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If you're a long distance from your ex what do you do about contact?

(14 Posts)
DevonFolk Sat 10-Jan-15 13:02:37

Ex decided to move four hours away from where I live with 4yo DD. Because she's still settling into school I've said I don't think it's a good idea for her to go and stay with him at weekends because of all the driving, so if he wants to see her for a weekend he comes to us and stays locally. Obviously school holidays are different and she can spend longer with him if that suits everyone.

What do you do? Am I wrong in saying 'no' to term time weekends at his? It just seems such a long way to go for less than 24 hours only to be exhausted for the beginning of the week at school.

STIDW Sat 10-Jan-15 15:09:32

More time the holidays and half terms is the obvious solution, although that might be difficult if your ex doesn't get long holidays. In one case the children spent all the term time with one parent and all the holidays bar two weeks with the other. When our children were teenagers they used to fly down every other weekend (we both live 15 mins from airports) but that was after 9/11 when flights were cheap.

AKP79 Sat 10-Jan-15 15:40:28

We've got a 3 hour drive between houses and it was ruled at court that we meet halfway every other weekend. Our son is 3 and he stays there Friday night until sun afternoon. If your ex is happy with your suggestion and you can keep thinks amicable and focused on the child then do. I had the same fears as you which are being realised by the exhaustion and separation anxiety my son's experiencing. The most successful visit was when he stay for 3 nights during Christmas.

Good luck

MikeTheShite Sat 10-Jan-15 16:01:55

We are three hours apart, court order I drop her off and he brings her back EOW
I won't lie it's a pain but I know it's all for dd

MikeTheShite Sat 10-Jan-15 19:07:55

Oh I forgot to add DD is 2 and goes for less than 24 hours.

DevonFolk Sat 10-Jan-15 19:13:53

Thank you.

I never wanted to go down the court route but more and more it looks like I'm going to have to. He's fucked me about this weekend by first saying he'll be down here for both days, then changing it to Saturday and Sunday morning, then 2 hours ago saying he'll just come here and play with her tomorrow morning for an hour rather than taking her out. I plan things for these rare occasions I can be at home without her and I feel so much bloody resentment towards him for the control he still has sad

I know it's awful but I want him to be the one putting the effort in because he was the one who decided to move away from her. I don't want it to be at her expense. I know it would finish her off doing all that travelling. I dread to think what a court would say. Would a solicitor be able to advise me on the most likely ruling?

MistAndAWeepingRain Sat 10-Jan-15 19:19:53

Ex lives 2 hours away. Sees the DCs EOW. We do drop offs at a location halfway between our homes meaning we both drive an hour to get there. The drive is a pain but DCs are used to it now and I want them to have a relationship with their dad so it's worth the hassle.

DevonFolk Sat 10-Jan-15 19:30:18

I know she needs to build a good relationship with him and I do want to encourage it, I'm just so cross that it will end up being at her expense until she's old enough to cope better with the travelling sad

MikeTheShite Sat 10-Jan-15 22:10:37

Devon- I really do empathise with how you feel, I have exactly the same feeling.
It's so awkward I know. I took my Exp to court for it; he's still awkward now:
If you would like to read about it I've got a thread in lone parents about it smile

PinkFlamingoAteMyLipstick Sat 10-Jan-15 23:15:35

OP I'm with you; 4 hrs there and 4hrs back EOW is just not easy for kids. I dont understand how courts will split the travel for parents and condemn kids to life in the back of a car. My DC are older than yours and I would still not allow it, luckily my exp thought the same. He saw them in school hols only but called regularly and - occasionally - he did the 8 hour round trip to take them for tea after school or see them at weekends. He now lives closer. Contact is important for a child ... but IMO so is quality of life.

AKP79 Sat 10-Jan-15 23:17:53

Hi - just wanted to say I totally sympathise with everything you've said too. It is definitely worth seeing a solicitor for advice, but they won't be able to guarantee an outcome. Please however make sure you see one who comes very highly recommended and is a specialist, be wary of those who just state family law as an area they cover. I was catastrophically let down by my solicitor in court and my ex didn't employ one until the day before when he enlisted a specialist barrister who was amazing and ran rings around my solicitor (and me). I have since seen a specialist who was gob smacked by the outcome in court for my specific situation. So please please do your research and if it goes to court try to find a solicitor who is able to push for your case being seen by a judge and not in front of magistrates - another massive downfall in my case.

DevonFolk Sun 11-Jan-15 07:19:20

Thank you again. I sent him a text about it all last night but (true to form) he didn't reply. I'll have to see if we can try to touch on it when he comes over this morning. Trouble is he's started being a bit nasty again recently and accusing me of making it all about me and not DD, so naturally I wouldn't want that kind of conversation with her in ear shot.

He's incredibly unresponsive to communication about contact which is why we still haven't sorted out anything regular. To be honest I don't think he'd go for EOW so we'll just have to see.

Thanks again.

DevonFolk Sun 11-Jan-15 13:53:28

Just one last question: am I right in thinking the courts can enforce the arrangements? Ex has responded with a string of abusive texts including "a court cannot enforce that kind of thing, so get your facts right before threatening" (no threats were made. I was saying I wanted to avoid court so we could maintain a level of flexibility)

MikeTheShite Sun 11-Jan-15 16:35:27

I'll be honest whilst court has made arrangements for me more regimented and less adhoc: ie stop him just deciding to see her after 10 weeks and wanting to take a ebf baby.
It's not been without it's problems, he still continues to bend the arrangement and try to intimidate me.
One thing we didn't get in court was birthdays and Christmas which I really wish we had.
He pushes my buttons and limits still, he doesn't Skype dd inbetween visits to him as suggested in court so we've just been through a month of no contact and I've had to send DD despite concerns because if I didn't i would have been in breach of the order.

It's a total bummer, I thought court would make him buck up and realise his responsibility. It hasn't.

In an emergency when I was in hospital seriously ill he refused to have dd as it said nothing about it in the court order and therefore it wasn't his responsibility.angry

Keep all your texts, evidence for court.

Please don't think court is necessarily provide security and make him understand.
Sadly with dds dad it's all about him still not dd.


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