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Living in different cities...

(11 Posts)
vanniebee Mon 20-Jul-09 13:44:15

Hi All,
I hope someone can help/might be in a similar situation to me...

My ex and I split 7 years ago, DD is 8 and up until Feb this year, we all lived in London, then DD and I moved to Bristol. Obviously Dad wasn't happy but we had no choice but to move from our 1 bedroomed flat.

We have always discussed things openly and (reasonably) calmly and before we moved, ex was having DD every other weekend and would visit 1 night per week (when he would get cooked dinner etc).

Since we moved, we have been trying to maintain the every other weekend visits but it is proving increasingly difficult and expensive! I travel to London approx once a month to visit my boyfriend who lives there so have taken DD to her dad's doorstep...however, things are a bit shaky with boyf and I can see that I might not be doing that for much longer.

Both Ex and I are saying we can't afford to keep paying train fares and are looking for different ways to work this. I've suggested that I take her to London on friday night and he returns her to Bristol on Sunday but he seems to think this is completely unreasonable, will cost £50+ and be a 6 hour round trip. My view is that at least we would only have to do it once in a weekend rather than twice when we meet halfway.

My query is really to sound out other parents who are in a similar situation and ask how they cope with it. Why is it MY responsibility to take her to him? Surely he should be shouldering some of that burden? At the mo, it's me taking her to him or us meeting halfway - all a bit one sided, mainly due to my guilt for moving away and also cos I always try to make it as smooth as possible.

I suppose I'm within my rights to say that she now lives here and he should be making the effort/bearing the cost if he wants to see her but I fear the repercussions if I say that!

How do you work it out when you live 200 miles away?

Thanks so much in advance

GypsyMoth Mon 20-Jul-09 14:00:24

does he pay csa? if so he can get a mileage reduction,or something! look at their website or call them

meet halfway?i suspect a return ticket would be cheaper than a single.

if he went to court then yes,it may rule he has to,but courts like to see co operation on both parts. as you moved tho,and he didnt file an objection with the courts,i doubt he could use the 'she moved away'angle

my ex is 260 miles away,he has to travel for court at the moment,then contact if he gets any

maybe school holidays would suit better?

vanniebee Mon 20-Jul-09 14:48:12

thanks ilovetiffany.

He pays voluntary maintenance regularly, only once did he reduce it saying as he had to pay more to see her it wasn't fair he should have to cover that cost. Don't really want to get CSA involved as they seem so rubbish! He already pays less than what they say he should but I'm happy with what he pays - just can't afford all the train fares to take her to him.

You're right, return is cheaper than single even though it's only half the distance.

It's very difficult to balance our needs in settling in to a new city, finding friends etc with wanting to make sure she still spends plenty of time with him.

Neither DD or Ex want to reduce the amount of time she spends with him (at the moment anyway) but holidays would make more sense. He will argue that he doesn't have enough annual leave to have her over holidays though and also would mean that she would see him less regularly...

I don't want to say 'you know where she is if you want to come and see her' but it's very very tempting....

notevenamousie Mon 20-Jul-09 15:13:21

I have been living away for the past 18 months and have either taken dd to see her father or funded all the costs of him coming to her. It was my choice to move away - not much of a choice, as it was the only job I could get and it got us out of a very negative situation- but my choice. I am now moving back, and my ex is planning on moving away. I expect - but probably will not get - the same in return.

vanniebee Mon 20-Jul-09 15:37:08

wow noteven, that's very admirable. I wonder how many others out there are shouldering all costs as it was their 'choice' to move away?

It was the same for me, a better life, closer to family - we'd even agreed before we split that we didn't want her brought up in London...

notevenamousie Mon 20-Jul-09 15:38:32

Well, I thought it was what the courts would make you do if it came to it. I now am not sure whether this is true. It seemed fair to me, though it seems I will not now get fair in return.

vanniebee Mon 20-Jul-09 15:52:27

I think you are being more than fair. Surely they are both your kids, you should share the cost? (Hmmm...maybe I've answered my own question there!)

I think it's completely unrealistic to expect 2 separated parents to live in the same town (or within commutable distance) until the child's an adult. That's just crazy!

Mousey84 Mon 20-Jul-09 16:02:35

I live a fair bit further - we need a plane or boat to see dds dad.

If the issue really is just money, check out If you book trains far enough in advance you can get 2 tickets for as cheap as £2 each way plus 50p booking fee.

notevenamousie Mon 20-Jul-09 17:48:13

Mousey - our journey has been plane or boat too. How are you managing it? - frequency, costs etc? - if you don't mind me asking?

twopeople Mon 20-Jul-09 17:59:26

Message withdrawn

Mousey84 Fri 24-Jul-09 08:44:44

Sorry - just came back to this.

notevenamousie - he only met her for the first time a few days before her 4th birthday. Between then and dd starting school, we flew over every 6 weeks for 2-4 days (i worked 3 days a week). I paid for it all, though he visited us a few times. Now dd is at school and I work f/t (childminder) it just isnt possible to go as often, time-wise. We manage twice a year for a week each time. He is too busy spending the money on him and his NW (and her daughter) to visit more often than every 3-4 months. DD doesnt care though - hes never been a particularly important figure in her life.

Should note that he moved away, not me. I had suggested a few years ago, that we both contribute an equal amount each month to a fund that we will both use to pay for visits. However, since it costs me more than it costs him, he declined.

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