Long distance coparenting with abusive ex – help please

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  • #46666 Report


    Hi – can anyone help me? I used to live near my ex but in summer I lost my job and had to live back with my parents 160 miles away.
    My ex is saying that I have to drive our DD for the pick up and drop offs as I am the one who moved so it’s my responsibility. I am the resident parent and I had no choice but to move given being made redundant, contact frequency hasn’t changed as he only saw her every other week even when we lived just up the road. I’m doing what I can but I can’t keep doing all the work, I have a new job and work full time and the time and money it’s costing to do all the travelling is not sustainable. He says I should do it. My ex is a bully and extremely emotionally abusive and I’m really struggling to cope with the pressure from him.
    he’s also not sharing the 5 day window we have to see family at Christmas – I asked for one of the 5 days and he said as it’s his turn for Christmas I can’t get her back a day early.
    I’m feeling incredibly pushed around and torn between trying to stand up for myself and do what is best for my DD without allowing him to walk all over me.
    Am I legally obligated to pick her up and drop her off? Am I being unreasonable asking for one day at Christmas?
    I feel so anxious and like I’m going crazy – I just want some peace and to do what is best.
    would appreciate anyone’s advice.

    thankyou x

    #46684 Report



    I’ve no idea legally unfortunately, sorry. But I’d say no, you’re not obliged to do all of the travelling for drop offs.

    I’m in a similar situation of doing all the travelling, albeit a different scenario. My ex moved away from me so she could be closer to her daughter, which I understood.

    We did however have to come to some sort of agreement financially for the travel as it is an hour and a half drive each way, and she can’t drive. So it automatically fell on me to do it. That will change when she’s passed her driving test hopefully, as she’s no problem with it.

    And no, you’re definitely not asking too much at all for a day at Christmas. How olds your child, can they voice their own choices yet?

    I wouldn’t have said there’s a great deal he can do to make you do all the travelling. Your move was due to circumstance, not to be difficult. Is he using some sort of leverage to make you drive, or just being obnoxious?

    #46686 Report



    I moved away when my ex left. He left me little choice other than to move away.

    We don’t have a court order, but agree custody arrangements between ourselves.

    At first, I used the share the journeys, but this cost me a lot and he earns a lot more than I do. He also cohabits so his cost of living is less than mine and his already higher income is exacerbated as his partner works. He also has a lot more flexibility than I do with his job to make the journey. I therefore now ask him to drop and collect.

    There is someone on here who advises that a court would make you do half the journey or possibly all of you are the one who moved away. I’d be interested to see if that was the case if I went to court. In the same way that they don’t use whoever behaved badly in the marriage to allocate finances in recognition of life rarely being that clean cut, I’m not sure why they shouldn’t apply the same logic here. Of those who I know who have moved away with the children, it wasn’t out of spite but because they needed support, couldn’t afford to live or were basically driven to do so by the behaviours they were facing. so that stance does seem unfair, let alone where finances are clearly way better for one parent than the other.

    I can understand how difficult it is to stand up for yourself in these circumstances and the pressure you are facing.

    I was terrified telling the ex husband that I wasn’t going to share the journeys anymore.

    I thought I’d just tell you my situation and how I view it for me. I hope you can decide what to do.

    Good luck


    #47119 Report


    Hi both,

    Thankyou so so much for your reply – it’s so difficult as he is very manipulative and mean and has a way of convincing me I’m being unreasonable when I actually do my best to be cordial and respectful for our daughters sake – but it’s just not reciprocated in any way and I just get bullied into things that don’t suit me.
    he thinks I owe him to go the extra mile because he wants to punish me for leaving him, even though it was purely survival on my part.
    He’s not outlined anything in particular other than if I make changes to Christmas this year he will make mine difficult next year, he also hasn’t paid childcare in 3 months and when I’ve asked him to help he’s just said he will ‘review this and get back to me’ but that was 2 weeks ago now.
    He threatened he would make my life very difficult if I ever left him and he’s really sticking to that 💔 I don’t want this to go on forever.

    im so glad you were able to come to an agreement with your exes, it’s all I hoped for when I left the relationship – I wish it was possible here but I’m increasingly seeing it’s not.
    the issue now is that he’s in tier 4 and I’m not, so Christmas plans have to be reassessed and I’m so fearful of having to speak to him about Christmas all over again. 💔 I don’t know what to do.

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