Contact 300 miles from home
28 March 2020 at 3:33 pm #38444
With the Corona outbreak I am concerned about my 10 year old son travelling over 300miles (from Cornwall to London) to visit his father. He was seeing him Saturday and Sunday every three weekends. I offered him to visit last weekend for 4 days in fear there would be lock down. He didn’t fancy coming down as it was Mother’s Day. He now wants him up country 300 miles from his home. He has to work every two days in a short stay secondary school for children with behavioural issues and stated he will go to school with him which I have refused to allow. He now states his partner will look after him whilst he is working (although she is also meant to be working). Also I have never met her.
My son lives with me and his older siblings who he plays with beautifully. He is happy and settled here and face times his father when his father calls. I have stated I do not want my son the other end of the county. I have also stated he (the father) can stay here. He has stated unless my son goes with him he will bring his entire family down to stay at my house (including grandparents, girlfriend and sister and her children). I am concerned if my son goes he will not bring him back. He has defaulted on 7 contacts last year, now I have raised concerns regarding the spread of the virus and travel he is kicking off. Any advice please!28 March 2020 at 4:29 pm #38449
Your ex is asking you to send your child to the epicentre of the CV outbreak to stay with him while he continues to work in an environment with lots of high risk contact.
Under those circumstances I’d just say no, until the outbreak eases off. No court is going to rule against you. Your ex is a selfish fool. And his threats are absurd given that unnecessary travel is now banned and all you would need to do is report his family to the police if they turned up on the doorstep.
Honestly, what do people not understand?28 March 2020 at 9:49 pm #38455
Thank you, that was exactly my point to!29 March 2020 at 10:52 am #38464
Omix. I’m in a similar situation. My son is due to go 300 miles in the Easter holidays to his dad. It’s not in London but I’m very anxious about this. His dad is laying on the pressure and saying there’s an exception for children to move between parents’ houses. I think this is meant for local travel. To me, the overriding message is ‘don’t leave your home unless totally necessary’ and that includes to go to the shops. I don’t see how this is necessary. I’ve offered extra video contact, including with his family but he just won’t see my point at all.
I have a respiratory illness that falls under the social distancing recommendations. My ex is a keyworker and therefore mixing with people. When I raised my health concerns he totally ignored them with the usual passive aggressiveness I get from him with a response ‘i will put MY son’s health first and that includes his mental health and the need to see me.’ This to me, is him basically saying my health is not important.
we don’t have a good relationship and he usually bullies me until he gets what he wants. I just don’t know what to do. It’s causing a lot of anxiety.29 March 2020 at 5:55 pm #38480
While there is indeed an exception for travel for children with ‘separate parents’, there’s no stipulation on exactly how far that extends, so it’s entirely understandable you might be at a loss as to what to do! My ex lives in Cheshire, and I live in Somerset, so I do know the quandary..
From what you’ve said, it appears the answer is pretty straightforward: Don’t do it. Your ex’s argument about your son’s mental health being at risk is ridiculous, as well he knows. He’s trying to cast you as the villain which you clearly are not. Don’t for one moment doubt that.
It behoves us all to be responsible, sensible, practical, and reduce risk right now. And clearly in your case, your son going to London is none of those.
As to his threat of bringing his entire family down – THAT is completely irresponsible nonsense, totally impractical and a flagrant flouting of Government-imposed restrictions.
So stay strong, be true to yourself, and trust that you are doing the Right Thing.
Because you are, in my humple opinion.
-Cypher-30 March 2020 at 10:38 am #38522
Please don’t forget that you can always contact our single parent helpline. We have trained advisers and they will be able to help you to explore your options. Here are their details:
• Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925
Opening hours: Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4 They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered.
Kind regards, Justine30 March 2020 at 6:06 pm #38543
Thank you both. I really appreciate your feedback x23 April 2020 at 12:42 pm #39307
I have a similar issue to the ones mentioned above. My ex moved over 200 miles away when we split up over 11 years ago and rarely sees his children (twice last year, his choice) who reside with me and always have done. As he is not working and generally no social life due to covid19 he now wants to see his children. He has said he will pick them up and travel the 200 miles to stay at his house. I had major issues with this and stated that the rules of travelling between parents doesn’t extend to 200 miles.<i> </i>I am concerned something may happen and they fall ill, may have a crash on motorway (unlikely but still to consider) etc. and then they will be in hospital and I will be unable to visit them. The children have understood this and we had lengthy discussions about and I suggested when this is all over they can spend as long as they like with him. I also made this suggestion to my ex however he declined to answer that part of the message and stated that I was being unreasonable re current request to have them and he confirmed he would look after the children in the same manner as I do.
I just feel the travel is unnecessary and they can face time any time they like, I have bought the children phones and laptops to ensure communication levels are available. I just know when this lockdown ends he will use all of this as ammunition against me, when I see this as a sensible parental judgement in such awful times.
I would love to know anyone else’s opinions on this, as I have been on www.judiciary.uk/announcements/coronavirus-crisis-guidance-on-compliance-with-family-court-child-arrangement-orders/ however this for families with an arrangement order and we don’t have one in place.
To be truthful I would love a short break from the children as working and home schooling is challenging however my main focus is keeping us all safe and well and not putting extra obstacles in the way that could make us more vulnerable. (I think the children would also like a break from me too, I must add!!) Sadly this is not seen in the same way by the ex and he constantly thinks this is another way for me to stop him seeing the children, which I have never done and it has always been his choice on how often he sees them but cleverly ‘tries’ to make it my fault!
Anyway I have had 3 knocks on the door to say its lunchtime for school so I must go!
Any advice is welcome.
(4 knocks on the door now!) must go!23 April 2020 at 5:22 pm #39326
You say it doesn’t extend to 200 miles… is there any evidence of this anywhere?
I’m in the same predicament. There is a flat empty he can use 13 miles from me that belongs to his friend. I have suggested he stays there if he wishes to see him rather than travelling for 10hours (600miles there and back). He’s refused and stated I am “intentionally being obstructive” because like you I don’t want my son near the epicentre of where it’s going on and I have concerns he will not return him. Also he is still working and my son will be looked after by someone I have never met every two days (He’s a compulsive liar so it may well be more). Also he has two brothers here to play with, one of whom fractured his humerus last weekend (😬) so can’t travel to get him is there were an emergency. Plus with no hotels open my ex is stating he would drive down here and back in one hit (10 hours straight).
I wish there was more specific guidelines available for parents who have chosen to live the other end of the country who are not involved in their daily life. The most he saw him before was once every 3 weeks and this was variable depending on whether or not he was ‘busy’.3 May 2020 at 11:15 pm #39609
My case is more from the father point of view. I lived in London, my ex moves with our daughter from London to East Grinstead when we got separated. Nine months after, I moved to E.G. to be closer to my daughter. Then, one month later, she moves to Forest Row, next town 3.4 miles away. She said she moved there as they would be closer to our daughter school.
During the lockdown, I have been in North London with my girlfriend. Both of us have been totally lockdown just going out for groceries shopping. Long story short, after one and half months without seen my daughter, I would like to visit her on her birthday this week. Her mother says I can’t because I come from London. Question: Is there any rule, or guidance from the Gov, that blocks parents visiting their children if they are coming from London or another part of the country?
She also suggested to take first a COVID-19 test to be sure I do not have the virus, but I think that just applies to people with symptoms.
Thanks,5 May 2020 at 5:24 am #39635
There is no reason why you cannot see your daughter at your house on her birthday although your ex may have already made plans for that specific day.
Expecting you to have a cv test when they are only available to certain people is not reasonable.
Can you compromise and agree an extra long stay when restrictions are lifted a little – maybe the end of this month? Can she stay with you for all of summer half term?