It’s a long read but I could really do with advice
I will try and make it as short as possible but the situation has occurred and gotten worse over the past 4 years.
Basically, before I met my husband he was with his ex and they had a very toxic relationship. They would argue and break up every other day. She had fallen pregnant and the arguments got worse and resulted in her self harming and injuring herself whilst pregnant and they eventually split up when he had met me although the relationship had broken down before then and it was no atmosphere for their child to be bought up in.
Anyway, since he left her and we got together she stopped all contact. He applied for a child arrangements order and she accused him of domestic violence. Long story short, he had to pay £600 over the course of 6 weeks to see his daughter for 12 hours in total and then undertake anger management classes. It was then ordered he had her every other weekend eventually resulting in overnight stays. I had a daughter of my own from a previous relationship and I also got pregnant after me and my husband being together 6 months. It wasn’t until after our baby was born we were able to have his daughter unsupervised.
There was a year where the case was out of court, but allegations from her continued.
In September 2016, my husband was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome after we had consulted the GP on several ocassions to address his anger issues. In April 2017, he had lost his job and stress had been bottled up overtime, he self-harmed and it seemed suicidal so when he left the house I was concerned. All three children were asleep upstairs so I phoned the police to find him and make sure he didn’t inflict any more harm on himself.
I phoned my friend who came and got the two older children incase they would wake up with the police here and be frightened, the police arrived and found him not far from our house. They advised we spend the night apart to give him some space. I informed them of the court order and it was agreed they would phone my husbands daughters mom to see if she was happy with me having the child stay with me or if she wanted to collect her. And so she came and retrieved her from my friends house. The Monday morning, her solicitor emailed to say the contact order will be suspended and the matter will return to court.
There was a temporary contact order whilst the court investigated whether my husband presented any risk to his daughter, but the mother breached the contact order which has never been addressed, his daughter was supposed to come to our wedding but it was refused despite being in the court order and his ex has been increasingly difficult.
When Cafcass (work on behalf of the court to determine what is best for the child) spoke to my husbands daughter she stated “daddy chopped himself with a knife and a policeman came”
Not only did she have no knowledge of what happened, she had left the house before the police arrived.
Ever since, her mother has made various slanderous allegations and implies that my husband is not capable of looking after their daughter as he has Aspergers. My husband certainly has the ability to take care of his children, he does my daughter and our shared daughter every single day as they live with him. And he is an incredible father.
We currently have his daughter once a fortnight for 8 hours, yet her mother won’t allow us any longer nor overnight stays as there is an increased risk he will self-harm again and that he is a risk to her.
They requested medical information about his “history” of mental health related discussions and obviously this didn’t help but surely it wouldn’t have answered whether he poses a risk to his daughter considering it will only reinforce his difficulty with regulating his emotions. She has stated he is using his diagnosis as an excuse where if you know anything about Asperger’s you would understand the affect it has on somebody and it is a life long hidden disability so of course it’s going to have an impact on you as a person.
The most recent statements suggest that when we collect his daughter she is not seated in a car seat “like my two children” and his daughter has also informed her we had a car crash which we most definitely haven’t, but apparently we have hid this from her mother. Not once has she tried to communicate with us to express her suspicions. It is included in the information for the court as though it is the truth. And what parent would allow their child to get in a car without a car seat anyway?
Not only that, when his child comes to our house shares with us that her mother does not like my husband. She tells her to “play up” and is quite clearly still very bitter about the situation.
I have stood by my husband and done what is right by him in all of this, I treat their child as though she is my own and I love her to bits. But I’m seriously and honestly exhausted. It’s been 4 years, there’s a good 12-14 left of her doing all that she can to destroy my husbands relationship with his daughter. At the final hearing she has the opportunity to “question” me but what the hell do I have to do with this? It’s clear that she does not want us to be in her daughters life. I love my husband more than anything, but I cannot help but feel resentment. The impact that this has had on our relationship and our family is catastrophic.
What the hell is the best thing to do in this situation?