Access arrangements with ex – do I have to be so reasonable?
- This topic has 8 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 9 months ago by GuardiansMum.
8 March 2019 at 1:52 pm #21951
Briefly – do I have to do the travelling for contact pick ups/collections for the very infrequent contact my children have with their father?
Its a round trip of 400 miles, and whilst it is very infrequently – I don’t feel it should be my responsibility to assist my ex to maintain contact, when being honest, I don’t believe it’s quality time anyway.
Do I have a legal obligation to be so accommodating about this?
Thanks8 March 2019 at 5:36 pm #21966
I moved away. Even when we were local there was little contact after separation, and I even handed over the house to him.
He paid no maintenance at all for 2 years, but in that time he barely saw the children. After we moved away, I was doing all the travelling over holidays and long weekends when it was convenient for him, although he has never made the effort to come and see them. He only asks for them if he is off work (shift pattern) when they are off school and then only when his new partners children are also off. There have been occasions over the summer when he left the children with his parent for 1 week out of the 2 he had them as he didn’t take time off.
Eldest (14) does not want to visit over the next holiday as his life is here and is tired of being farmed out. The youngest (5) is a bit oblivious but does enjoy the time – even though it is massively disruptive to his routine.
In anyone’s opinion, would a court take into consideration the precidence that the father has made little effort himself to maintain contact, and the cost and inconvenience one one income of resident parent is unsubstainable?
Thanks8 March 2019 at 5:52 pm #21967
Hello GuardiansMum, I have read your post regarding your travel quandary and have you thought of organising a meeting at a designated half way point to lesson the travel time and sharing the costs? I think everyone would agree that is a fair solution to both parents doing there bit (not that I am saying that you don’t already do your bit in any shape or form what so ever) in order to facilitate a positive direction in maintaining contact. It will also avoid any classic reruns of any “blame-game” of any sorts in the future and it will put some responsibility onto dad, which should be a good thing for dad and kids.
Just a thought and maybe worth giving it a go or thinking about at least and you can log it and honestly say that you tried.
Hope this helps8 March 2019 at 6:06 pm #21968
Thanks both for your responses.
Actually yes, that was my initial suggestion and we eventually tried this once. However after the one occasion he then stated it wasn’t effective, and it did upset the children to be handed over in a car park after a leg stretch and a toilet break.
It was always my intention that they maintain contact with him, however he barely contacts them otherwise, and I guess now I’m asking if he can’t make the effort more regularly, why should I bend over backwards to accommodate him when he does? There’s no real benefit to the children anymore.8 March 2019 at 6:39 pm #21970
Yes I hear what you are saying about the “handing over in the car park”, it probably freaks the kids out because of the weak bond which has developed and I guess that you could get a little mud and blame slung for this….so how to get a plan?
Would it be possible to swap the journey time, one time you take them down and maybe you could have a weekend nearby (not too close I know!), but at least you are handy, just in case of any problems and you can all journey up together… everyone gets their weekend trip.
Would it be possible for dad to journey up to the kids two or three times and maybe stay around where they are comfortable and spend time together doing things where they know in order to build a bridge towards them being comfortable with (and looking forward to) meeting half way and then spending the weekend with their dad?
Maybe you could try one more time and open up every door possible for dad to create an arrangement before any court visit. Hopefully he will form some sort of regular plan and he doesn’t get locked out totally from your teenage son. You want to be able to say I tried… and I know dads actions in the end will dictate the eventual outcome. I know it is a reminiscent of the saying between a rock and a hard place!8 March 2019 at 6:51 pm #21971
This is actually what I have been doing previously to ensure contact is maintained. I was taking them locally, staying with friends, then bringing them back. All this after work/school Friday and a late Sunday return. Either that or taking annual leave to take them up and collect them after any extended visits. Dad flat out refuses to do similar. It’s almost as if he only wants to parent them under his roof! Very frustrating and the children are picking up on the lack of effort from that side. But I am no longer in a position financially to keep doing this. I’ve asked him for mediation to independently find a solution however again, he refuses. I’m more than prepared to go to court if necessary but was hoping for a way around this.
Thanks again8 March 2019 at 7:19 pm #21972
Is there a family member or friend who you both know or can talk to, even if it is just to express what your last resort and intentions are and going by what you have already shared in this post it does sound like you have done quite a lot regarding this issue. I do feel your dilemma and I hope it resolves for the better and that it doesn’t end up at the last resort position which you are quite prepared for. Do you think there a possibility of dad trying to engage a little more via telephone or skype chats at all, just in the meantime while everything is up in the air regarding communication at the moment.