Help with visitation agreement(1 Post)
Looking for some advice please.
My ex and I separated 18months ago and share two children together , 3 and 19months. We separated due to his physical and emotional abuse and although I did call the police on a number of occasions, I never pressed charges against him, despite being advised to do so.
Since we've separated he was having the children every Saturday overnight. Initially I also let him into the house to do bath and bed times twice a week but this was stopped after repeated warnings about his behaviour (I have an acknowledgement in writing that his behaviour was the reason this was stopped). He now just had phone calls twice a week ( which he doesn't always use).
I became aware last year that he had moved 50mins away with his new partner, although when he had the children he still took them to his mothers house (which is local). He refused to provide his new address but knowing the children were mostly at his mums I didn't push it.
In November, on advice of my health visitor, I stopped overnight contact because he was taking them overnight to his partners house and refusing to provide the address. Additionally my eldest came home on a number of occasions saying that Daddy had told them that they were going to live with him, and that next weekend they were not coming back home. This happened on a number of occasions. Lastly my eldest was repeating insults that their dad was telling hem about me, including that I didn't love them and very specific things about my appearance.
I put in an application to the court to get a child arrangements order. I want him to see the children but wanted it legally agreed that I had to have the address but also that if he ever did try to keep them, I could get them brought back. He's happy to say they live with me and had taken an undertaking a bit speaking to the children appropriately but is asking for extra time with the children.
He would like to have them overnight in the week at his new address as well as the Saturday he has now. In principle if he lived locally I would be all up for it. I want him to have good contact with the girls. But I have reservations because he lives so far away. He wants to pick them up at 4:45, drive them 50 mins to his house, and then drive them 50mins in the morning back to where I live to sleep them to nursery. I just think this is a lot of travel, late/early on in the day, for the sake of getting to spend 1 hour with them before bed. He's also massively unreliable and is always at least 20mins/30mins late for all visits and my experience of weekday access with him was even worse. It's also relying on him being able to leave work early because he is actually contracted to work until 5:30. He is not getting his contract changed.
Am I going to be forced to agree with this? Will the judge take where he lives/travel into consideration when deciding whether or not this is ok? I was thinking of asking that if he must have this overnight, that it be at his mums to avoid the travel, is that reasonable?
As I said I want him to have good access, but I also want it to be in the best interests of the girls. I don't want to be unfair to him (despite how vile he is) but it's the girls I'm most worried about.
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