Don't know what to do

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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:05 am

Don't know what to do

Postby Ichi » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:45 pm

I split up with my long term partner earlier this year due to her wanting to chase after an ex of 22 years ago. This did result in me slapping her which caused the break up I regret my actions now and have been in therapy gone to support groups and attended anger management courses.

After the split we were amicable over our 4 children and I was able to see them whenever I wanted. We did end up sleeping together each for a bit but neither of us were ready to try again due to trust issues (her worrying I might be violent again and me not sure she wouldn't still pursue her ex)

She continued to pursue her ex until he entered a new relationship. Previous to that she had texted me to say if he didn't want her she wouldn't be able to cope and would want me to have the kids. However when I said to her about taking the kids when she was wallowing in pity she attacked me violently and said I wasn't taking the kids away from her.

She has since entered into a relationship with another man who I was informed by a friend of hers who had met him that he had a borderline personality disorder and was a former drug addict. When I questioned my ex about this admittedly I shouted at her because at the time we were arguing as she had driven recklessly round a corner and made one of our daughters smack her head in the car so tensions were rising. She attacked me violently again and our oldest daughter had to separate her from me.

I then came across her new bloke on social media due to the people you may know thing it brings up and I saw his blog in which he was boastful of a violent crime he committed and had served over 20 years for. Again this worried me and when I asked my ex she told me she was at no risk and social services were assessing him before he could meet the kids. She stated she couldn't tell me his crime for legal reasons.

Cue a few months forward and I am at her house watching the kids while she is at work and a letter adressed to us both arrives so i open it and it is a social care assesment which tells me the nature of his crimes and that he is a registered sex offender. Also they were several lies from my ex stating that the relationship ended because I cheated on her (I did but this was 12 years before) which then caused me to attack her. She also said I attacked her upon finding out about her new boyfriends crimes which again was a lie.

I have been worried about the influence this new partner has over her for a while now. As everything is centred around him she has arranged her work hours so she can see him more and she barely sees the kids as a result. The house is an absolute tip and our disabled sons nappies are left in the house and not put in the waste bin outside.(The bin is a ten second walk from the back door where She leaves them) She has been aggressive towards me when I have not been able to have the kids certain times so she can go see him. Not violently although she did angrily wash the pots while ranting at me and smashed a lasagne dish but more threatening to quit her job and telling me she doesn't want me in the house. She spends all her time at home on the phone to him and is neglecting the kids there is often very little foodwise in the house and the youngest two kids are constantly asking if they can stay at mine.

She also has been aggressive towards our oldest daughter in front of our two youngest children threatening "to knock her f-ing teeth out" before then throwing her things upstairs. She has also threatened to throw her out a few times saying "you know where your dad lives"

What also worries me is due to the nature of her new partners crimes my ex is at risk and has to do a protector course but she hasn't informed my oldest daughter she may be at risk or even asked if she should do it. In fact despite my oldest daughter knowing some things due to hearing arguments my ex has not tried giving her any reassurances over this new man.

Another concern is my exes attitude towards my concerns they are just brushed aside I have been told by professionals that her partner is medium risk but my ex believes he is low risk because he tells her that he is.

It is all rather worrying the way her behaviour has been this past year and I feel it will get worse as next year our oldest son who is disabled will be going into full time respite a distance away from where we live. She has told my oldest daughter and her friends that she may move to be closer to our son. Now her partner lives a distance away too and I feel she is using my sons respite as an excuse to move in with this new guy who still hasnt been cleared to meet the kids yet.

I feel I should step in and go for custody and a prohibitive moving order but I am worried about how the ex will react and I don't want things to become bitter but I can't continue to let her look after the children the way she has been since she met this new guy.

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Re: Don't know what to do

Postby M*y-m*y » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:33 am

I agree with you, because if you don’t do something now your children will have social services on the case then court which could end up being worse, my advice is to ring a Gud Solictor for advice and go from there good luck to you and your children, save them before social services get them

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Don't know what to do

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:25 pm

Dear Ichi

Welcome to FRG’s Parents’ Discussion Board and thank you for your post. I am sorry that we were unable to respond to your query before now; the board has been very busy. You have had some feedback from M123 about getting legal advice from a solicitor.

You are clearly very worried about your children. The situation you detail is very concerning. You describe several incidents of domestic violence, both physical and verbal, either where you assaulted your ex-partner or where you state that she assaulted you or was physically, verbally or emotionally aggressive towards the children. On at least one occasion your oldest daughter had to intervene directly and a daughter got hurt in the car during an argument. Research shows that witnessing domestic violence can be very harmful for children. The damage it causes is specifically included in the legal definition of significant harm to a child.

It is really positive that you have taken responsibility for your behaviour and accessed some support to address this. The Respect website is also a useful resource for men who have used violence or who have been the victims of violence.

As well as this, you have many worries about your ex’s new partner including his history of drug misuse, that he has served a lengthy prison sentence for a violent crime, that he is a registered sex offender and that your daughter is unaware of this.

And you think that your ex is not caring for the children properly. Your older son has a disability; this can mean that he is particularly vulnerable.

All of these are very serious matters which are likely to be impacting on the children and may be putting them at risk. It is very unclear what protective measures are in place apart from the fact that your ex-partner has been asked to undertake a protector course.

Children’s services are clearly involved as you have seen a social care assessment. However, you don’t state what their current role is e.g. whether they are working with the children under a child in need plan or a child protection plan. Your post also suggests that you have not been fully involved in their assessment which you should be as the children’s parent. You can find tips on working with a social worker here.

Our remit is to advise on the role of children’s services. It is really important that you are properly involved in any plans for your children and that you share openly and honestly these concerns with the children’s social worker so that the children are kept safe and are well cared for.

So there are two things that I would strongly recommend that you do:

1. Contact your children’s social worker urgently to let them know all of the concerns that you have described, to clarify what the current plan is and if it takes account of all of the areas of concern that you raise. It is probably a good idea to do this in writing. You should also make sure that you are informed of all forthcoming meetings about your children.
2. Get private law advice about a child arrangements order as you are thinking about applying for the children to come to live with you. This child arrangements order advice sheet may help. You can find get legal information and advice from Child Law Advice or you can find a solicitor via the Law Society find a solicitor website.

You can also talk to the NSPCC child protection helpline about your concerns about the children and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation has lots of information to help families where there are any concerns about child sexual abuse or sex offenders.

I hope this helps. If you need more specific advice about children’s services please do make sure that you have updated them and had a response to the concerns you have raised and tell us what they are doing.

With best wishes


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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:05 am

Re: Don't know what to do

Postby Ichi » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:56 am

Thank you for the advice Mary May and Suzie.

I decided to leave things as they were over Christmas because I didn't want to have the stress or cause bitterness with the ex as I was staying at hers over Christmas as the kids wanted me there for Christmas. In hindsight that was a mistake.

On the 27th of Dec I left to go see my current girlfriend for a few days to have a second Christmas with her. Well all was going well and then 2 days later I get a message from my oldest daughter saying that my ex had once again threatened to knock her teeth out but this time it resulted in violence as my ex then strangled her and my oldest hit and kicked her back in retaluation. My two youngest were there and witnessed this.

I feel awful because rather then taking them out of there like I should I am resorting to the same underhand tactics and have been pretending to my ex that I have no idea this happened. But I intend to bring it up in a "children in need" meeting we have at the school tomorrow (the 10th)

Aldo what was worse was that on Sunday night I was at their house as my ex was working late anyhow when she returned home. My 9 year old came down and said she wanted to go to mine and stay there for the night. My ex refused saying it was too late and she had school the next day. My daughter then really got upset and we had tears eventually it got heated between her and my ex as my daughter said "I don't want to be at your house" which prompted a "this is your house" to which my daughter replied "well I stay at dad's more because you're never here"

After that which upset my ex obviously she shouted and then my 9 year old begged me to take me home with her as she told me mum gets angry and she was obviously remembering the scene between her mum and my oldest. My ex was now sat down crying and i was silently debating to myself if I should just take my kids and just tell my ex just how damaging her behaviour is being. I didnt do it I just kept the anger in and remained calm on the outside at least and thought no if I do something rash now this will cost me as no doubt it will be twisted to make me look the bad guy.

While I have tried to justify in my head I did the right thing part of me still thinks I should have done / said something.

I am devastated that it has come to this and the fact i have resorted to these underhand tactics and feel I am just as bad as my ex because she has had meeting with social services about safeguarding my children because she is dating a registered sex offender that I haven't been able to attend because his crime couldn't be disclosed to me unless he allowed it (he didn't seem to have any such qualms about letting her tell her best friend when he stayed at her house because he felt it was right she should know yet he visits the house on a Monday when my oldest daughter there he hasn't felt it right to let her in on this information.)

I am worried that I will be seen as being as just as neglectful for not stepping in here.

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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:05 am

Re: Don't know what to do

Postby Ichi » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:07 pm

Ok the meeting went ok and it did seem the social worker was on my side. She was appalled that my oldest daughter still had not been informed.

My ex was also told that my children were not to have any contact with her new partner until they felt it appropriate and told her to cease letting them talk to him on the phone. She was also told he wouldn't be allowed to stay overnight while my kids lived there and that she wouldn't be able to move him in or have family holidays or things like that for at least ten years.

She was also told that the house conditions needed to be vastly improved quickly. She also didn't mention the fact she had strangled my oldest daughter when asked if anything had happened that wouldn't make the youngest kids feel safe.

So I left the meeting feeling fairly happy as a lot of my worries were finally listened to and the social worker said I would be involved in every step now as it was shocking I hadn't been. Yet I haven't heard anything since from her new partners parole officer , risk management officer regarding disclosing the full nature of my exes partners crimes. They were also supposed to be visiting my home to see what living conditions for the children were like here.

The social worker hasn't got in touch with me either and is visiting my ex this week which means my ex has actually started cleaning the house finally and no doubt already planning a way to twist her story again to make me look the bad guy as she has already done staying I have attacked her on several instances since she entered this new relationship.

Should I be worried by this turn of events or is this par for the course?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Don't know what to do

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:21 pm

Dear Ichi

Thank you for your further posts.

I have replied to some of the specific issues raised in your post on 10 January by private message and will reply more generally here.

It sounds as if the situation at home for the children deteriorated since you initially posted and that you have been struggling with how to manage this. The advice given in the previous post is still relevant to you, both in terms of working with children’s services and in particular informing them of all concerns, accessing private law advice and getting help and advice from specialist services. Please do review that information if you need to.

It is really important that as parents of the children you both address the problems and try to find a way to make safe arrangements for the children and to limit any distress to them. It is essential that the children’s social worker is kept informed of the children’s situation including any progress being made and most importantly any concerns as they arise.

You explained in your earlier post that children’s services have been working with your children under a child in need plan and that there was to be a child in need meeting the next day where you planned to discuss recent incidents.

You can find out much more about child in need procedures in our family support advice sheet.

If Children’s Services think that the children are suffering or may be at risk of suffering significant harm then they must make child protection enquiries which you should be fully involved in. You can find out more in our child protection advice sheet.

Now that the child in need meeting has happened it sounds as if some progress has been made. It is still not clear exactly what information has been shared. It sounds as if your ex-partner was not honest about incidents that have happened so it is important that you are open and honest and share all relevant information.

Despite feeling initially positive after the meeting you are now worried that all the actions agreed have not been taken. Were timescales put in place for the actions to be followed up? If they were, you can reasonably ask that they be kept to and if not you can ask for clarification of when they will take place. You could even suggest dates when the social worker could visit your home if convenient and ask for contact details so that you could contact the risk management officer. The tips for working with a social worker sent last time might help too.

It might be that a family group conference could help your family make safe plans for the children. This is something you can ask children’s services to arrange if you think it would help. Do have a look at our family group conference advice sheet and short family group conferences film to find out more.

Family Lives is a parenting support and advice service which might be helpful to you as they help families who are coping with many different issues to do with their parenting including when they have separated.

With best wishes.


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