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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33498
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Is there any law regarding the pick-up and drop off of a child,

Resolved Question:

Is there any law regarding the pick-up and drop off of a child, I work full-time Monday to Friday 8-5 and don't drive, I am the main parent with care.
My ex does not work and also does not drive, we live some 40 miles apart, his partner (who he lives with can drive). CAFCAS have made a recommendation to the court that I meet half way , which I can't afford, and also it would mean a three hour round trip, significantly compromising my weekend and respite. I do all the pick up and drop off for school runs, I have zero support network, friends family etc. so am truly a sole parent. I wish to challenge this recommendation. It is not to be awkward, it is just without this respite and with the additional stress of the journey fortnightly, I am concerned about my stress levels which I have managed by ensuring I have quality respite time. This will be significantly compromised if the recommendations are ordered by the courts.( I am currently in councelling for stress).
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is the child and which of you has moved away?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How old is the child?
is your ex on benefits?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How did he manage the transport previously?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If the contact started on a Friday would you be willing to meet half way then - if they brought the child back on the Sunday?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No


 


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?


 


 


 


 


 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Is there a president regarding pick-up and drop off arrangements for the non resident parents?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry for the delay
I am afraid that this is not a matter for precedent.
every case is decided on its own particular set of circumstances and merits
Whilst I understand your position I am afraid that this is not the approach that the court will take
i am afraid that it is the responsibility f NOTH parents to ensure that the child's right to contact with both parents is met.
If you had remained where you were and your ex had moved away then the position would be different and it would be much more likely that your ex would be expected to do all the travelling - but since you both moved the court will be taking a more evenhanded approach
I am also concerned that you refer to this time as Respite - please do NOT do that in Court - the Judge will not take it well - they consider it is about meeting the needs of the child - not you and however much i empathise with the feeling the Judge will not.
Your problem is that CAFCASS have said clearly that they find your approach "rigid" and this is an issue
If you do not want to end up with an order you do not like then you need to offer something as an alternative - by which I mean some way or your taking at least Some share of the travelling - eveni f you ask him to pay the train fares
One (small) compromise would be for you to meet your ex at the station on a Friday night
I KNOW that this is not what you wish to hear but you NEED to be seen to be offering something
You should also make your application to the cSA - Even £7 a week is better than nothing
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33498
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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