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XH requesting that I do part of the travelling to contact

(13 Posts)
skyeskyeskye Sun 19-Jul-15 20:05:30

I need advice on this point, although haven't had much luck yet sad

XH has requested via his solicitor that I meet him at a motorway service area. This would be 180 mile round trip for me, 124 mile round trip for him, 4 hours for me, 2 for him. His solicitor deems this to be half way.

I am responding to the solicitor myself as I can't afford to pay a solicitor.

I am saying that XH chose to move 3 hours away and that therefore it is up to him to collect his daughter for contact. He has reduced contact from 2 to 3 weeks, thereby reducing his travelling costs. He has cut maintenance from £50 to £27.

I often work on weekends when DD is with him and I can therefore not afford the time or money to help him with his contact visits.

I also have a phobia of driving on motorways, dual carriageways and cities.

I have requested mediation, but my fear is that he will refuse and want to go to court and then a judge will order me to make the journey, which would quite frankly terrify me, as I get panic attacks, and would literally be unable to do it.

Would it be better to just say nothing and say, we will discuss this in mediation?

Bellemere Sun 19-Jul-15 21:33:36

He can't bypass mediation if he wants to go to court. I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules but anecdotally I would say that the person who moved away is made to do the travelling.
Clearly the proposal is not half way. Are you willing to do any of the journey? If so, how much? Try and ignore his unreasonable and think about what you think is reasonable and propose that instead.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 19-Jul-15 21:53:02

I've posted on your other thread and I intend to add this response to it too.

There's no point in tying yourself in knots about what a judge may order when the matter is not due to go before a court and, from what you've said about his finances, it's unlikely your ex has the werewithal to fund any such action.

At this early stage the more you give away the more time your ex has to come up with arguments to refute your assertions and make you appear to be unreasonable.

It therefore goes without saying that you are best advised to be extremely circumspect in what you write to your ex's solicitor and, in particular, about matters which should be addressed in mediation.

Keep your cards close to your chest and don't show your hand until you are required by a court of law to do so at which time you should instruct a solicitor to represent you.

Wolpertinger Sun 19-Jul-15 21:56:00

Bear in mind his solicitor can't do anything more than ask you - he's a solicitor not a judge and you aren't answerable to him.

Obviously he is going to ask for what your ex wants and is no doubt hoping you will be so intimidated by getting a solicitor's letter, you will just do as he says.

He doesn't have any right to make you do anything so just say no, see you in mediation.

Rosieliveson Sun 19-Jul-15 22:12:18

Wolpertinger makes a great point.
It's just a request. Being from a solicitor makes it more official but no more enforceable than a text message.
A reply along the lines of 'due to current work commitments, I am unable to meet the request in your letter of xx/xx/xx. However, as previously agreed, dd will continue to be available for collection from such a point at such a time'

Rosieliveson Sun 19-Jul-15 22:12:34

And good luck

RedDaisyRed Tue 21-Jul-15 17:15:27

Good advice above and in general if in doubt say now't as the saying goes so I would not reply at all and let it be handled at the mediation but perhaps take to the mediation 4 copies of a typed list of 4 short points as to why you cannot do what he asks.

skyeskyeskye Tue 21-Jul-15 17:31:13

I decided not to comment on it in my reply, for fear of looking like I wont compromise and therefore XH won't do mediation.

but I won't be doing it.

ProbablyMe Tue 21-Jul-15 17:59:40

I see this from the other end. My DP has two daughters. When he and his exW split she decided to move 7 hours drive away to the other end of the country. He is expected her to do all the driving (14 hour round trip each time) and is consequently unable to see them as often as he would like. This has been the case for 5 years now. He is due to have them for two weeks and asked if she would drive some of the way down to drop them off - she has refused once again (they have no formal legal agreement regarding this). I think that sharing some of the driving is reasonable I'm afraid.

To be complete, I have 4 DCs with my exH and he does most of the picks ups etc as he lives fairly close by and it suits him to do so - I'd share the travel if asked.

Bellemere Tue 21-Jul-15 18:03:41

I don't think that's a fair comparison, Probably. OP's ex chose to move away, he can't expect her to do the travelling when he made the choice to move so far away from his daughter.

Your DP didn't choose for his ex wife to move away. I would argue that if she's moved so far away, she should be the one facilitating contact.

Obviously great if both parties are happy to meet in the middle but the party that didn't move has no obligation to do so IMO.

RedDaisyRed Tue 21-Jul-15 18:09:18

I know one couple where the wife moved hundreds of miles away and the husband bought a holiday home very near the wife which he used for weekends up there - huge cost and effort for him but it meant in a real sense he retained his children.

grumpydwarf Tue 21-Jul-15 18:15:58

My xh moved away and when he involved solicitors asked that I do half the travelling. I declined and when it went to court he never mentioned it.

In my opinion yes the one who moved away should shoulder the cost and hassle their moves brings about. It's not my fault he choose to move away to live with his girlfriend so why should I pay out in time and petrol?

They are trying their luck so stay strong and say no good luck xx

skyeskyeskye Wed 22-Jul-15 12:01:19

Thanks. I do agree that the party who chooses to move away should foot the cost, whether that be father or mother. My friend was going to move away and was prepared to split travelling as it was her choice.

This is not my choice, it is around a 3 hour journey that he now complains about as it is a 6 hour round trip, but that is not my fault, it was his decision to move, his partner deliberately applied for a job in that area as that is where she wanted to live.

So a definite decision on his part to move away from his daughter.

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