Long distance dad – should I do both journeys?

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  • #11806 Report


    Hi all, looking for some advice please.

    My ex moved away by 400 miles om separation, and now has a new gf and child (2 years on). When he has seen my kids up to now it is hosted by his family more local to the children.

    Now he wants the children brought to him for some weekends, which I don’t like as I think they will be so tired for school, but I’m not going to stand in the way if he won’t see them any other way (he has barely seen them the last 6 months).

    He is insisting that I do both journeys there and back, which would take 7 to 8 hours round trip each time. He says that he normally does all of the travelling and so I deserve to do some, but I find this unfair as he is the one who lives at distance from the children by choice, and I do all the parenting at all times.

    Am I being unreasonable? I’d really appreciate some advice.

    #11808 Report


    Frankly, if you are the resident partner, and he chose to move further away, then if it went to court, the onus of the travel would be with him, including costs, because he made the choice and you are the resident.

    I would suggest you request mediation on this issue, which again, would be near where you live.

    I know a father whose ex moved from Cambridge to Cornwall with the kids and HE still has to uptake the financial and time burdens of the commute for all visits, even though the move was her choice, because she is the resident. It went to court and he was told he should move nearer to the children. He protested that if he did that he wouldn’t keep his job in Cambridge and therefore would not be able to upkeep his maintenance payments and the judge said that it was likely he could and would get another job and the concerns were for the children, not the father.

    That’s the way it goes. Your ex wants to be grateful you’re giving him as much as he currently has! Looks like a couple of times a year over long school holidays is the only chance he’s going to get for physical contact and that will be down to him to arrange around you, not vice versa. But his money still keeps coming in to you! If he wants to push that point, tell him its mediation or court (for him to take you that is) because he’ll soon find out how well off he was!

    #11809 Report


    Thank you both so much, you have made me feel much more normal about this. I knew how I felt was logical and fair but it’s good to know it has some legal back up.

    He is now saying I need to do both journeys because the weekend in question is Father’s Day, and he can’t get out of work early to do the other one on the Friday. I find it really hard to know what to do next!

    I can recognise that it is the last vestiges of control, but it’s hard to put my foot down against “it’s father’s day”.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.


    #11814 Report


    That’s not a proper excuse. What next, it’s 4th July and he’s got dual nationality? Skype, card, phonecall is all acceptable. Many fathers don’t even get that. You can’t share the child at xmas – what will you do? One of you will celebrate xmas with the child at a time that is convenient for both but won’t be xmas day. Same with father’s day. He doesn’t stop being the father any more than he will stop getting older on his birthday if his kid doesn’t witness him on the actual day. Ridiculous. That’s the penalty of a) leaving the family home where the child lives, and b) moving 400 miles away from your child.

    Stay strong.

    #11821 Report


    Yeah I hear you! He has kicked up a fuss about them not being with him on his birthday (not theirs) before so that’s actually a perfect example of how ridiculous he’s being.


    Thanks xx

    #11939 Report


    its a tricky one. on the flip side…. i serperated from my DD dad. he lived in colchester, thats his hometown. I chose/had to move back to Plymouth. we were both battling depression with a 1 year old, and i had no family or friends. and he wasnt an award winning father. thats not to say he was bad, but for instance he would spend multiple hours playing computer games while I was working, i would come home to discover that he had forgotten to feed his daughter.

    but anyway, I mad the choice to leave and move. our daughter lives with me, attends school here etc. he moved slightly further away to be with his new wife and child. so, in this case, does it fall on one or the other parent? he and his wife work full time. I currently dont have a job as I had to leave in order to balance childcare, quality time with my child and studying for a degree. I dont have any excess income and it costs a £200 give or take to do the return journey as I have to hire a car.
    Im not saying that your points are wrong, Im just trying to give a slightly different perspective than that of “the one that moved is the one responsible”.

    #11943 Report


    well to contradict that, technically the other parent does have rights. and had I stayed, the relationship very well would have become volatile. now in my circumstance, he speaks to her maybe once every 3-4 months, never asks after her etc so I have no qualms about my decision. but it also has to be considered that an unhappy parent, may not be a great parent.

    the question of the article was about sharing the journeys. yes this is true. i have travelled the distance a few times, as has the father. but other factors need to be considered such as income, job opportunities and the choice of the parent that stayed. in my case, my ex told me for over 2 years that he was making every effort to move to plymouth with me and my daughter. I went to the effort of arranging him a job interview that he had been after by pulling some strings. he refused to attend. and i later found that he had made no efforts whatsoever to attempt a move. when I had left everyone I knew, and any job security I had in order to become a family unit for him. so Im sorry if other people have a negative opinion of people that move away, but sometimes they are infact moving back. and sometimes they are the ones that were let down.


    in the case of the OP, I do not believe that she should take on all the journeys. sharing them as best as she can is the way forwards. but this is not always possible. it may be that if she can cover the costs and time of these journeys mentioned, she can then in turn say the same to him. it may be that he cannot afford the journeys at this time, regardless of his reasons for moving.

    it just seems that often on here and in general, people are victimised and vilainised when it comes to parenting, without alternative viewpoints being considered.

    #11949 Report


    wait, you havent read what i said. i didnt say i shouldnt contribute to the travel expenses. i think youll find i said it should be shared, and that i have paid the expenses to take my daughter there. so just as with the vilianisation, youve jumped to a conclusion without reading what i wrote correctly.

    should it be then that the parent sacrifices their own happiness and mental well being, for the sake of the child and other parent? are we that backwards a society? it is stances like that which cause the stigmas around depression etc. get on with it because you dont matter as much anymore?

    my child has already asked why, and i have been honest. told her that neither of us were happy and that was impacting her. but rather than crying about not seeing her dad, she instead asks me why he never contacts her, calls her. this has mattered more to her than seeing him at the moment. i have never stopped any contact, infact often I am the one chasing him for contact with his daughter. so again, i feel you may have jumped to your own conclusion and judged me without stopping to consider. thankfully, as i tell her the truth, she hears the same from her dad when she has asked him. and has himself said it worked out well as now she has a step mum and a baby sister. if you are honest with your child from the age they can understand, and word things in a sensitive yet mature way, there is no need for it to weigh on you. that is a burden you have chosen to carry imo.

    which was the point of my reply, that the other side of the story needs to be considered. i dont feel you have done this just yet.


    so to reiterate, my original point was…. the expenses of the journeys should be shared. things have happened which caused a separation and distance for whatever reason. it is done. so the mature approach is to just get on with it, share the responsibilities just as you share the child. and dont jump to conclusions about situations. if the expense can be covered by one person for one trip, then it should be expected that the next visit be covered by the other parent when possible. fair is fair. it cannot be said it is the fault of the one that moved or whatever the argument.

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