I left my daughter's father during the pregnancy because we were having many issues and things with him were not changing. It's been a year since I moved back to my mom's and left him, and my daughter is 8 months old. After my daughter was born, I granted him the right to visit her daily, but that came to an end after our continuous fights, so we came to an agreement where he can see her 3x a week.

Now when he comes, he likes rubbing my thighs and asking me for hugs and kisses. And even though I say no, he doesn't seem to understand. Sometimes he will just lean and hug me without asking or nothing. Like I said I always repeat

Stop, don't touch me. Leave me alone. No.

When my 5-year-old little brother hears this, he tells him "boundaries Jose".

I am honestly tired of him insisting for me to get back with him and him doing these things when he should be there for his daughter and not bugging me.

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    Hi Cyndie, I'm so sorry your ex keeps ignoring what you've said. I'm afraid that if he's disrespecting your clearly stated boundaries there might not be a great solution.. does your brother calling him out get him to stop? Is it an option for you to not be present during his visits, or have visits somewhere he wouldn't try this? (sorry if that's a dumb question - not a parent myself!) – Em C Sep 17 '19 at 3:14
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    Are you properly divorced? He seemed to follow his instinct to build back you family despite your will. So if just saying "no" verbally doesn't make him understand and stop, then you should make a contract establishing the rules of the visits. The best option: don't be there when he is visiting your daughter, depending on your country you should be able to set rules with a lawyer. (source: I am divorced father myself) – TransientEntity Sep 17 '19 at 4:55
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    TransientEntity brings up a good question, though. How formal is the agreement allowing your child's father to visit? Is it a court-ordered visitation agreement, or an informal arrangement you've both agreed to? And where are you located? The line I granted him the right to visit her daily is confusing me on these questions. – Upper_Case Sep 17 '19 at 16:13
  • can you get an adult chaperone, such as your mother, whenever he is there? I fear he is testing the waters and this could escalate as he seems to have zero respect for your boundaries. – bigbadmouse Oct 7 '19 at 7:39

From what you write, it seems you properly establish your personal boundaries - but unfortunately the father chooses to disregard them. That means you need to escalate your enforcement of the boundaries.

There are many ways to do this, depending on the details of the situation and what you feel comfortable with. Just as an example, I would propose a gradual strategy:

  • As a preliminary step: Make sure you have a witness (ideally, multiple witnesses) during the next visits. This may already help make him behave, and if not, it gives you evidence for later. You could also consider filming the visits. For that you may need his consent (though possibly not if the visit is inside your home).
  • If the problem persists, talk to him in private, without your daughter (and again with a witness present if possible). Tell him in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate any touching at all, and that there will be consequences, up to his losing visitation rights if he persists. Consider writing down the rules and making him sign it. This may or may not make a difference legally, but it may help to emphasize the point.
  • If that still does not help, tell him that visitation can no longer continue as it is now. Again, the details are up to you: You could tell him that he is not allowed inside your home; instead you will send your daughter outside for him to pick up (and go elsewhere). Or you could arrange for someone else to replace you during visits, and possibly supervise the visit.

I also strongly urge you to contact the relevant child welfare authority where you live (Child Protective Services, Department of Children and Families or whatever it is called). They should be able to help you with advice, practical tips, and possibly even legal aid. They (or some charity) may also be able to assist with a supervised visit or even provide someone impartial to supervise.

Finally, if push comes to shove, you may have to go to court (or be taken to court by the father). If you have collected evidence before, you have good chances of prevailing - courts can usually place limits on visits, such as requiring specific pickup locations, impose supervised visits or even suspend visits for a while. However, if you follow steps like outlined above, I hope you will get by without a court.

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    Non-profit organizations may be able to help as well. So as well as going to Child Protective Services, one could go to SOS in the United States. SOS is a great resource for domestic concerns like this. – Lux Claridge Sep 17 '19 at 13:57
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    Getting him to sign a copy of the rules would, if nothing else, provide evidence that the rules had been shown/explained to him. If it does go to court, he'd have a hard(er) time arguing that these rules didn't exist or that he hadn't been told about them. – Steve-O Sep 20 '19 at 18:09

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