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Who should pay the travel costs re: making sure that child retains contact with non-resident parent?

(57 Posts)
legallyblonde Wed 12-May-10 12:41:14

Maybe I should have put this in the "Am I Being Unreasonable?" section instead but anyway...

My DH spends approximately £100/ month on train fares to go and collect his daughter (who lives with his ex partner) for her to spend the weekend/ holidays with us and then to take her back home again at the end of her stay.
He pays a big chunk of his income to his ex-P every month via in child support.
He and his ex-P didn't go to court to arrange residency/ contact and agreed everything amicably themselves without the need for a court order.
I know that his ex-P bears most of the burden relating to the care of the girl but she chose that and she gets all the money for it.

I am going slowly insane about the fact that legally (as far as I can remember from my family law studies - I am a solicitor but not a family law solicitor) both parents are responsible for making sure that a child retains contact with the non-resident parent i.e. not only would it be nice but also a court is quite likely to order that, every now and then, she should bring the child to stay with us and should bear some of the travel costs.

Just to give you an idea how that mother treats us: she now wants us to have the child for the whole summer holidays because otherwise she "would have to pay for child care." I'm not kidding!!
My partner refuses to challenge her on anything because she has threatened to stop him from seeing his daughter (Yes - really!)

Please can someone advise me what the legal situation is here and how best to resolve it because I am about to blow my top and give that mother a piece of my mind! Grrr!

3andahalfmonkeys Wed 12-May-10 12:45:22

depends which parent moved away i think.

jeee Wed 12-May-10 12:48:02

I don't know anything aboout legalities, but do think that if you say anything you could create difficulties for your DH, and his relationship with his DD. However annoyed you are, you need to keep your mouth firmly shut.

legallyblonde Wed 12-May-10 12:54:18

Jee - you're totally right! and that is what I'm trying to avoid. Which is why I'd like some advice so that we can resolve this amicably/ in court.

(Mothers really should think twice before taking the P* like this - she knows that no one else will interfere for fear of making the situation worse and that my husband is terrified of losing contact with his daughter. She shouldn't be allowed to do this to people!

Marne Wed 12-May-10 12:57:15

Our step children don't live too far away, we pick them up at the weekend and take them back home, sometimes we ask their mother to bring them over (if we are unable to get them).

I would say your dh should pay for the traveling cost's unless he could come to an agreement to half the cost with his ex.

Webuyanycardotcom Wed 12-May-10 12:59:06

Who moved away from the other? I guess in an ideal world then it would be nice if the journeys were shared and the costs split. But in over 10 years my dsd's mum has brought her to us twice and has never paid anything towards the travelling expenses.

GypsyMoth Wed 12-May-10 13:00:30

i know (having spent last 2 years in court with ex) that courts like parents to work together

but all i have read about this seems to be that the onus is on the non resident parent to take up the contact....sometimes provisions are made via court for one to drop off the other to collect etc...but paying for the child is separate to paying travel expenses

Tell him to get the bus it's cheaper. biscuit

GypsyMoth Wed 12-May-10 13:03:52

my ex moved 200+ miles away....up to him to arrange all transport. sorry,but no way was i paying out for this as well as paying all gas/elec/food/clothing/general expenses....

are you suggesting that the mother uses some of her maintenence money? if so,thats very unfair

Webuyanycardotcom Wed 12-May-10 13:04:52

The thing is, even if she moved away and "should" be helping out, you need to weigh up whether it's worth all the aggravation of battling it out with her. Especially if your dh is not prepared to take it up with her.

The biggest thing I've realised as a step-mum is that sometimes you just have to let things that aren't in your sphere of control go.

MissAnneElk Wed 12-May-10 13:05:18

I don't know the legal answer.

Regarding the summer holiday - are you or your DH SAHPs? If so, then I do think the best place for your step daughter would be with you. Also, that would save on travel expenses as your DHs ex would presumably have to travel to you. If you both work and would need to find childcare she is massively taking the piss.

flowerybeanbag Wed 12-May-10 13:05:19

If he moved away of course he should pay whatever travelling costs are involved to maintain his relationship with his daughter.

Does he not want her to stay for the holidays? Sounds like a perfect plan to me, it seems silly her going into childcare if she has a parent able to look after her.

GypsyMoth Wed 12-May-10 13:13:17

you say everything was agreed amicably...no court involved?

so why did he not address this then? or is it just you who has a problem with this?

babiole Wed 12-May-10 14:13:38

I agree with one of the earlier bloggers that you are in danger of your understandable frustration affecting the relationship between your DH and yourself. The arrangement they had has been arrived at between them and he was happy to do the travelling. The suggestion that maybe this girl would be better living with you and your ex frankly is not sensible.

If you were to make an application to court for a transfer of residence you would have to show this child was suffering harm as a result of the Mothers care. Unless there has been social services involvement or this Mother is running a brothel or is an alcoholic[ all extreme examples]then the court will not transfer residence. The court will not tolerate such an application on the basis she is a bitch, or is taking the p*. Court proceedings are expensive both in the financial and the emotional cost and issuing proceedings will serve to cause long lasting resentment and bitterness between the adults which will affect the DD.

If you are wanting to make an application to court for an order that she pays half the travel then the only order you can apply for is a contact order and the travel costs being part of that order. Beware because opening that can of worms may well open more that you bargain for. I do not know the financial circumstances of you and your DH but there are more ways of obtaining financial assistance for the upbringing of a child than through the CSA and you may find your DH being slapped with an application under the Childrens Act 1989 Sch 1 for a lump sum order, property transfer order or top up child maintenance payments.

Personally as much as it gets to you starting court battles is not the answer.........and I too am a lawyer so I should know!!

legallyblonde Wed 12-May-10 16:20:32

Thank you for all the answers.

ThreeBlondeBoys- yes, I AM suggesting that the travel costs relating to making sure that the child has contact with both parents is a cost that should be borne by both parents. And, with my hazy memories of family law, I think that this is what a court would find, which is why I'm asking for a family lawyer/ social worker on here to confirm that, if possible. It's not unfair for the mother to pay that - she is the one who gets maintenance, child benefit, tax credits etc. How is it fair that we have to bear the cost and make the huge journey every time? Is that fair on our family?

MissAnneElk - Yes, we both have full time jobs so yes,she is totally taking the P*.

babiole - thank you the information. I am keen to go to court to get an order so that things are fair. Mothers out there! Watch out for p*ed off step mums especially ones like me who are not court -phobic!

legallyblonde Wed 12-May-10 16:27:21

...and the chances of DH being ordered to pay an additional lump sum/ additional maintenance are pretty slim - he is penniless, earns very little and I am the main breadwinner (which probably explains why I am so p*ed off at the unfairness of the current situation - a court would prablably order the mother to pay for ALL the travel costs 'cos it's such a stretch for my husband to meet those costs at the moment!)

Webuyanycardotcom Wed 12-May-10 16:51:03

You didn't answer the questions about who moved away. For me that has a bearing on things.

I'd avoid going to court over something like this. It'll drive a wedge between you/your dh and her, and that really isn't helpful as you're going to have to have a long term relationship with her because of your stepchild. And what happens if she does stop your dh seeing her? Ok, you could get a court order to start contact again, but that takes forever and in the meantime she and her Dad are missing out on time together. It'll be really expensive and cost you a hell of a lot more than the money you're currently spending on petrol.

Tanga Wed 12-May-10 19:30:35

As a solicitor yourself, you should know how reasonable solicitors fees are, and careful they are to keep costs down. hmm

So you've probably guessed I'm not a sol, but have some experience of family court.

You will find that £100 a month is chicken feed compared to what it will cost you to take this to court. Of course, your DH could go LIP, but remember that you will not be allowed to McKenzie for him.

Firstly, if you feel he is paying over the odds in maintenance, have you tried the CSA calculator? This will give you an idea of whether what he is paying is considered fair. You can apply to get a deduction from the payments due to the travel costs and if you are going to have DSD for an extended period in the summer this may take the number of nights you have her into a different category so you can get a further reduction.

Secondly, if the mother has threatened to cut contact before (and understand I'm not doubting you) going to court will without a shadow of a doubt make the situation much, much worse. Mediation would be the first step anyway.

Thirdly, family law is not clear-cut. Whilst a very general rule of thumb is that the parent who changes the circumstances (by moving) pays travel costs, the primary consideration is the welfare of the child. The child is fine, current arrangements are working well, so the no-order principle applies. TBH you seem far more concerned with the £50 a month you'd save than the emotional consequences for your DSD and DH - which would be massive.

And you were joking about the idea that the court might order the Resident mother to pay all the travel costs, right?

STIDW Thu 13-May-10 01:48:55

With cases post dating March 2003 the CSA normally has jurisdiction over child support and courts cannot order child maintenance or a variation. As mentioned above under CSA rules the non resident parent can apply for a variation reducing child maintenance to help towards the costs involved with contact but the parent with care can't apply for an increase to cover any costs they might incur through facilitating contact. So there is an expectation that the non resident parent is responsible for travel.

In children cases each case is treated separately and depending on the particular facts judges may or may not attach conditions to a contact/residence order that one parent does the traveling or it is shared. When the parent without the majority of care has moved hundreds of miles away, the parent with care has a new baby and no transport and little money then attaching a condition for shared traveling is extremely unlikely. However, there are no certainties in family law, just probabilities, and it might be different if the parent with the majority of care was the one to move away to somewhere inaccessible, doesn't have other young children, has transport and is seen as being able to afford the costs.

Good contact for children relies on parents working together and going to court to force arrangements tends to make that difficult, if not impossible. Therefore courts expect parents to try alternatives to resolve disputes first. See the East Midlands judiciary's publication "What Family Courts expect from parents" available to download from the Ministry of Justice website.

malecarer Thu 13-May-10 11:53:12

I can fully understand your prediciment I too was paying only around £30 a week to go and collect my son for 2 days only to return him back again. Although at the time it was me who moved away therefore i thought it was only right that I made suitable arrangments to collect him therefore I met the cost of the travel.

However I have since moved back to my home town so travel is now no longer a problem, well it wasnt until I was told my former partner is now moving out of the area.

I will be telling courts that it is her responsibilty to ensure that my son is dropped off at our agreed location and that it should be her meeting the costs. we have a court order that states the mother should drop my son at her parents house in order for me to collect.

I moved to be closer to my son and out of spite she is now moving away.

Court on Tuesday so wish me luck.

squeaver Thu 13-May-10 12:02:00

I like the way you're all dancing round the question you really want to ask...

myfirstbump Thu 13-May-10 12:24:09

I know somebody in a similar situation. Without wanting to go into too much detail, after the divorce (which she instigated) his job took him abroad. His travel costs to maintain the agreed level contact with the children are, obviously, very high. He pays maintenance through a private agreement, after the solicitors pointed out that the CSA would factor in the travel costs into maintenance payments, which would therefore be lower.

She brings the children to meet his parents halfway, and they bring them back to the house so he can spend his time with them. So there are extra travel expenses involved aside from his, but the arrangements work and everybody is as satisfied as they can be given the circumstances.

As others have already pointed out though, every case is different. I would personally want to avoid the courts at all costs. I know it must be hard to be a spectator in it, but if your DH and DSD are ok with the arrangement that's the important thing.

FWIW, I think you did the right thing keeping it out of AIBU!

legallyblonde Thu 13-May-10 14:06:29

Thanks, everyone - very useful info.

malecarer - Good luck! I hope things go the way you hope : ) You sound like a wonderful father.

squeaver - Enlighten me. What is the question that everyone's avoiding?

I hope this thread has highlighted the damage that can be done by mothers with resdiency who choose to take the P*. I am going to look into having the CSA payments varied and if necessary applying for a court order to clarify the matter (Any financial cost involved will surely be less than the travel costs we'll have to keep shelling out for the next 10 years if this matter isn't resolved now). This whole situation could be avoided if mother behaved reasonably and any acrimony that results will be her fault (the alternative is that we just ignore the matter and carry on living with the unfairness - is that really what people expect?!!! Not on!!!)

Tanga Thu 13-May-10 14:24:35

I'm sure you mean that your DH will be applying for a court order - although there isn't a single poster here who thinks that is a good idea.

What people expect is that adults prioritise children beyond their own squabbles. I'm trying not to be judgy but you appear to be hell-bent on interfering in a stable situation worked out between two parents, the result of your actions will be heartache, stress and emotional harm to this child that you are supposed to care about, so that you can save £50?

Your DH could try mediation but he'd be a fool to let you steam-roller him into applying to court in this situation. If his ex is inclined to be difficult she could stop contact altogether and it could take years to undo the damage.

skidoodly Thu 13-May-10 14:25:07

"I hope this thread has highlighted the damage that can be done by mothers with resdiency who choose to take the P*. "

what this thread is highlighting to me is the willingness of a man's partner to do damage to a child and an arrangement that is working well, and that is nothing to do with her, out of sheer bloody mindedness.

I suppose it depends on different situations and different families.

My exh doesnt pay maintanace and for me to take dd to his it would cost me over £40 per journey and would mean a three and a half hour journey with dd, a 3 and a half hour journey back for me then I would have to go back the next day and do the same journey again and then another 3 and a half hours total with dd.

Yes I moved away, partially because of fear but dd couldnt hack a 7 hour round train/bus journey every other weekend and as I get no maintanace at all I cant afford £40 every other week as well as paying for all the bills/all dds food/clothes etc.

STIDW Thu 13-May-10 22:30:31

Sadly I think skidoodly makes a valid point and your partner's interests would be best served if you stood back a bit and keep emotions separate from practicalities.

"In the process of developing a position during a conflictual divorce, a spouse typically is surrounded by an increasing cadre of supporters. These are friends, relatives, and professionals who, after hearing only one side of the dispute in vivid, distorted, and compelling detail, rally to that spouse's side. Viewing that spouse as victimized by the other spouse, they seek to right a wrong and protect the spouse from being further victimized. Johnston and Campbell (p. 25) elaborate on this dynamic:

“The total effect is that, in the absence of socially-agreed-upon customs and etiquette for organizing postdivorce relationships and dealing with conflicts of interest, there is considerable ambiguity. Consequently, the social networks of the spouses are incorporated into the dispute and the dispute is solidified, maintained, and stabilized by the support of others. New partners, extended family and kin, mental health professionals, and lawyers fuel the fights and in some instances take on the dispute as their own. As the conflict escalates and spreads, the primary players may not be the two divorcing partners but all these others who are not party to the stipulations, court order, or legal sanctions."

This support by the associates of each of the spouses takes on the complexion of tribal warfare, with parallels to the ways that we stereotypically imagine primitive villagers dealing with their conflicts. The sides are drawn, the supporters are garnered, and war is declared. Unfortunately, the toll taken on the children in this insidiously dysfunctional social process is legend (Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980; Wallerstein & Blakeslee, 1989). Researchers and clinicians for years have interviewed and counseled countless adults who recall vivid childhood memories of their parents' conflictual divorce experience as a living hell of divided loyalties, forced court-ordered examinations, pressure to take sides, and the absence of any sense of security, safety, trust, or sanity." - Child Clinical Psychologist, Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D. & Chip Rose, JD, CFLS

Family law is very specialised. As I said above the court has no jurisdiction to make a contested order for child maintenance or a variation. See s8 Child Support Act 1991 as amended. The exceptions are;

a)cases predating March 2003,

b)a child of the family is a step child,

c)one parent lives abroad,

d)over 18s in education or training,

Unless your partner has an order predating March 2003 it appears the only option is to apply for a s8 order to regulate parental responsibility under the Children Act 1989. However, there is a no order principle where courts are directed only to make an order if it is necessary and makes things better for a child. The paramount concern is the best interests of the child, not parental rights or fairness.

legallyblonde Fri 14-May-10 08:02:42

What appears to have become evident/ been confirmed here is the willingness of mothers with residency to manipulate the non-resident parent and think that they are entitled to behave unreasonably.

Which is why the court process exists to impose an equitable alternative and people shouldn't be afraid to use it. When you're being treated like sh** by a child's mother, and your family is suffering as a consequence, what have you got to lose by going to court (particularly when you know that court procedures are, more often than not, NOT mud-slinging matches?)

Thanks for all the info.

legallyblonde Fri 14-May-10 08:10:36

In addition, please note -I have "stood back" for eight years already and I don't think it's unreasonable for me to say that enough is enough now.

If the mother wants to use our application for court intervention/ CSA consideration of the costs as an opportunity to damage the relationship between DD and her father, that's the mother's choice - it is a situation that could easily have been avoided if she'd have the decency to behave fairly but she has already threatened my DH with not seeing his daughter a number of times so we won't be surprised if she chooses to do that again to her daughter. HER choice to create such damage.

tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 14-May-10 08:22:37

If you think that bringing a court action will give rise to the likelihood that the mother will stop contact between your husband's daughter and him, and you bring that court action anyway, then actually that's your choice not hers.

You might not think it's fair. But it's the situation. Court action increases likelihood of reduced contact? Then don't bring court action.

And incidentally, you obviously know that you have absolutely no locus standi, right? So perhaps you should stop talking about what you are going to do, and allow your husband, the father of the child, to make his own decisions.

GypsyMoth Fri 14-May-10 08:23:54

You said further down the thread to 'watch out for pissed off stepmums'........ Why ?? What can you do??

It's none of your businesss
you won't be allowed in the courtroom
you don't have a say

keepingup Fri 14-May-10 08:34:38

I live almost 300 miles away from my ex.
I moved when I was pregnant, and he was meant to follow when he had finished his uni course. that never happened and we split soon after ds was born.

For 3.5 years he didnt pay me a penny as he stayed on at uni to do a kmasters as well as worrking a good job.

Now he has to pay cm payments, and travels up to see ds one weekend every two months. He pays the costs involved. I know technically he could reduce his cm payments as the csa agree if costs to see the child are high there can be a reduction on cm payments.

However he lives with his parents, in a good job and if he did reduce his payments I would be mighty p'eed off. I have paid for everything ds needs and wants for almost 5 years. I have had the hard and diffuclt times making ends meet. he took me to court over access, although I always allowed it, and he was given access every month, but he choose to make it one weekend every 2 months instead

GypsyMoth Fri 14-May-10 09:37:44

and its not just the money,its the effort involved too....resident parents have the day to day worries,whilst nrp doesnt see this....why shouldnt the nrp be seen to be physically making an effort??

legallyblonde Fri 14-May-10 10:24:21

tortoise... - OMG! Are you actually suggesting that it would be ok for the mum to withhold contact? You think it is ok for a mum to do that just because the father has chosen to have the authorities review the existing arrangement? I'm shocked!

ILoveTIFFANY - how is it not my business? there is a second family here that is impacted by all of this. In family law matters, the whole picture is considered by the court and sometimes a mother is ordered to do something that she doesn't want to do but it is in the best interests of the child.

I am truly shocked that so many MNers could think that it is ok for a mother to treat her child's father like that. Truly shocking!

GypsyMoth Fri 14-May-10 10:26:30

you have no say though....yes,you nmay be accomodated a little in a cafcass report....but you cant take her to court,ask for anything or be listened to

remember,there are two sides to every story,and we're only hearing one here.

GypsyMoth Fri 14-May-10 10:31:17

who moved away?
how old is the child?
you'll be going to court to be £50 a month better off??

Tanga Fri 14-May-10 11:16:28

I would also be very interested to know how old the child is, an can we assume that this terrible abusive behaviour by the mother is moving away from the father? Because you seem remarkably reticent on this point.

I can't see anyone saying the mother's behaviour is OK - but you seem to have an agenda regardless of what is said to you.

I would always speak up for a parent who was being unreasonably denied access to their child and I do think it happens a lot more than people admit to - even in threads on here you see people making comments along the lines of 'when he's only seeing his children once a fortnight he'll be sorry'.

If court action would result in the RP stopping contact until the courts compelled her to comply then I would still support the other parent in that action if in the long term the child would be better off, ie have a relationship with the other parent that is more protected from abusive'control' by the RP.

However, this does not appear to be the case here. From what you originally posted, your motivation seemed entirely financial, and you appeared to be objecting to the father and child having loads more time together in the holidays. Your approach was highly confrontational, although it may be that you are venting after 8 years of exemplary step parenting.

Rumbled Fri 14-May-10 11:31:49

Who moved away? If your husband moved away from the area where his ex lives, IMO, he should be paying the travel costs, because moving was his choice. Why should his ex pay for costs that have arisen through choices she hasn't made?

I don't doubt that your husband's ex can be hard work and manipulative at times. But you (presumably) knew this when you got together with your husband, and so as hard as it may be, you took on this "baggage" and need to accept this with good grace and try to work with his ex - for his daughter's sake.

My ex treated me appallingly in the run-up to our separation. I'm sure I was pretty deranged for a few months afterwards and less than cooperative. But, now the dust has long settled, in spite of all that has happened between us, we work hard at parenting amicably and co-operatively and have never used the courts. There have been times when I've fantasised about my ex driving off a cliff blush BUT, for DS's sake, I don't bad-mouth his dad to him, I don't rock the boat, and keep everything as stable as possible. I find it bloody hard sometimes, but it's not about me; it's about DS. And in your situation, it's first and foremost about your step-daughter and her relationship with her dad.

I'd second someone else's suggestion of looking up CSA maintenance guidelines. It may be that your ex is paying over the odds, and he could look into adjusting his payments if it seems like the fair thing to do. This doesn't need to be done aggressively or through the courts though.

Oh and again, who moved away? And what does your DH feel about the situation?

legallyblonde Fri 14-May-10 12:32:26

Yes, every story has two sides.

For those who think it is relevant: My husband was brutally thrown out of his home by his wife's deranged sister. Having since had a few dealings with the mother, I'm pretty sure that she did it so that she could claim benefit and stay at home being "ill" which she couldn't do when my husband was there and bringing in money. When I first met my husband, he was often in tears when talking about what he had lost. I don't think that it was unreasonable for him to have moved away after being thrown out and returned to his home town (He and the mother had been living at her parents' house in her home town surrounded by her school friends who, from the sound of it, were all single mothers...)

Anyway there are two sides to every story... and I'm off to review the CSA guidelines and fill in the app forms for DH (he's keen to keep hold of whatever pennies he can - it's more to spend on DH when she's here if nothing else : )

legallyblonde Fri 14-May-10 12:33:51

oops

Yes, every story has two sides.

For those who think it is relevant: My husband was brutally thrown out of his home by his wife's deranged sister. Having since had a few dealings with the mother, I'm pretty sure that she did it so that she could claim benefit and stay at home being "ill" which she couldn't do when my husband was there and bringing in money. When I first met my husband, he was often in tears when talking about what he had lost. I don't think that it was unreasonable for him to have moved away after being thrown out and returned to his home town (He and the mother had been living at her parents' house in her home town surrounded by her school friends who, from the sound of it, were all single mothers...)

Anyway there are two sides to every story... and I'm off to review the CSA guidelines and fill in the app forms for DH (he's keen to keep hold of whatever pennies he can - it's more to spend on DH DD when she's here if nothing else : )

tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 14-May-10 12:42:56

Legally, where did I say that it was okay for a mother to withhold contact? I didn't say that and nobody has said that. What I did say was that, if that is the situation you're in, then it's morally incumbent on you to act responsibility within those confines. You can't change her behaviour. You can choose to behave in a way yourself which lessens the impact on your stepdaughter.

If you go to court (and again, you don't have locus standi, so this is your husband that would be going to court) you will risk contact for the sake of a bit of money.

Look, there are women on here who, for one reason or another, have come under social services' radar such that they have to live up to unrealistic standards. I can have a messy home safely, they can't because they've been threatened with intervention as regards their children. It's not fair. It's the SS people who are being unreasonable. But as mothers, they can't say 'well I'm going to act as I see fair, and if they choose to take my children away well that's their CHOICE and it's not okay but I can't be held responsible'. The situation is what it is, and because we're talking about their children they have to act within those confines unless it's impossible.

Your husband can't control his ex's actions. But he does need to act in a way that maximises his contact with his daughter, as long as his other family isn't actually suffering.

Are you, in fact, actually suffering? Or do you just think it's not fair?

tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 14-May-10 12:45:39

Incidentally, throwing in the fact that the mother has friends who äll seem to be single mothers" isn't making you sound particularly sympathetic, here. Just so you know.

Going by this thread, you are a typical example of with step mothers get a bad rep.

He moved away, of course he should pay to travel.

Look at it from the other side, if a woman was posting about how her ex was living off his new wife to avoid paying much CSA and on top of that wanted her to pay for travel costs despite him moving away. How many people would say he was justified?

If he moved away he takes the cost of travel as far am I'm concerned. None of it is about him or her it's about the child. It doesn't matter why he moved away.
My ex moved back to his home when we split, which is out of the country. He takes the cost of travel, having to fly of course means this can be fairly high, but neither of us have ever considered anything else, he moved so he takes that burden. He could move back here and not have those costs any time he likes.
It is not my responsibility to pay the costs for his choices, same goes for your DH's ex. Nothing else that she does is relevant to this.

legallyblonde Fri 14-May-10 13:48:43

I think the mother should move nearer to us - how selfish and unreasonable of her not to do that! (No, I'm just kidding!!)

<Sigh> I'm still shocked my the number of MNers who jump to defend the mother in this situation and completely ignore the impact of her behaviour on the second family- truly shocking! Thank God there is the neutral CSA/ courts to intervene.

tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 14-May-10 13:54:19

Are you really a lawyer? Because you seem to have a lot of faith in this impartial justice system that will see it your way. And most of the lawyers I know tend to be aware that judges are people too and will find ways to rule as they feel morally appropriate. If we're all saying something that you disagree with, has it occurred to you that the courts might just disagree with you as well?

Also, most of the lawyers I know have basic critical reading skills. I'll say this again slowly.

Nobody has defended the mother.

Nobody. No-one. Not one person has defended the mother.

Nobody.

skidoodly Fri 14-May-10 14:03:59

We're not defending the mother. Not a single person on this thread has defended her. You're just pretending that we are to deflect what is actually criticism of you

"My DH spends approximately £100/ month on train fares to go and collect his daughter (who lives with his ex partner) for her to spend the weekend/ holidays with us and then to take her back home again at the end of her stay.
He pays a big chunk of his income to his ex-P every month via in child support.
He and his ex-P didn't go to court to arrange residency/ contact and agreed everything amicably themselves without the need for a court order"

There is NO problem here - a child sees her father, he pays for her (as he should) and it was all sorted amicably.

Hurray! Everyone's happy.

Oh, except a resentful stepmother who thinks is pissed off that her DH is paying for travel costs that have been incurred by HIS OWN move.

Tanga Fri 14-May-10 14:30:21

Perhaps we are ignoring the impact of her behaviour on the second family because, erm, there isn't one? Oh no, I was forgetting, you have to spend money to maintain the relationship between father and daughter because he moved away.

But I don't think we should worry about this going to court because clearly your husband ignores your resentment about him supporting his child and just gets on with the arrangment that he worked out like an adult with the mother of his child, has just got on with it for 8 years and will probably go on doing so no matter how many times you fill in forms for him (?) and have your little tantrums.

I must say, though, your behaviour is exactly what I would expect from my experience of solicitors, which is why so many delicate childcare cases become damaging ego-flaunting showdowns run by people who clearly don't give a toss about the welfare of children and are entirely motivated by the money they can get out of it as soon as they go to court.

My apologies to decent sols.

tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 14-May-10 14:36:01

Apologies accepted, tanga wink

prh47bridge Fri 14-May-10 15:54:51

Your DH moved away and seems to have done so voluntarily. It is therefore highly unlikely that you will be able to reclaim any portion of his travel costs from the mother. Trying to do so is a waste of time.

He may be paying more than he has to in child maintenance. The CSA formula, as I'm sure you are aware, is 15% of his salary after tax, NI and pension contributions are deducted. However, even if he is paying over the odds, from what you have posted it seems he is happy with this.

The mother of his DD is offering to let him have her for the summer holidays. Regardless of the mother's motivation, I'm sure he would want that. It seems you resent it and regard it as unreasonable.

As far as I can see you have not said that your DH is unhappy with the situation. Even if he is, pushing him into involving the CSA or taking legal action is a high risk route which may result in him losing contact with his daughter completely for several years. I'm not defending the mother and I certainly don't think she should stop contact but that is the risk you take. Who do you think he will blame if that happens?

You said that maybe you should have put this in "Am I Being Unreasonable". The answer, I'm afraid, is yes. You are being thoroughly unreasonable.

I doubt you will listen to me as you seem to have ignored all the advice on this thread that doesn't agree with your views. However, if you carry on down this route you risk damaging your husband's relationship with his daughter and destroying his relationship with you.

GypsyMoth Fri 14-May-10 16:00:13

again,how old id dd??

so,you'd go to court and pay all the expenses asociated with it,time off work,childcare etc...for the sake of saving £50 a month in travel costs????

try www.wikivorce.com forums where you'll see that its not common for an nrp to get this new arrangement you want.....particularly as its been this way for so long and now YOU want to move the goalposts.

I feel so sorry for your dsd. I can't believe that you are willing to risk your husbands relationship with her for the sake of £25 a week. I can't imagine he's too keen on that idea, and if £25 is more important to him than his daughter then why are you having a child with him? That poor girl, she probably already feels unwelcome in your home and that is only going to get worse when your child is born. If you can't accept that your husband has baggage and responsibilities outside of your relationship, why the hell did you marry him?

mjinhiding Fri 14-May-10 19:21:47

Message withdrawn

Webuyanycardotcom Sat 15-May-10 09:32:12

Going to court is just going to put a bomb in the middle of everyone's relationships. Given how you describe their parting, if you think it can happen without mud slinging then you are very naive. You're already aware that she may stop contact yet you seem determined to press ahead.

I don't understand it. I get that it's hugely frustrating when things aren't "fair" (although I think in this case it's not unreasonable for you to bear all the costs), I get that it's hugely frustrating when one party behaves badly, when there's no negotiation over things. I've been there. But you have to pick your battles and if it's not that important (and I don't think this is) you just have to let it go IMO. It doesn't help your dsd to have the most important people in her life fighting over her.

And I think it's really sad that after 8 years you refer to your dsd as "the child".

mjinhiding Sat 15-May-10 09:40:38

Message withdrawn

Sweetassugar85 Fri 24-May-13 15:17:27

What everyone is telling you is basically sit down and shut up! How dare you have feelings or thoughts!!
I on the other hand totally agree with you! And quite honestly if you are expecte to have her for the holidays and pay child ate And still pay child maintenance during this time it's absolutely taking the p*ss !!! And anyone that says otherwise is definitely the mother doing this kindof thing! Your husband needs to grow a pair and realise this can't go on!! You need to discuss this with him, if he is a family with you then you should be considered! And we'll if she stopped his child seeing him because of this he would be cutting her nose off to spite he face now would t she! As she would then have to pay for childcare over the summer and would also haveno one to have her every other weekend!

PatriciaHolm Fri 24-May-13 15:50:58

Another zombie thread! How do these things get found??

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