What’s reasonable for visitation?

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    Hi there, any advice would be useful right now as I’m very lost

    I have 2 little girls aged 2 and 3 One is In nursery 4 days a week, the other goes to a playgroup with me twice a week, so they have a set routine.

    Their father lives in London, I left their father in London as the relationship broke down and I now live in Manchester with the girls at my parents house. I left when our youngest daughter was 13 months, the dad has been on various occasions to see the girls, (he has occasionally taken money from the girls maintenance for his travel/hotel costs) he is now demanding that I must bring them to him

    Is it reasonable for me to refuse to take these young girls on that long journey to London so that he can see them and instead insist that he can continue to see them anytime he wishes in Manchester?

    My reasons for not wanting to take them are………….

    Its a long, long  journey for a 2 and 3 year old, why should they be forced if he can drive or take a train.

    I cannot do the journey alone with both girls as toileting,sickness,breaks, luggage, getting about etc is very difficult

    Its expensive as I’m not working (He said I should pay the costs, yet he doesn’t always pay his costs and takes it from the girls money) It helps if I point out, he gives less than the nursery fees for one child, let alone both, nor contributes to their general upkeep. So me paying the cost seems crazy. My parents (grandparents) have been marvellous and help out massively financially. It’s super expensive  to travel when you are living on a restricted basis and I don’t wish to ask for more handouts from the grandparents.

    Its disruptive for them, they will be exhausted if all this is to happen on a weekend and back to school on a Monday morning.

    If it’s school hols and he suggested they stay at his, they would be scared as they have never stayed at their fathers home alone (He’s not offered for me to stay there, and even if he did, I don’t want to stay, I left that flat and do not feel safe nor comfortable returning) Additionally the flat is very small (1 bed) so sleeping arrangements would be difficult.

    I am not saying I will never take them to London to see him and I have explained this to him, but whilst they are so young, I find it hugely unfair and selfish as they will suffer, so he can see them, I don’t feel it’s in our children’s best interests, but I’m unsure if this would be seen as unreasonable by a court.

    Please please if if anyone has been through something similar or has any legal insight then drop me a line, I don’t know if I’m going mad?


    Sophia x


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