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Increasing contact when living 45 mins away from selfish ex?

(27 Posts)
PoesyCherish Fri 07-Sep-18 15:49:36

When I first got with DP, him and his ex lived about 15 mins away from each other. He saw his DD three nights a week and every Saturday (but was never allowed overnights). Last year he finally got her to agree to overnights but she would only agree to every other weekend if he stopped the midweek contact. So now he sees his DD 4 nights a month, which sucks for his DD and for him.

About 3 years ago his ex decided to move closer to family which meant DP and ex lived 30 mins away from each other. Due to ex not allowing any other contact other than every other weekend Friday after work to Sunday evening, we decided to move slightly further away when we bought a house as it was much cheaper moving that extra 15 mins away.

So two separate issues here. How do you increase contact when you live 45 mins away in a way that is best for 6 year old DSD? How do you get a manipulative selfish ex to agree to more contact?

They've tried mediation in the past, she agreed to things and then went back on it within 2 months. DP suspects even if he went down the court route she may say, yes sure but then a few months down the line will go back on it again.

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ellaV Fri 07-Sep-18 15:54:58

What are her reasons/excuses for just the EOW contact?
Is it because by the time he would get her after work, she'd be nearing bedtime routine? If so, could he commit to picking her up from school every Wednesday for instance and taking her to school the next day? Or just having her for the evening, but starting earlier?

What does Dad and Mum think are best for their 6 yr old? I'm not sure without knowing the child and her routine and nature, we can help?

ellaV Fri 07-Sep-18 15:57:48

Is she paranoid he will lower maintenance money if he's seeing the little girl more? In which case, can he assure her he won't?

PoesyCherish Fri 07-Sep-18 16:42:08

She has said it's because DSD gets tired (weeknight visits) and from a Sunday evening perspective she sees her grandma.

Current routine with us in terms of bedtime is she goes to bed between 7&8. Apparently she has the same routine at her mum's but then on a Sunday DP has to drop her off at 6 and then they go and see her grandma until 8/9 pm

I think a bedtime at 7/8 leaves more than enough time for DP and DSD to spend time together.

Currently though his ex won't agree to picking up from school, dropping off at school the next day or dropping back to hers ready for bedtime routine.

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PoesyCherish Fri 07-Sep-18 16:44:51

Meant to say in terms of what his ex and DP thinks is best.

DP would love to see his DD more but doesn't know what is best, hence me asking here. His ex thinks her relationship with everyone else is more important than with her father.

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totallyliterally Fri 07-Sep-18 16:50:09

Is he willing to go to court for a legal arrangement.

It isn't up to the mother to make the rules. Yes it's better of both agree. But if that's not happening then I'd see a solicitor, we'll actually first I'd email the ex and say you want more access and suggest mediation and say you will be seeing a solicitor to organise how to proceed.

Don't threaten anything. Keep email brief and to the point.

She may lose her shit and threatens no contact. Etc. More fool her.

totallyliterally Fri 07-Sep-18 16:51:13

To add, the 45 min is irrelevant. He should be able to collect from
School and have an over night mid week and drop to school.

PoesyCherish Fri 07-Sep-18 17:06:39

Is he willing to go to court for a legal arrangement.

I really don't think he is. His reasoning is that even a court order can't force her to stick to it.

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NorthernSpirit Fri 07-Sep-18 18:18:46

Hi to court.

If she doesn’t stick to the court order (she breaches) she can be given a fine, community service or imprisoined (the latter 2 are rare). However judges do not like it when their orders are broken.

When my OH’s EW last breached the judge ordered social services investigate and he told her ‘if she continued he would take the children off her and they would live with their father’. Since then she’s behaved.

Distance is irrelevant - my OH (we) lives/live 18 miles from the mothers house it’s an hours drive.

Don’t make excuses you can make it work.

My OH started doing overnights when the youngest was 5. It’s not about what the mother wants (or for her to control) it’s about what’s best for the children. Unless there are safeguarding issues judges deem that to the overnight contact with the NRP.

Go to court - sounds like the mum has dicked around for long enough.

NorthernSpirit Fri 07-Sep-18 18:19:40

Go to court....

swingofthings Fri 07-Sep-18 18:26:43

At 6yo it's not fair to expect a kid to travel 45 mns twice between 3 and 7pm. It hardly leaves 2 hours and homework will need to be done during this time.

How about diving her up to an activity and he could travel to her school take her to the activity and then to have something to eat before taking her home? Worth asking if mum would agree to this.

NotTakenUsername Fri 07-Sep-18 18:27:07

In the interim between now and a court order, could he come over to ew area and take his dd out for dinner somewhere local?

Eg pick up at 1630, home for 1900. Plenty of time before and after for homework and bedtime routine.

NotTakenUsername Fri 07-Sep-18 18:27:48

X post

PoesyCherish Fri 07-Sep-18 18:42:18

Don’t make excuses you can make it work.

I'm not the one making those excuses, she is.

He's suggested in the past he has her overnight and drops her at breakfast club the next day (she goes every day she's with her Mum) but that's a no. He has suggested he drive up to ex's area and take DSD out or even just to the park and that's a no too. It's a complete blanket no for picking her up from school or dropping her off at school. Except on the odd occasion where ex decides it suits her better and then he's told at about 2 pm on a Friday that he's picking her up from school at 3.

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PoesyCherish Fri 07-Sep-18 18:43:36

Court really isn't an option for him. He sees it as being a long drawn out battle for nothing as she will breach it and it'll just end up really bitter and he doesn't want to put his daughter in the middle of that. I'm really looking for alternatives to court orders if there are any...

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HeckyPeck Fri 07-Sep-18 19:30:41

I don’t think there are any alternatives to court orders unfortunately.

He’ll either have to accept that this is how his contact will be from now on (& be at the mercy of his ex’s whims) or go down the court route.

MeridianB Sat 08-Sep-18 19:08:23

He has at least 10 years more of this before he can start to hope his ex will have a reduced say about contact. And by then his daughter will want to be out with friends at weekends. I’d encourage him I do whatever it takes to improve and increase contact in the interests of the child as soon as possible.

His ex may well react badly to a court order but things are pretty rubbish now so what is there to lose? Why spend the next decade letting her call the shots and determine the relationship he has with his only child?

Starlight345 Sat 08-Sep-18 19:24:10

What about holiday contact do they split holidays?

PoesyCherish Sat 08-Sep-18 20:26:14

@Starlight345 he does 3 weeks holidays with DSD as ex currently won't allow any more.

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PoesyCherish Sat 08-Sep-18 20:27:36

His ex may well react badly to a court order but things are pretty rubbish now so what is there to lose?

@MeridianB it's not about his ex reacting badly for him. It's about dragging his DSD through the hostility that will come with it and for what? Realistically they can't enforce it.

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RandomMess Sat 08-Sep-18 20:33:34

Court will enforce it if she continually breaches a CO!

Judges do not take kindly to people acting as if they are above the law...

PoesyCherish Sat 08-Sep-18 20:35:32

Court will enforce it if she continually breaches a CO!

Yes so people keep saying yet our experience in real life is that they don't as exs like DP's don't care about going back to court or having to pay fines.

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RandomMess Sat 08-Sep-18 20:38:15

If they threaten her with losing residency...?

RandomMess Sat 08-Sep-18 20:39:03

Or just give up and accept he'll have a vague Disney Dad role!

PoesyCherish Sat 08-Sep-18 20:43:46

"If they threaten her with losing residency...?"

Except not many judges would threaten losing residency. That may be your experience but not ours.

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