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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34895
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My ex and me have been split for 2 years almost. After my daughters

Customer Question

My ex and me have been split for 2 years almost. After my daughters birth, I restricted him seeing her due to his nasty smoking and drugs habits. He had promised many times that he would stop but still nothing had happened. When my daughter was six months old, My ex took me to court to get contact with her. I granted this as I felt scared and pressurised into it, like I had no choice but to say yes. He seen her for an hour a week and we also attended mediation settings. Gradually this increased to 1 1/2 hours a week, we then went back to court to grant PR. I again felt pressurised into this as I didn't think I could say no, I was almost to scared to say no due to his unpredictable behaviour. I thought he would lash out or make my life hell if I didn't say yes! Things have progressed and he sees her for 6 hours a week now, Some un-supervised and some supervised. as most parents do they worry, But my worry isn't just a normal worry. Its a bad worry that makes me shake and loose concentration. I fear so much for my daughters welfare, saftey and health when she is in his house. There are many issues that I have risen to him in mediation sessions, These he just finds funny and makes me sound stupid or bossy for bringing them up. He has made promises to make me feel more at ease when she is at his, but he just keeps breaking them, this makes me trust him less and less. He says he has stopped smoking, part of the court agreement/order was that he doesn't smoke before and during contact. However last few times I have smelt high smoke fumes on him. Animals are also not allowed to be in the same room as daughter due to her oxygen. She has severe health needs and requires 24/7 oxygen through nasal prongs. Smoking, animals, passive smoking are all dangerous to her health and put her at great risk aswell as the people around her. Oxygen and smoke are obviously a big no, no together but he just doesn't see this as a risk and does it anyway! Animals aren't allowed near oxygen due to hairs getting in the tank, causing the pressurized gas to potentially explode. One time he had her he took her out in minus degree temps with jut a dress and tights on, No coat, hat or blanket even though I had supplied them. Taking her out with no coat etc on, is opening her up to all amount of risks and infections. She can catch rsv, colds and other respiratory infections and illnesses. She also has a serious heart condition and she cannot be put under stress or strain at alll, crying for long periods etc, This happened on the first few visits where he just let her cry. She was very red faced and had tears streaming down her face when I arrived back. I went to pick her up the other day and she was soaking in her own wee where he hadn't changed her vests, tights or socks!! Also when I arrived his dad was taking the dog out of the front room back into the kitchen. he knows the dog is not allowed to be in the front room yet still does it when im not there and puts daughter and everyone else in the house at risk. He also owes me £85.00 towards Erin's needs. He agreed to pay me £5 every week this has been no existent since 13th October. He just makes these promises to me and breaks them, this then looses my trust. I feel I cant trust him to do anything with my daughter incase he's putting her at risk. Is there anyway I can minimise contact back down to one hour permentnetly instead of 6 hours a week. surely leaving your daughter with their father is supposed to natural, All I do is worry if she's going to be well at the end of it. He shows her off, buys her the occasional toy or clothing. But doesn't do anything for her, he waits till I am back and makes me change her bum. him seeing her is causing me severe stress and anxiety, whilst caring for my special needs daughter, trying to hold down a job to pay for her things and rent, I have to go into Tavistock every Monday and Thursday, by bus, which costs me £10 for a return ticket. He makes no effort to come to me cause he 'doesn't want to'. I cant keep going on like this, Him seeing her is causing me severe stress and anxiety and I feel so much better if i could just take her out of a un safe environment. Is there anyway I can make visits down to just one hour or stop contact all together. He's risking her life every time she goes there, It just not fair on her.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What does the Court Order actually say about Contact?
Has the Health Visitor raised any concerns?
Are you still in Mediation?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Clare, the court order says that I will make Erin avalible for contact at the agreed time, which I always have. My ex has taken an under taking to the court to not smoke 2 hours before visiting Erin. My HV is concerned that he is emotionally abusing me and that I'm rather stressed with it all. Also that this isn't benefiting Erin in anyway atall! Legal aid actually only pays for the 3 sessions of mediation, and the 8th January was our last one. We cannot go back for mediation unless it's 6 months later and we pay for it ourselves. I have tries and attended every mediation session and I felt the mediator took his side (which she shouldn't have!) and that the concerns I raised about contact and my ex were just brushed off!
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
So why do you do the travelling - why does he not come and collect her
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
His mum drives like a loon and smokes in the car. I wouldn't want her travelling like that. Can he just say he doesn't want to cone to my house anymore?? The agreement states mine or his house?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
If his mother smokes in the car then she cannot collect the child and the father will have to make other transport arrangements - but that is his problem.
So make it plain that you can no longer manage the journey - so if he wishes to see her it is up to him to make the effort - you will make her available for collection - that is all that is expected of you
If he is exposing her to risk then contact should be moved to a local Contact Centre
You should also make an immediate application to the CSA to deal with the finances
Please ask for any further details you need