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Meeting dad half way for contact

(24 Posts)
Japonica569 Thu 30-Oct-14 16:04:54

So after years of trying to get the dad to commit to regular contact, he is atm travelling down from London to cardiff to see them, initially it was for a couple of hours, now it's going to be overnight in a hotel in cardiff, and in two months he wants the children, aged 2 1/2 and 5 to travel to London on a Saturday and home again on the Sunday! Initially I have agreed to this although I think it is a lot of travelling for such a short stay over. He left our family initially when we were living in farnborough, where I knew nobody and he was moving into London to live, therefore I moved back to my home town in Caerphilly for family and friend support, therefore I am brining his children up single handedly with no assistance (except money) from him, I get no time off, no break, I spend my whole time looking after and running around after the children whilst he lives a bachelor style life, fine, actually I have no issue with that at all, except now on his 1 weekend In 4 he wants me to travel half way to meet him on both the Saturday and the Sunday to drop off and pick up the children! When I refused he started threats of going to court and reducing maintenance money! I realise it may seem reasonably to request a half way meet but that does mean he gets 3free weekends every month to do as he pleases whilst I look after the children, and on my weekend off, I can't plan to go anything or go anywhere as I'm travelling half way to London to take his children to him! So my issue is two fold, firstly the children having to travel such a distance for such a short visit, plus my time element, he wants everything his own way! Oh and btw I've asked him to see the children every other week but he only wants every 3 weeks! Any advice out there please?

Minibirdyay Thu 30-Oct-14 22:15:40

Others might say different, but I have been in similar position with DC doing a four hour trip to stay with father - however this was only in school hols because of long distance and he was the one who moved. He tried to get me to do half the drive and I refused. My ex pays no maintenance, but tried emotional blackmail (telling kids they couldn't see him and making them cry etc) but I stood my ground. I suggested he use the train - quicker, cheaper and more chance to interact with DC, and this is what he did in the end. I would feel the same about regular long journeys, with your DC so young, but once a month prob ok. If your ex reduces maintenance take him to court

HowardTJMoon Thu 30-Oct-14 22:26:37

As you were the one who decided to move away from the London area then I'd suggest you do have some responsibility to help with travel.

Floundering Thu 30-Oct-14 22:31:49

Tell him maintenance & contact are 2 separate issues.

Contact is for the benefit of the child, NOT the NRP. He should bloody well make the effort to travel on HIS time not drag them half way across the country (& more to the point expect you to) to suit him.

He's being a bully. Stick to your guns, he'll change his mind once he see a solicitor & finds out how much it costs. You are not stopping him seeing the children just asking for reasonable consideration of their needs on contact days.

PoundingTheStreets Thu 30-Oct-14 22:39:03

after years of trying to get the dad to commit to regular contact

Why are you chasing after him so much? I wouldn't bother personally. Consider the fact that the more you cover up your X's shortcomings, the higher the pedestal will be that your DC place him on. Eventually, you won't be able to cover all contingencies and he will fall off that pedestal with far greater fallout than would have been the case had your DC grown up with realistic expectations of what their father is really like. 9x out of 10 when it happens it usually does so in a situation where the child is badly let down by the half-hearted parent who has, as usual, assumed that the other parent will somehow make it all ok.

babyjoules Fri 31-Oct-14 00:32:09

Maintenance and contact are separate. However, he can legitimately apply for a discount off his maintenance liability (via CSA or CMS) if he has costs for travelling for contact.

Contact is for the kids benefit not for you to have a weekend off. Harsh I know but it's true.

I too think you should do have the travelling given that it was you that moved away.

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 09:41:55

Could he not so Fri-Sun so there would be a long rest period for the kids. That some journey to do over 2 days for them

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 09:51:14

Do, longer...

Minibirdyay Fri 31-Oct-14 12:50:25

I had a fair share of people suggesting I do half the travel. I've learned to let my guiding question be "do the children benefit from the arrangement?"

Moving home for family support is good for you and your children.

Contact with father is for children's benefit (not for you to have a rest as much as you might need one).

However you doing half the journey provides no benefit for your DC at all as they do exactly the same trip regardless who drives. Only Exp benefits from that arrangement, so stand your ground and let him put the effort in, it's the least he can do and if he wants to be a part of their lives he will do it.

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 14:46:06

Sorry mini but I do think that's an extremely selfish attitude. She moved to be closer to family to benefit her and the children but it was knowing full well the distance that would create between the children and their father. There should be some come and go here.

Minibirdyay Fri 31-Oct-14 14:49:27

I guess my circumstances are different in that my ex moved away from the children and contributes nothing.

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 14:54:20

That makes it hugely different IMO. In this case if that's the attitude taken by the OP who is to say that the ex wouldn't do the same once the children are at his. "It's no benefit to the children from me to drive them back to their Mum, she can come and collect them".

In this situation I think the OP needs to take some responsibility in the transport of the children. Half way sounds reasonable to me. If the OP isn't keen on the distance that should really have been considered prior to moving. However one night ever 3 weeks is bollocks, he does sound like a twat, not going to lie.

Hueycool Fri 31-Oct-14 15:01:45

My ex wanted me to do drop offs and pick ups and he lives a ten minute drive away. No lying! He only spends a few hours a month with his child. His solicitor made a big deal of it too. He still tries to get me to drop off and pick up and won't have ds on occasion if I don't. Even on special occasions like Xmas. It cuts into his free time see. He's a gem smile

WishiwasHenry Fri 31-Oct-14 15:02:23

Why has the OP moved back for family and friends support and ended up doing it all on her own and getting no break?

Doesn't seem much point moving back.

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 15:06:46

Got to admit I wondered the same wishiwas...

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 15:07:28

Huey he sounds like a keeper, whatever possessed you to ditch him? wink

Minibirdyay Fri 31-Oct-14 15:10:45

Hit post too soon. Everyone's circumstances are different. One could just as well argue it's selfish of OP's ex to insist that she shares the travel and to threaten to cut maintenance for his children if she does not cooperate. Albagubrath I agree with your idea for longer visits but would understand if OP found that hard with young age of DC.

Minibirdyay Fri 31-Oct-14 15:12:38

Fair point about the family support..

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 15:12:52

I don't agree. I don't think that it's selfish to ask the parent who moved away to do 50% of the travel. If it was a man that moved there would be plenty saying that he should do it all. Just my opinion though.

Minibirdyay Fri 31-Oct-14 15:15:39

Huey you sound happier without your ex. I bet you look forward to Xmas more even with the pickups and drop offsgrin

Newbednocurtains Fri 31-Oct-14 15:20:48

Alba. thanks I think we might have to agree to differ on that one and let OP decide for herself. If OP was a man I'd be giving the same advice.

Floundering Fri 31-Oct-14 20:34:18

Errr was it not the Ex who decided to leave & then move away initially?

So OP had no choice but to move back where there was family back up.

He CHOSE to move away, she HAD to move !

AlbaGuBrath Fri 31-Oct-14 20:56:42

They both moved. He's suggesting 50/50 seems fair to me. The timescale on the other hand doesn't.

PoundingTheStreets Sat 01-Nov-14 09:49:49

Issues surrounding separation and contact are not about what's fair for the parents. That's very much secondary to what's in the best interests of the child. In some cases that can mean a situation that's actually quite unfair to one (or even both) parents.

Having a well-supported primary caregiver is vital to the wellbeing of the child. Study after study shows the direct relationship between the wellbeing of the primary caregiver and the outcome of their child(ren). When a couple split up, it is often the best course of action for the primary caregiver to relocate back to family/support network unless the non-resident parent is so involved as to make that unnecessary. In this case, I'd say mum moving away from London (where costs are higher and we all know how poverty has such an effect on child outcomes) was a no-brainer. Besides which, as the OP clearly states in her opening post, it was the father who left the family home and relocated first.

Mum is parent with care. Subsidising the travel costs of a non-resident parent who doesn't actually want to see his child more than 1 weekend in 4 (says a lot) means less money in the pot for the child. If dad really loves his child, he'll suck this up.

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