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Anyone dealing with a court battle?

Stupidunicorn's picture

Myself and my husband are currently going through court to keep my stepdaughter with us. She has lived with us since May this year.

Her Mom isn’t the nicest person in the World. Social services have labelled her as a liar using the phrase disguised compliancy, which means she pretty much says whatever to make it seem she is working with professionals to get them to go away... my stepdaughter is 5 and in the last 4 years she has been on the protection register twice, her mom has changed relationships, each time failing to put the children she has first, when it has been a specification from social services that whatever relationship she was in at the time should be ended and that she keeps away from said man and doesn’t resume a relationship...she disregarded this information on a large scale with the last guy had his baby and following assault on her, her house and theft made by him he’s now in prison. 


Social services have not been great. They took two days to inform us what had happened and when we found out I told my husband to exert his parental rights, withdraw her from her useless school who so far had backed her mom all the way, despite my stepdaughter having 36 absences from school between jan to Feb and them failing to report it... he took her out of school and we applied for a court order, which we got, we got her into the same school as my son, my stepdaughters mom made no effort to call her for 5 weeks or even try to see her, the social worker seemed to side with her mom saying she would be ensuring that the child sees her mom but how could we do that when the mom never answered the phone or cared?

Fast forward to now, despite my stepdaughter saying she doesn’t want to go to her moms house we’re being made by the social to send her there, we are trying to make it work with her mom in terms of contact - she asked for every fortnight at weekends, we agreed and so far she keeps forgetting or cancelling and then being abusive to me and saying I should remind her, which I won’t do because I feel it’s up to her to remember she has a daughter and that she’s arranged to see her, my stepdaughter is picking up on the tension to a degree but also using it against us. She plays up before she goes to her moms being naughty, tries to hurt her baby brother, is rude, some additional stuff she does now I know is a result of her being a victim of domestic violence like bed wetting,I’m also having to dress her everyday and sometimes feed her, the social worker is crap because she is supposed to do work with her but visits as and when she feels like it so a lot of me trying to make her feel better and talk about her feelings I’m having to do based on my experience of being a nursery nurse and a brief course I had in child psychology... I’ve signed her up to after school activities that I go along to so she’s got something that’s just hers and something to work towards... Before she goes to her moms she cries she doesn’t want to go and then when she comes back she’s horrible and it is beginning to get to me. Because I have two other children and because my husband is struggling with it all as well I haven’t shown him how hard I’m finding it but I am reaching a point where although I know the end is near, our final hearing at court is November, for four years I’ve had to deal with my stepdaughters behaviour, granted not her fault,-abuse from her mom, I also think I’ve got slight post natal depression and I need a break for myself without being selfish. Has anyone else gone through the court experience or this situation?


notarelative's picture

 Before she goes to her moms she cries she doesn’t want to go and then when she comes back she’s horrible

I know you realize the dynamics of the situation and that her behavior is a result. Have you considered counseling? Would it be covered by UK health? This type of behavior is often found in foster children and in the US they can receive counseling. Counseling is helpful as it helps the child to process feelings, and often the parent, doing the actual work if parenting the child, gets practical suggestions for dealing with the child at home.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

My SD5 did similar when I first got married. She absolutely didn't want to go to BM. I suggest counseling too, that's what we're working on right now. Because the only thing that stopped the breakdowns was Psycho ditching for a year. And now we get pouting, which will likely turn back into breakdowns, now that Psycho has EOWE visitation.

Maxwell09's picture

Cut out the dramatics with the child. Once you stop entertaining her dramatics about going to her moms or coming back from her moms, you will feel a little lift off your shoulders. All children play the field. Yes, especially the little ones. Manipulation tactics start as young as two and whether you want to believe it or not, you are falling for them. When it's time to go to her moms, simple get her dressed and when she starts to fuss tell her "it will be fine" and end it there. Change the subject. My own skid who I've had since he was a baby would come home with tears and talk about how mean stepdad and BM were to him all weekend, not counting on the fact that I had seen BM's post of them going to the local kid's jump playground, a trip to the zoo and out for ice cream and riding bikes. Call them out. Every single time. He tells her how horrible it is here as well and BM falls for it everytime fr many reasons. Partly because it satisfies her insecurities that SS loves her more than DH, that he hates living with us and that she is the only person that can make him truly happy--all of these things are total lies but she listens to him, she treats him with "pick me up" gifts to make him love going to see her more. It's all a game to them. They can't help themselves really. 

You are right about not having to be the one to remind BM about her visitation. She should prioritize it, not you. You should plan for BM to pick up the kid for her weekends/times and if she doesn't show then she doesn't show. Go on with. your life and time and write it down that Bm didn't take her visitation. Do not remind her to take it, do not call her or attack her for forgetting her child....let her do her and hang herself. You also need to push back some of this on your DH. He should be the communicator with BM, not you. I know you did it to help but you are putting yourself in the middle and making yourself BM's target. Get out of the way. Tell your DH you can't deal with BM's dramatics anymore especailly on top of the production that. comes with getting Skid together for her visits so he needs to be the one to take care of all communication about skid.