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ExH moves away and expects me to share the lifts when DC visiting him

(34 Posts)
godiva1999 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:30:27

ExH recently moved in with his girlfriend, around 15 miles away. He's now insisting that I either drop off or pick up the DC when they visit him (aged 13 and 10), which is an hour's drive, sometimes more in traffic.

I think this is unreasonable - he's moved away, so he should be prepared to be inconvenienced. He seems them EOW, and every Friday, so a total of 6 nights a month. He pays minimum child support and is generally useless and obstructive in every way possible.

There is a train that runs between our towns that takes 15 minutes and I can meet them at the station. I've suggested he puts them on the train but he insists they're still too young.

Wondered what other people think, am I being unreasonable to insist that he does pick ups AND drop offs? I feel like it's the least he can do considering I do 90% of everything else concerning their welfare and care.

Thanks for your opinions!

OP’s posts: |
Teddybear45 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:33:15

I think you should go to court. He moved. It’s unreasonable for him to expect you to travel.

Redred2429 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:33:32

Does he drive op?

godiva1999 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:36:47

yes, he does. And half the time he picks up it's on his way home from work, and we're on the way...

OP’s posts: |
SummerInTheVillage Thu 18-Jul-19 13:40:11

Just say no. If he wants them he collects them. Don't be bullied.

BiddyPop Thu 18-Jul-19 13:49:06

My 13 YO regularly gets the train (from school to local town), and bus from home to the town as well. Your 13YO could do that with younger DC no problem. Just teach them both what to do (do the journey with them at least once, organize the tickets or an Oyster card or similar that you can keep topped up, and go through the "what to do if..." scenarios with them so they are confident they can manage).

BiddyPop Thu 18-Jul-19 13:50:00

Oh, and reinforce on DCs the need to stay together on train and when in transit - that they come as a pair for that part of the journey even if they do their own thing at home and in XHs home....

LooksBetterWithAFilter Thu 18-Jul-19 13:52:41

While in some respects I fo shred he moved he should travel and my ex does. When step sons mother moved him 6 hour away both solicitor and mediation told exh that if it got to court it would be likely he would be expected to share the burden either physically or financially right down the middle do one journey each.

PrincessScarlett Thu 18-Jul-19 13:54:06

I don't mean to sound rude but why does it take at least an hour to drive 15 miles? Do you mean 50 miles?

Unfortunately I know many people that have to share the driving even though the ex moved away. And it is a lot more than 15 miles away. In my friends case the court wanted my friend to facilitate her DCs relationship with their dad which meant her driving half way and handing over the kids at a petrol station and the same on getting them back. Another friend had to drive her child 2 hours each way because dad couldn't drive.

I do think your kids are old enough to get the train though so maybe your ex is just being difficult.

boredboredboredboredbored Thu 18-Jul-19 13:55:32

Similar happened to me, exh moved 20 miles away. His choice, he collects. Tbf he has never moaned about it but I'd refuse if he did.

ProfessorSlocombe Thu 18-Jul-19 13:59:28

I don't mean to sound rude but why does it take at least an hour to drive 15 miles? Do you mean 50 miles?

Last few times I tried crossing 4 miles of Birmingham at rush hour it took over an hour ....

godiva1999 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:59:33

@PrincessScarlett sorry, should have said, it's an hour's round trip, often with massive traffic jams sunday evenings, etc

OP’s posts: |
Love51 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:01:27

The advice is all about how OP can solve this problem. Just tell him to pick them up from school on Friday, you'll be home for whatever time on Saturday or Sunday they are due back. If they are on the train he can let you know. This really isn't your problem to solve.
Presumably a 15 mile journey takes an hour because OP isn't staying with ex and needs to go home after. 30 miles in rush hour traffic is still quite slow though!

MaybeDoctor Thu 18-Jul-19 14:01:48

Go on the train yourself to collect them?
It would introduce the idea.

AbbyHammond Thu 18-Jul-19 14:03:54

How can he 'insist'? If he wants to see them he needs to come and get them, surely?

godiva1999 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:04:12

Thanks for your replies. Ex-H is unfortunately still very bitter about me leaving him, so he will have no reservations about blowing this up into a massive argument, probably in front of the children which I want to avoid at all costs. He's only digging him heels in because he wants my life to be as difficult as possible.

OP’s posts: |
PrincessScarlett Thu 18-Jul-19 14:04:38

I get it OP, nothing worse than having to endure massive traffic jams.

Definitely try and push the train idea. Lots of kids have to use public transport to get to school.

lifebegins50 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:05:26

How do the DC feel about the train? If ta ok with them then propose to Ex he does a trial, maybe drop back to you and if he feels worried he could take them.

If this went to court ( you would have to try mediation first) then it is likely you would have to compromise/drive especially if you have no health or other reasons not to drive.

Does it rely take an hour?

Consider the distance of him being further away a blessing!

godiva1999 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:09:25

Kids would love to be on the train, they're very independent, and 13 yo already goes on train by himself to his grandparents. I'll keep pushing that idea. He's a very difficult man to deal with, as you can probably tell.

OP’s posts: |
ColaFreezePop Thu 18-Jul-19 14:42:00

Is the youngest just 10, or 10 going on 11? If it is the latter then ask them both if they are happy taking the train.

If they are then simply tell your ex as the children want to take the train it is their best interests to let them start the process of making their own way to and from each of your houses starting with you both dropping them off/collecting them at the station. This is because they both get to be more independent. Also in about 1-2 years time your 13 year old will decide when s/he wants to see their father.

Make it clear to the children they don't have to take the train every single time. So if it's winter so cold, wet and dark or there are train problems either of you should be willing to drop/collect.

RandomMess Thu 18-Jul-19 17:43:31

Just say no, you moved away but I am happy to facilitate that using the train together...

NorthernSpirit Thu 18-Jul-19 19:14:30

This isn’t clear cut.

Contact us for the kids - not him. It’s whats best for the kids.

You left him and disrupted the family so he could argue he’s got this contact because if your actions.

Personally I think he should do the grunt but you should help out.

This could be my OH. He had to move 12 miles away as the EW is still in the FMH and he couldn’t afford to rent in the area. In 7 years she’s refused to do one pick up or drop off. She doesn’t work on the pick up days but still refuses.

To give you an idea of what this means for my OH (who’s works in town and gets the train into work but the kids have to be picked up by car). She was asked once to drop the kids at the station (kids are now 10 & 14 but she refused)....

My OH wakes up at 5:30am on a Friday. He drives an hour to the nearest station to where the kids live. Parks his car there and get the train into central London (takes 40 mins). He works a full day, gets the 40 min train back to his car, drives to the FMH, picks the kids up and drives home (takes on average an hour).

She’s been asked if she can drop the kids at the station to help out but she point blank refuses.

He’s also asked if the kids can get the train into town to meet him at a station in town (1 direct train that would 19 mins). She refuses. Says the kids are too young to get the train.

It would be nice every now and again if she could help out. IMO.....

RandomMess Thu 18-Jul-19 20:06:16

OP let me guess you already do the majority of the grunt work and it's nowhere near 50:50 care???

godiva1999 Fri 19-Jul-19 06:38:26

@NorthernSpirit, it's useful to have a perspective on this from the other side, and your OH's EW does sound uncooperative. I would be happy to help out on the odd occasion, but it's the 50/50 split he is rather belligerently trying to enforce. Like your OH, I think the train is a good compromise, but my ex won't consider that.

As @RandomMess rightly points out, yes, it's me who does 80% of everything else on top of managing a full time job, so I don't feel like he's too hard-done-by - as soon as he's dropped off the kids he can go back to his child-free care-free living.

OP’s posts: |
GaraMedouar Fri 19-Jul-19 06:45:38

I think you should insist on the train. Just say they’re arriving on the 6pm train at your station or they’re not coming. If he wants to drive them home up to him. My DS now goes by train (he’s 15) - it’s a 2 hour journey with 2 changes. 15min direct is fine for 13 and 10 year old together. I drove my kids nearly 2 hours each way EOW for 9 years, it was knackering.

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