This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Long Distance Visits(4 Posts)
New here and looking for advice on long distance visits.
A relatively quick background: I live with my boyfriend in New York. We've lived together for over a year. I met him while he was divorcing his exwife. They have a 7 year old daughter. Upon the divorce being finalized, ex moved with daughter across country without notice. Her reason for the move was, according to her, the need to be in a less expensive state. She does not work and says she doesn't plan on working. Both my boyfriend and I have full-time jobs that we need to be in NY for. I'm 29, do not have children and have never been married (he's 31, his ex wife is in her early 40's). I'm completely new to this and feel somewhat lost.
I met his daughter twice, fairly briefly before they moved (we waited until we had been dating over six months and in a serious relationship). Any other times that we had plans after that, ex made excuses to cancel (ie, around the holidays boyfriend and I bought tickets to holiday show in the city that ex agreed daughter could come to, then changed her mind the weekend of with a vague/fictiona excuse and canceled a dinner that was scheduled to celebrate Thanksgiving- ex had bought plane tickets to go elsewhere for actual holiday so he was already not spending the holiday with daugther. (As an aside- the custody agreement is poorly/vaguely written).
At this point, boyfriend tries to fly across country once every couple of months (close to a 6 hour flight, and a 3 hour time difference). Ex changed her mind and would not let daughter visit NY this summer. Ex has also made it clear that she did not want me flying out with him. Boyfriend has respected that. Now, boyfriend has asked me to come with him next time he flies out (and presumably occasionally after). I do not know what to do where: (1) his ex wife has made it clear that she does not want me there, (2) he already has extremely limited time with his daughter and I don't want to intrude on that, and (3) while I don't want to intrude on his time, I also feel like she should have some opportunity to know me, especially as I plan on continuing to be with/ marrying her father. So, any advice?
Have you thought about getting the custody agreement rewritten so it's clear and Mum can't obstruct contact?
1) I don’t know how contact works in the US but his is evidently not working. He needs to get back to court and get something solid that means his ex cannot circumvent contact.
2) I thought it was against the law for a parent to unilaterally move children away a substantial distance without consent? How has this happened?
3) no I wouldn’t travel with him. As you quite rightly point out, given how little he sees his daughter, IMO this should be 1 on 1 contact with all his attention on her. I also think if you go, you give his ex additional reasons to not allow contact to progress. Let him go, stay put and have cocktail nights with your GF’s.
You have years to build a relationship with her. He should start by focusing on his relationship with her first however and see how that goes. At 7 she won’t want to be sharing daddy with you and if his ex isn’t supportive of your role then she is more likely to feel conflicted. It’s a complication the child does not need IMO