supervised visits, but if he misses a visit, the court will decide in your favour and you will get a court order for him to keep away.

Good luck - custody, visitation and maintenance is one of my major headaches in life. I know how you feel.

Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/01/06

Well obviously you made a really wise decision to leave such a dreadful and brutal loser. An abusive serial cheater is someone no woman deserves.
I believe that the sort of very intermittent visiting of a child by a parent that you describe is not a good idea at all, as it gives the child many occasions to feel rejected, and to blame herself for him staying away. He needs to make up his min about whether he wants to try to be a reasonably responsible parent - and then maybe its best for a court to decide this, as well as maintenance, so as to set down a decision rather than leaving it up to his whims.
Now, I understand your decision, but it depends on what he does and whether he gets acess to good legal advice.
Access to the child can be decided by the court if he applies for it, on the basis of what would be best for the child, not on what one or other parent wants - but if he didn't use whatever access waas granted to him, he might lose it, and you would have a chance to challenge his application in court. IF he chose to go to so much trouble.
Access is not linked to maintenance - he could be made by a court to pay maintenance even if it did not grant him access, and you would not be entitled to withhold access ( if it were for the child's benefit ) whether or not he paid maintenance. Maintenance paid does NOt automatically give him any right to see the child - that should be a separate decision based on the child's best interests.
If he is the sort of guy you describe, I see nothing at all stupid in your not wishing further personal contact with him, or in being cautious about his access to the child

Reply to cybershrink

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