The Child is 6.
We separated some years ago, we lived in Cornwall (seperated), we both moved back to the Northwest, he to his home town and I to take up residence close to a new job opportunity. Prior to withdrawing access (he has mental health issues CAFCASS has investigated and concented to the contact) he was seeing his child fortnightly and collecting Friday evenings and dropping off sunday afternoons. they are no longer wiling to do this and request a Saturday mid morning drop off and a sunday early afternoon pick up at a station half way between the two addresses, they want this fortnightly. This will cost an additional £32 PCM, which I can ill afford (No child support is being paid) as well as compromising my weekends significantly.
Child is six years old.
Partner is on benefits, he lives with his partner who is working, and drives, CAFCASS have granted access on the proviso the safeguarding is managed by the partner.
Previously: His partner would make herself available for the Sunday drop offs, and where possible the Friday collections from the childminder's, if she was unavailable (due to work commitments) my x- travelled by Train, (approx. 45 minute journey and a 20minute walk from the station) His partner has advised as she works she cannot support the Friday collection and that sustainability cannot be assured with my x having to travel by train. On interview I have discussed this with CAFCASS and she advised in her opinion she did not feel that was a relevant point.
It is the language of the CAFCASS report that has really unnerved me..
"Ms ..does not drive and on this basis refuses to assist with transport"!
"I am concerened that Ms... is rigid in her requirements for contact, particularly since Mr... and Ms ... will be managing the majority of the transport arrangements"!
I proposed three options neither which included myself meeting half way and that collection/drop off would be up to his father.
1) Fornightly Friday to sunday, as previous, collection and drop off their responsibility.
2) Three weekly Saturday to Sunday, collection and drop off their responsibility
the rational being that fornightly sat to sun with a three hr round trip means the weekends where I have respite are not spent travelling back and forth to accommodate access.
I re-emphasise I am doing 100% of the parenting without any support network friends / family, although I dearly love my child this is both stressfull and exhausting and my respite is invaluable to managing this.
I do not consider this unreasonable or "rigid".
And I am refusing half way because of the time and expense associated is inappropriate in the circumstances.
On a Friday I finish work at 5pm, Collect my child from the childminders, feed him, then It would take an hour to get him to the half way point, then another hr to get him back to his fathers, we are looking at 9pm him getting to his dads,
I do not think given the circumstances it is any way reasonable to expect me to meet half way.
If he has petitioned for access then he should do what it takes to facilitate that access, surely?
What I am asking for is not unreasonable or undoable?
In addition the expense is not negated.
Any meeting of halfway will incurr an approx £9 per journey cost which, as I have no help with the costs of raising my child, will be a significant impact on the family budget.