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Help me compromise with contact

(11 Posts)
WillowHouse Tue 18-Nov-14 22:03:05

(Not sure if this is the right bit)
I have two dds and my ex has always lived a 15 min drive away, 30 mins by bus. The girls are 6 and 4 but he has only wanted regular contact in the past year and currently sees them one evening a week after school. Im ill and ex doesn't drive so my partner has been collecting the girls after contact.

Ex without warning has moved and is now a good hour on public transport (bus, train, bus), 40 mins in the car. Plus is he now has a spare bedroom. Agreed new plan was alternate weekends starting with Saturday and by February (at exs request he wants time to 'adjust') alternate Friday - Sunday.

However ex now wants to continue weekly after school as well. They need to be home at 6.30 to get sorted and into bed as we leave early in the morn. So he would pick them up at 3.30, at a push get to his house at 4.30 and allowing for traffic my partner would have to collect at 5.45 at the latest. And dp would have to leave work early. So almost two hours travelling for an hour in exs house.

I think this is unreasonable, he moved not me. He thinks i'm stopping him from seeing his kids. Can anyone see a compromise i've missed?

riverboat1 Tue 18-Nov-14 22:56:38

Could you suggest he comes and takes them out for dinner in the local area? I don't think it's fair for you/your partner to be expected to arrange leaving work early and do all the extra travel! I'm all for compromises for the sake of keeping the peace and facilitating things for the children, but that really does seem a step too far.

slkk Tue 18-Nov-14 23:52:25

How about he sees them on the Friday when it is not his weekend. This way they could perhaps stay up a bit later so there is not such a rush to get back. It will mean that he won't have such a long gap between contact and he might not miss the midweek so much. Alternatively could they stay over midweek and he is responsible for getting them to school?

wheresthelight Wed 19-Nov-14 08:52:06

make him bring them back rather than your dp having to drive over. a court will take the view that he moved away and it is his responsibility to maintain contact and do the travelling for that.

JorgiePorgie Wed 19-Nov-14 10:23:27

make him bring them back rather than your dp having to drive over. a court will take the view that he moved away and it is his responsibility to maintain contact and do the travelling for that.

Where is correct. Generally the onus is on the parent who's moved the distance to arrange pick ups because of the distance.

Failing that, from now on I'd suggest a half way point so that the journey is shared and not one sided.

Calico1706 Wed 19-Nov-14 12:10:39

I do not think you are being unreasonable at all. Your DP can not be responsible for getting the kids to their father for contact.

I would suggest that you say he can see them midweek but he has to pick them up, maybe from school and go for a hot chocolate or something, and bring them back by 6.30.

Also say that he can have them for two nights at the weekend as soon as he feels ready, then you are showing that you are not trying to stop him, but not going out of your way to accommodate him either.

purpleroses Wed 19-Nov-14 12:12:19

I think regardless of who transports the kids, it's a lot of travelling for them to and fro on a school night. Especially if it involves public transport.

I'd suggest one of the things that's been suggested above - he takes them out somewhere local to school instead, or has them on a Friday night on the alternate week instead. Or could he give them a mid-week phone call or skype chat if they like that sort of thing?

As they get older they may start wanting to do clubs and things after school, and having an hour's travelling to their dad's will get even more difficult to fit in midweek.

HesNotAMessiah Wed 19-Nov-14 13:40:12

Tricky, I was going to suggest they just stay at his that one night in the week but at that age it could be quite disruptive. Although I have friends who have a similar arrangement and it seems to work.

And it assumes he can get them to school/nursery/childcare in the morning. But that's really his problem.

Friday night sleepovers are a compromise, but then you have your Saturday morning entirely dependent on when you can pick the kids up, and your weekend disrupted.

As many have said, the distance and him not driving are his issues to resolve. Taking the kids out to tea sounds like a reasonable offer until he can make better arramgements.

WillowHouse Thu 20-Nov-14 07:26:57

Thanks. He could not get them to school in the morning as he works as a youth worker so runs breakfast and after school clubs and holiday clubs. I like the idea of him doing something local - we live 5 mins from a big shopping centre and there is a bus direct from school there. We're meeting in December to sort out contact arrangements for 2015 so i'll suggest it as a compromise.

FaithLoveandGrace Thu 20-Nov-14 11:51:18

willow I'd definitely say do something local. We live too far away from DSS to bring him back here in midweek and we certainly wouldn't expect mum to bring him here - it's not her responsibility! Doing something local means kids get to see their dad but without the hassle of travelling.

Does your DP do all the driving at weekends too?!

WillowHouse Thu 20-Nov-14 14:51:26

yes dp collects on saturdays - its daft i know but ex is always late and the girls then get upset so it is just easier to just pick them up. I do get slightly resentful of this but want contact to be positive. Christmas this year ex is having the girls on christmas day (the first time ever) and we've had to arrange seeing dps family around dropping off and collecting the girls which MIL is furious about as shes had to change plans. She thinks dp and i are idiots for accomidating him and shes probably right but dp would rather do it that have ex blaming not seeing the girls on us.

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