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If your ex lives in a different area do you agree to meet in between for access?

(20 Posts)
whitetigerlily Thu 30-Apr-15 14:30:15

My ex partner lives nearly a 2 hour drive away from me and our 2 children. He decided to make this move, back to his home town, after we split up. He now expects me to drive the children to a meeting place "half way" in between our homes- this is at least one hour's drive away for me- in order for him to pick up the kids for him to have access, ie take them to his house for short periods.

We have had a fairly amicable split and not involved solicitors so far, and I don't want to. I'm just wondering if what he says is true. He says that any meditator would suggest that I must continue to make 2 (sometimes 3 due to traffic etc) hour round trips to drop our children off to him as long as he chooses to live that far away. Is this a normal scenario.? Everyone I know thinks it is unreasonable, but he claims they are just telling me what I want to hear.

It's not the end of the world, it's just tiring and time consuming and I'd really like to know if it's what most folk would agree to under the circumstances. Thanks.

Lonz Thu 30-Apr-15 20:53:01

Not myself, but my sister has to do this. They meet half way. The main reason was because she didn't want him knowing where she lived. But if you don't have that problem then I don't know, maybe HE should drive all the way to see his kids if he's living that far away by choice. You have them. He should make sacrifices for them too. If he can't be bothered then he doesn't see them. Simple.

NAR4 Fri 01-May-15 10:10:28

I would be inclined to agree with Lonz. Personally, the way I see it, is he chose to move that far away, knowing the journey that would be involved to maintain contact with his children, so the burden of making the journey should surely fall on him. If you had moved away or he had had to move with work etc, then it would be different. Maybe for arguments sake you could agree to meet him at some point that was closer to your home, because it will show you are making the gesture of helping him maintain contact with the children.

Debinaround Fri 01-May-15 10:32:35

We live an hour away from my step son and my husband always picks his son up. In fact in 10 years his ex has only dropped DSS off once and that was because she wanted me to babysit and DH was working. (It wasn't his weekend to have him)

However we have never asked her to do any drop offs. It's DH responsibility.

switchitoff Fri 01-May-15 10:33:51

My XH first moved to a different part of the country and then moved overseas. For the first couple of years I was very keen not to rock the boat and would often drive half way to hand the DCs over at a motorway service station. But as time has gone on, and especially since he's been overseas, he does 99% of the travelling. I do sometimes help him out by driving to Heathrow and putting the DCs on a plane. But often he will fly into the country, drive to me, pick up the DCs, drive back to the airport and fly out with the DCs all in the same day.

I suppose any mediator or court would encourage all parents to put the DCs interests first and (in most cases) that means enabling contact with both parents. Does the driving cause you any problems? Financial issues or clashes with other things you need to be doing at the same time, perhaps? If you have an amicable relationship, perhaps you could explain the problem to your XP. Perhaps re-jig things so that perhaps you go all the way sometimes and he does all the driving other times? Would that be better??

Also, I don't know how old your DCs are, but at some point they might be able to manage it themselves on public transport. Mine are teens now so are more independent.

almosthuman Fri 01-May-15 10:54:26

When my DD was younger I would travel by train half way and several times I would take her to his then I would then stay at a relative to bring her back a few days later.

These days as he only see her once a year, he does all the travelling which is roughly 2 hours away.

A mediator would likely suggest meeting him half way.

whitetigerlily Fri 01-May-15 11:50:42

Thanks all for your feedback. I'm afraid lonz that it's not actually that simple for me to not let my children see their father, who they adore, if he won't do exactly as I ask, I wish it was!

My children are only 2 and 4 years old. I am just wondering if I am expected to keep this up for the remainder of their childhood. My ex also has a job which requires him to go and work abroad at the drop of a hat for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, and the dates can change literally day by day. This cannot be changed- it's his only means of making a living. This means that access plans are frequently changed last minute. I am, for various reasons, not working at present, but am hoping to return soon and also my oldest starts school this year and I just dread all the toing and froing when that all happens.

I have been trying to contact solicitors who say they offer free advice but no joy. I just want to know how much access fathers are legally entitled to, or does it simply depend on each individual situation?

Spotifymuse Fri 01-May-15 11:56:35

No he moved nearly two hours away so he does all of the travelling. It's non negotiable for me.

SoHHKB Fri 01-May-15 12:07:30

How would it be if sometimes you took them all the way to him and then he brought them all the way back? Same amount of travelling but less disruptive because only one journey, iyswim?
For the sake of amicability, have a chat with him about it with some positive suggesteions about how you would prefer to manage it. If plans change frequently, you must be in regular contact anyway...
Good luck, and remember they won't always be small. Time passes and situations change flowers

Parsley1234 Fri 01-May-15 12:14:30

I have always done half way two hours away sometimes ex will collect from school and I will pick up from his house. I think it's fair to do that. We are fairly flexible with regards access and as your children get older it gets easier. Next year ds will get the train and back. Only time I've been difficult was when money was not forth coming but now it's easier.

SpottedTent Fri 01-May-15 12:19:50

This is what I do and have been for seven years now! However, I'm the NRP. Neither me nor the ex chose to move away, we simply returned to our home areas. Occasionally we'll do the full journey (approx 1.5 hours). It can be tiring but it's for our daughter so we deal with it. It's harder now that both of us have other children however it's such a part of how we parent I suppose we don't think about it too much.

We get on well which really helps and never had to make arrangements via a third party. There are always lots of calls and texts to sort out collections and drop offs and we happily negotiate.

I'm not sure if this helps you really! I expect to do this until she's old enough to get the train. I imagine I'll be getting second choice to friends in the future but until then I enjoy the time we have just the two of us chatting and catching up in the car.

3xcookedchips Fri 01-May-15 12:34:50

I just want to know how much access fathers are legally entitled to, or does it simply depend on each individual situation

Fathers(and Mothers) aren't entitled to anything legally when it comes to seeing their kids.

The children are entitled and have the right to relationship with both parents.

You're not in court now, things are quite amicable.

Where the meeting point is would be a rather trivial point to seek advice from a solicitor let alone go to to court over.

If you believe the 2 hour round trip for you is too much of an inconvenience, don't do it.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 01-May-15 12:59:14

Ex and I split the journeys to a point he lives on an Island. So half the journeys I drive DD to a ferry point where a fast passenger ferry come in, he picks her up there. The other half of the journeys he brings her all the way here, though often he is working on the mainland in that situation.
The arrangements were part of a bigger discussion when a series of events lead to him getting reduced contact and moving away that I had with my solicitor. My solicitor suggested that it was not unreasonable for us each to do half the travelling as we both had a responsibility to allow our child to have a relationship with both parents.

whitetigerlily Fri 01-May-15 14:07:02

Thanks again all of you for your feedback.

3xcookedchips I wanted to ask a lawyer because my ex seems to think that at some point I am going to restrict his access to the kids if I ever bring this subject up, and even alludes to child support payments if this is ever mentioned, which I think is wrong. I think it's quite clear that I don't want to prevent my kids from seeing him in any way from how I have responded to suggestions on here that I should. I give him as much access as he wants, whenever it is convenient to him and go out of my way to make this possible. I have absolutely no thought or intention of going to court over where the meeting point is, so I'm sorry if you have got that impression. I am well aware that children have a right to relationships with both parents and have no desire whatsoever to prevent that, never have done,and I'm not sure why you felt the need to say that to me.

I'm sure you didn't mean to sound aggressive at all, but I'm quite anxious at the moment about a lot of things and I find mumsnet a bit intimidating sometimes so I'll just end the discussion here, just in case anyone else gets the wrong impression about what I'm saying or trying to do.

Thanks again to all of you for your feedback.

NoToast Sat 02-May-15 15:45:46

My exDP lives about 3.5 hours away and picks DD up and drops her back when it's his turn to have her. I would definitely not do the half way thing. My reasons are that I work full-time and he doesn't work, I receive no maintenance and I'm too tired (diabetic) to do a 3 hour round trip for mid-way drop offs on top of work and looking after DD.

NoToast Sat 02-May-15 15:47:44

Sorry, hadn't RTFT, see you have closed it. Hope it has helped you and you feel better soon. I had and still have anxious days over shared parenting so you have my sympathy.

madamtremain Sun 03-May-15 14:27:38

We've always shared driving, I think it sends a positive message that both parents value the contact.

AKP79 Wed 06-May-15 10:10:40

I wasn't happy about meeting halfway (XP lives 2.5 hours away), mainly due to the fact that I work full time and my XP doesn't contribute enough maintenance to cover my petrol costs for the biweekly journeys and I struggle to afford it. However, the court ruled that we need to share the journey and meet halfway. Regardless of whether it is or isn't fair I think you might need to accept that meeting halfway might be inevitable.

skyeskyeskye Wed 06-May-15 11:59:51

XH moved 2.5 hours away last year. He then reduced contact to every three weeks from EOW, claiming that he can't afford it. Prior to that he had demanded that I drive to meet him.

I told him that it was his choice to move away, he did not discuss it with me until after he had moved. I will not allow his lifestyle choices to impact financially on me.

He claims that I am being very unreasonable and that everybody else he knows in the same situation, share the driving. (he knows very few people). Every single one of my friends and family have said that he chose to move away, so it is up to him to do all of the driving.

He is often late and I am not prepared to spend hours waiting in a motorway service area, when I could be at home doing something useful. It would be a 3 hour round trip for me and I am not doing it just because he moved away.

madamtremain Wed 06-May-15 22:55:05

Courts agree it because it is in the kids best interest.

As irritating as it is.

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