I am a father who has my son every other weekend and during most if not all school holidays and half terms. My son’s mum and I separated when he was 3 years old and have lived about 2 hours away from each other for the last few years, until recently, meeting halfway or closer to her home for handovers.
Recently, my ex has moved about 4 hours away and handovers have become an increasingly difficult ordeal. Initially, we agreed to meet halfway as we had done before or on some weekends slightly closer to one of our homes. She has started regularly being late (45 minutes or more) for our handovers and last night said she wasn’t willing to carry on as things were.
I received a message stating that either we would have to reduce contact hours or she would only allow me to collect him from her home. This would result in a 7-8 hour round trip on a Friday evening after his school which is (in my opinion) very much not in his best interests.
I have looked online and mediation seems to be the only way forward, but I am very worried I will be told if I want to see more of my son I will have to move away from my home, job and partner. Does anybody have experience in this kind of situation or any advice? As an aside is virtual (online skype etc.) mediation available as I am worried she would refuse to visit mediation unless I travelled to her new hometown.
I live four hours from my daughters father and went through a similar experience last year. There is virtual mediation – we used the family mediation service.
It wasn’t an easy journey but we have made it work – my daughter spends EOW with her father, two of those weekends in a six week period we meet half way, and one weekend he spends the weekend local to where we live so my daughter only does the round trip twice in every six weeks. We meet at a play centre half way so she has a play / lunch before doing the rest of the journey.
Next year she will start spending week long periods with her dad.
As she has chosen to move away, she will be expected to do half the travel.
I hope you find something that works for your family soon